Research Snapshots

Radiant Heating & Cooling Systems: A Theoretical Discussion and Literature Review

Radiant heating and cooling systems have been widely used in buildings throughout history. Primitive versions of heated flooring, dating back as far as 10,000 B.C., circulated flue gases from wood or coal-fired stoves under raised floors of buildings. The modern version – heated or cooled water circulated in pipes embedded in room surfaces – was developed by the British in the early 1900’s and has since benefited from a century of modern scientific development. Radiant heating systems are used extensively in Asia and Europe, though North America has only recently caught on.

Prediction of the Effect of a Sound-Masking System

So far, speech privacy has been an important and hardly achievable issue for open-plan offices, especially in natural-ventilation buildings with low background-noise levels. This research tries to estimate the effect of a sound masking system (SMS) on improving speech privacy in the CIRS Building Simulation Software (BSS) Lab, and how the Lombard effect influences it.

Predicting Energy Use & Operation Cost of HVAC Air Filters

This project developed a model based on results from standard filter testing to allow for the prediction of filter energy use and minimum annual cost for any filter installation. This new model provides a simple method to determine the most energy efficient or least costly filtration system to be installed based on local conditions thus allowing building operators to reduce energy requirements while maintaining high levels of indoor air quality to ensure occupant health.

Innovation in Accelererating the Adoption of Technology Related to Sustainable Buildings

In order to become more sustainable we will need to develop many innovative technologies. There are many steps along this process including idea creation, implementation, and alteration of mainstream processes. One step to promote development will be to pilot new technologies before introduction to the general public. Although there are barriers to this, one way to alleviate them is to continue UBC’s positioning as a Living Lab. Through this process, barriers to implementation of these technologies can be identified and solutions can be developed.

Energy Efficient Ventilation for Improved Air Quality

This project is to improve the ventilation performance of hospitals by reducing their energy consumption and infection risk simultaneously.

Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) Analysis

Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), which is made by laminating dimension lumber at right angles, is an innovative high-performance building material that offers many positive attributes including renewability, high structural stability, storage of carbon during the building life, good fire resistance, possibility of material recycling and reuse. It is conceptually a sustainable and cost effective structural timber solution that can compete with concrete in non-residential and multi-family mid-rise building market. Therefore, there is a need to understand and quantify the environmental attribute of this building system in the context of North American resources, manufacturing technology, energy constraints, building types, and construction practice. This study is to compare energy consumption of two building designs using different materials, i.e. CLT and concrete.

Core Sunlighting System

One of the challenges of the building industry is illuminating the building with high quality lighting while using less electrical energy. This is one of the issues that the Green Building Council has been addressing in the last few years, particularly in commercial buildings. Architects and building designers address this problem by allocating larger area to windows or creating atria that capture daylight. However, these traditional methods of daylighting have limitations and drawbacks as most of them fail to illuminate the building’s core.

Commercialization of Sustainable Building Technology

This research involves developing a generic template on the business processes involved with the “Living Lab” which aims to achieve UBC’s sustainability goals by collaborating with operations, companies and researchers. This template could then be used for universities and municipalities to realize substantial organizational change to achieve their sustainability targets.