Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 80.45
Liaison Tori Grant
Submission Date Dec. 13, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Calgary
IN-25: Innovation B

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Aviva Fialkow
Sustainability Program Assistant
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Greening Up the Built Environment at the University of Calgary

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

The University of Calgary has experienced steady growth in its campus community and associated energy demands since it was first established, over 50 years ago. To address this challenge, two strategic initiatives: The Utility Reduction Program (URPr) for existing buildings and High Performance Green Building program for new buildings have been developed and implemented. Together, the High Performance Green Building and the Utility Reduction Programs provide a framework for greening up UCalgary’s built environment and assist the university in the pursuit of its ambitious sustainability goals.

What is most innovative and creative about these programs is how they each hold campus engagement and student learning as instrumental to their success. They use participation of students and building occupants to minimize unexpected issues, and quickly address occupant concerns to ensure longevity of energy conservation measures.

URPr: The Utility Reduction Program helps reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency retrofits on existing buildings. URPr demonstrates innovativeness, creativity and originality through an engagement strategy, funding strategy, and supporting student success through experiential and applied learning.

Engagement Strategy: Most programs similar to URPr at other institutions are based purely on technical engineering analysis, but it was important for the University of Calgary to take an innovative approach and consider the impact the program may have on the campus community. To do so, an engagement strategy was established to ensure both Facilities and occupants are given opportunities to provide input throughout the program. The engagement component of the URPr aimed to facilitate implementation of the proposed energy conservation measures (ECMs) by inviting input from operations and occupant stakeholders to prioritize recommendations based on their knowledge of their buildings. Overall, this engagement strategy contributed to high accuracy of ECMs, reducing unexpected issues during the implementation phase, improving operator and occupant ownership of recommendations, and increasing persistence of energy savings. By engaging both facilities staff and building occupants multiple times throughout the program a “one family” culture was developed ensuring all stakeholders felt included and considered.

High Performance Green Buildings: University of Calgary High Performance Green Building program demonstrates innovativeness, creativity and originality through a zero carbon building pilot program, supporting student success through experiential and applied learning, and supporting environmental stewardship through professional development for green buildings.

Supporting Environmental Stewardship through Professional Development for Green Buildings: The University of Calgary Office of Sustainability operates a High Performance Green Building Professional Development program supporting staff across Facilities in growing their skills and knowledge in the field of sustainable buildings. Ranging from awareness campaigns to goal-oriented internal research and education workshops, the program spans to all corners of the University of Calgary’s Facilities department, to encourage the professionalization of UCalgary staff. Topics addressed in the past include the design and operation of renewable energy systems, understanding and preparing for the application of the new provincial adoption of the National Energy Code for Buildings, green building rating system introductions (including LEED v4, WELL Building Standard, Sustainable Sites Program, and the Passive House Standard), and working sessions to understand the impact of the above concepts on university design standards, work processes, and standard operating procedures.

The following are a list of achievements from the URPr and the High Performance Green Building Programs:
-8,000 tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions reductions annually, equivalent of taking 1,700 passenger vehicles off the road, or comparable to the carbon intake of 38 square kilometres of forest.
-More than $800,000 in annual utility cost avoidance
High Performance Green Buildings:
-14,000 tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions reductions annually — equivalent to having 3,000 fewer cars on the road
-24,500 tonnes of waste diverted from the landfill — more than twice the weight of the Calgary Tower
-135,000 cubic metres of potable water saved annually — equivalent to 53 Olympic swimming pools
-51 acres of natural green space with 80-plus species of native/adaptive plants created
-75,000 cubic metres of stormwater managed annually to protect water quality and mitigate flooding

UCalgary is saving approximately $4.8 million in annual utility costs by focusing on reducing the GHG emissions from our built environment, which accounts for over 99 per cent of the university’s emissions. In 2017-18, GHG emissions per student were 32 per cent lower than 2008, while emissions per gross square meter have been reduced by 38 per cent.




Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Campus Enagement

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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