UBC Centre for Interactive Research    

UBC Ecotrek


The University of British Columbia developed a major initiative to upgrade and retrofit their core campus building systems to meet ambitious targets to reduce energy and water use and greenhouse gas emissions.

UBC engaged MCW Custom Energy Solutions Ltd as an energy performance contractor (ESCO) to implement the Ecotrek Project. Over a three year period, nearly 300 buildings were rebuilt and retrofitted to achieve targets to reduce energy by 20 % and water use by 30 %. The project was successful and UBC will be saving at least $ 2.6 million per year in electricity, steam and water costs.

The mechanical retrofit included the addition of variable speed drives for the supply and return fans for the air handling systems in the major university buildings so that the air volumes could be reduced during times when less air was required. Sheet metal ductwork changes were carried out to convert some systems by adding variable air volume devices and automatic temperature controls to match the heating, cooling and ventilation to the amount required in the various zones.

Western Mechanical Services was chosen to provide testing and balancing and performance testing services associated with this important project. Western Mechanical measured and adjusted the air flows through each system and measured the electrical characteristics at various operating conditions to assist MCW in calculating energy usage.