Lights, Camera, Action on Building Science Research

Lights Camera Action

Image by Hugh Henderson
Article by Thomas Bevan

The Sustainable Building Science Program (SBSP) is undertaking a video project about the research being undertaken by trainees and faculty members.

With a growing audience for online video content, encouraged by greater access through smart phones and tablets, universities are beginning to transform their approach to communication. Most post secondary institutions now have a presence on social media networks and have video content available through YouTube and other freely available streaming channels.

An exciting example of combining academic research with video is The School of Ornithology at Cornell University, which has partnered with National Geographic to produce the Birds of Paradise Project. This online video series raises awareness about these extraordinary species of birds in New Guinea that evolutionary biologists from Cornell have been studying for over a decade.

Another project receiving significant attention is at The University of California, where they have created a dedicated video distribution network called UCTV. This professionally produced channel distributes research, lectures and other academic content freely to public audiences.

Effectively using digital media channels to tell a captivating story can play a key role in the knowledge translation of research, which is often a required component to receiving grants from agencies such as NSERC.

However, the challenge with this approach is competing for people’s attention amongst the huge pool of videos available online. This is why it is important for academic media channels to invest in quality and unique productions that excite and capture potential viewers.

The goal of the SBSP video project is to tell the stories about current research projects in lighting, ventilation, energy systems, and other projects, and how they are coming together to advance our understanding about how to create buildings that are in tune and supportive of the systems they are apart of.

To learn more about these research stories and stay up to date on this video project visit: