Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 67.16
Liaison Mike Versteege
Submission Date June 24, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alberta
OP-5: Building Energy Consumption

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.82 / 6.00 Michael Versteege
Manager, Energy Management & Sustainable Operations
Facilities & Operations
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Figures needed to determine total building energy consumption:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Grid-purchased electricity 648,704.13 MMBtu 437,736.31 MMBtu
Electricity from on-site renewables 1,455 MMBtu 0 MMBtu
District steam/hot water (sourced from offsite) 0 MMBtu 0 MMBtu
Energy from all other sources (e.g., natural gas, fuel oil, propane/LPG, district chilled water, coal/coke, biomass) 2,312,884.24 MMBtu 2,051,366.72 MMBtu
Total 2,963,043.37 MMBtu 2,489,103.03 MMBtu

Start and end dates of the performance year and baseline year (or 3-year periods):
Start Date End Date
Performance Year April 1, 2018 March 31, 2019
Baseline Year April 1, 2005 March 31, 2006

A brief description of when and why the building energy consumption baseline was adopted (e.g. in sustainability plans and policies or in the context of other reporting obligations):

The baseline was adopted because it aligns with our Greenhouse Gas reduction goal and it also aligned with the Canadian Federal Government's baseline at the time that our goal was set. The University of Alberta recognizes that water, energy, and greenhouse gas emissions are intrinsically linked and that the consumption of energy drives our greenhouse gas production.

The UAlberta GHG inventory follows the Operational Control approach to define its organizational boundary. Operational Control is defined as having full authority to introduce and implement the university’s operating policies. As a result, Enterprise Square, Alberta Health Services run properties, Canadian Blood Services and the Jubilee Auditorium are not included in our inventory because UAlberta does not have operational control of these buildings.

Gross floor area of building space:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Gross floor area of building space 1,562,706.25 Gross Square Metres 1,222,130.79 Gross Square Metres

Source-site ratio for grid-purchased electricity:

Total building energy consumption per unit of floor area:
Performance Year Baseline Year
Site energy 0 MMBtu / GSM 0 MMBtu / GSM
Source energy 0 MMBtu / GSM 0 MMBtu / GSM

Percentage reduction in total building energy consumption (source energy) per unit of floor area from baseline:

Degree days, performance year (base 65 °F / 18 °C):
Degree days (see help icon above)
Heating degree days 5,436 Degree-Days (°C)
Cooling degree days 245 Degree-Days (°C)

Floor area of energy intensive space, performance year:
Floor Area
Laboratory space 123,069.96 Square Metres
Healthcare space 0 Square Metres
Other energy intensive space

EUI-adjusted floor area, performance year:
1,942,477.49 Gross Square Metres

Building energy consumption (site energy) per unit of EUI-adjusted floor area per degree day, performance year:
0 Btu / GSM / Degree-Day (°C)

Documentation (e.g. spreadsheet or utility records) to support the performance year energy consumption figures reported above:
A brief description of the institution's initiatives to shift individual attitudes and practices in regard to energy efficiency (e.g. outreach and education efforts):


The Green Spaces program is a way to help the university's campus community integrate sustainable practices into their work and living spaces. Participants can earn a bronze, silver, or gold certification for their office space, lab, event or living space. Green Spaces has many categories that participants are evaluated on, including energy and water consumption, food, waste, transportation, wellness, social sustainability, purchasing, resource use, and communication.


Energy Management and Sustainable Operations provides monetary incentives for labs to purchase more energy efficient ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezers. In 2019, 14 old ULTs were retired and 18 new, efficient ULTs were purchased. The estimated savings from these changes is $5,900 and 59,000 kWh per year. Efficiency of ULT units is important because they are some of the biggest consumers of energy in laboratories and are estimated to consume as much energy as a single-family household in Alberta each year.


The Green Labs program includes a number of initiatives designed to help labs operate more sustainably. Current initiatives under this program include the two programs listed above, as well as a Green Labs Leaders’ Network and an online course to teach lab users about sustainability in labs. In the past, the Green Labs program has also funded projects such as swapping out solvent stills to solvent purification systems, which results in water savings.

A brief description of energy use standards and controls employed by the institution (e.g. building temperature standards, occupancy and vacancy sensors):

Lighting occupancy sensors and photo-cells

Lighting occupancy sensors and photo-cells have been installed across campus in areas where lights would not normally be shut off without user intervention. Examples of areas that would require occupancy sensors would be mechanical/electrical rooms, janitor closets, storage rooms, washrooms, parkades, larger public areas (e.g., atriums) and medium or large classrooms and labs. Photo-cells are installed in areas that have enough exposure to daylight that lights can be turned off and the area still maintains safe and comfortable working conditions (e.g., pedways, exterior pole-mounted lights). There are also areas where lights cannot be turned off due to safety (i.e. stairwells, emergency exits, elevator shafts, elevators, etc.).

The university uses its direct digital control and building automation systems to centrally monitor and control the central systems in individual buildings, schedule the operation of systems, and provide space temperature setbacks. During unoccupied hours in some buildings, space temperatures are allowed to rise during warm weather conditions and dip under cool weather conditions. In some buildings, such as the Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Sciences, lighting control occupancy sensors shut down zone lighting and ventilation equipment for individual offices and areas, and space temperatures are allowed to deviate off set point whenever individual spaces are unoccupied after normal building hours.

Monthly and annual utility readings are coordinated through utilities and finance services; they are used to track all facility utility performance. These readings are also used to compare current building performance to previous years to track changes to a facility’s utility performance.

The university's building operations is in the process of implementing an Enterprise Energy Information Monitoring System to further increase the efficiency of university building systems.

A brief description of Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting and other energy-efficient lighting strategies employed by the institution:

The university is introducing high-efficiency LED lighting on campus through our Energy Management Program. As of the time of this report, LED lighting has been installed in a number of locations on North Campus, including:

- Students’ Union Building
- Human Ecology
- Gunning/Lemiuex Chemistry Centre
- Electrical and Computer Engineering Research Facility
- Natural Resources Engineering Facility
- Biological Sciences Centre
- Stadium Carpark
- Southfield Carpark
- Outdoor Parking lots M, R, and T
- Education Carpark
- Windsor Carpark
- Timms/Telus Carpark
- ECERF/ETLC Carpark
- University Terrace Carpark

New construction and renovation projects also include LED lighting, including:

- Donadeo Innovation Centre for Engineering
- Peter Lougheed Hall
- Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre
- Nîpisîy House
- Physical Activity & Wellness Centre
- Agriculture Forestry Centre Atrium (renovation)
- Dentistry Pharmacy (renovation)
- Lister Towers (renovation)

In addition, LED street lights and pathway lights are installed at Augustana Campus, and the new Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre is one of the first theatres in North America to use exclusively LED stage lighting. The building's interior and exterior lighting also uses LED.

A brief description of passive solar heating, geothermal systems, and related strategies employed by the institution:

Solar Thermal Projects
- Augustana Forum: 13 kW solar thermal installation
- Physical Activity and Wellness (PAW) Centre: 133 kW solar thermal installation

Note that data for the PAW Centre panels is not included in the energy figures reported for the performance year because the panels were temporarily inactive during that period of time.

A brief description of co-generation employed by the institution, e.g. combined heat and power (CHP):


The university's District Energy System (DES) centralizes production of heating, cooling and electricity, rather than generating this on a building-by-building basis and transporting electricity from far away. This reduces the maintenance, transportation, and distribution costs associated with energy production. The DES provides energy security for the university and is also a revenue-generating utility that produces about 25 to 30 per cent of the electricity used on campus and 100 per cent of campus heating and cooling needs.

The university's DES services over 100 buildings on 304 acres of land (approximately 330 Canadian football fields). It is one of the largest DES in North America.

The University of Alberta's DES:

- Uses STG-1, a cogeneration technology generator with a 13 MW steam turbine generator that was installed in 1994. Because power generation is directly related to heating load, peak power production occurs during the winter months, when building heat is needed most.
- Has a 26.4 MW condensing steam turbine generator, which was installed in 2000. This generator operates independently of the heating load.
- Is fueled by natural gas, which creates fewer greenhouse gas emissions than coal.
- Has boilers that are fitted with combustion controls to reduce emissions.
- Operations span across multiple buildings, including a heating plant, two cooling plants, a thermal energy storage system, two electrical switching stations, 10 km of service corridors, and an extensive metering system.

A brief description of the institution's initiatives to replace energy-consuming appliances, equipment and systems with high efficiency alternatives (e.g. building re-commissioning or retrofit programs):


Across the university's campuses, there are a number of programs in place to facilitate transition to high-efficiency equipment, appliances and systems.

- Fume hood replacements. The university is actively replacing aged constant volume 100 fpm face velocity fume hoods with new hoods that operate at 60 fpm and have variable volume settings that allow for the flow to go very low when the sash is closed.

- Fan replacements. All fan systems that have motors over 100 Hp with fan arrays are in the process of being replaced. As a result, maintenance costs are decreased, single point failure is reduced, and building power use is reduced.

- Motor replacements. All motors that need to be replaced are being fitted with high-efficiency motors.

- Heat reclamation. Implementation of heat recovery for all buildings that have research plug loads. A closed loop water system is circulated to provide cooling for lab equipment and reject the heat into the building air systems as preheat.

- Vending machines. Vending machines are operated by a third party vending company. As of spring 2020, there are 21 vending machines in 13 different buildings that have LED lights and light timers to turn the machines off after a period of inactivity.


Energy Management and Sustainable Operations provides monetary incentives for labs to purchase more energy efficient ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezers. In 2019, 14 old ULTs were retired and 18 new, efficient ULTs were purchased. The estimated savings from these changes is $5,900 and 59,000 kWh per year. Efficiency of ULT units is important because they are some of the biggest consumers of energy in laboratories and are estimated to consume as much energy as a single-family household in Alberta each year.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:


Measured electricity production values were available for three of the university's solar PV installations and were used in the calculations for this credit. For the remainder of the renewable energy production (solar PV and solar thermal), estimates of annual energy production were used because measured data was not available.


Shannon Leblanc
Program Team Lead
Energy Management and Sustainable Operations
Facilities & Operations

Michelle Hauer
Program Coordinator
Energy Management and Sustainable Operations
Facilities & Operations

Behn Jang
Program Coordinator
Energy Management and Sustainable Operations
Facilities & Operations

Rob Pawliuk
Director, Building Operations
Operations & Maintenance
Facilities & Operations

Terry Nonay
Utility Services Manager (I&CS)
Facilities & Operations

Lorraine Huntley
Support Services Coordinator
Hospitality Services
Ancillary Services
Facilities & Operations

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.