The Sustainable Water-Energy Nexus for Urban Neighborhood Development project is a success story which demonstrates the use of sustainability principles and engineering knowledge in urban planning. This research endeavour was a three-year collaboration between the Life Cycle Management (LCM) Laboratory of the University of British Columbia, District or Peachland, BC, New Monaco Enterprise Corporation, Urban Systems, and WSP group. The LCM researchers worked to develop decision making frameworks and tools to support local authorities, community developers, and other decision makers in their urban development efforts. The team focused on the water and energy supply, public infrastructure, and residential neighbourhoods on an upcoming neighbourhood in Okanagan, British Columbia (BC), Canada. User-friendly tools were developed using multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) methods to identify the most suitable technologies, systems, and growth options for neighbourhood communities. The tools include the FitWater tool (assessing wastewater treatment methods), Water-Energy Nexus tool (developing alternative scenarios and selecting and optimum combination of community water and energy features), Neighbourhood Sustainability Assessment tool (Evaluating neighbourhood sustainability in project planning and design phase), Green Proforma tool (sustainability assessment in roadway development), and a framework for assessing and selecting the best clean energy options for the region. Best management practices and implementation guidelines were proposed, and interactive workshops were conducted with the participation of local governments and industry partners to present the developed tool packages to them. These tools are expected to enable informed decision making backed up with scientific evidence, so that the proposed development project are environmentally conscious, economically sound, and socially responsible.

Project Team

  • Rajeev Ruparathna
  • Hirushie Karunathilake
  • Piyaruwan Perera
  • Anber Rana
  • Mohammad Saleem
  • Venkatesh Chinraj
  • Gyan Kumar
  • Adil Umer
  • Dr.Kasun Hewage
  • Dr.Rehan Sadiq

Collaborators


The aim of this project was to develop an eco-efficiency assessment framework and decision support tool for energy planning in small off-grid communities in Canada. The tool was designed to identify optimal hybrid renewable energy system configurations based on site-specific information, constraints, and stakeholder priorities. The Life Cycle Management Laboratory partnered with Silver Lake Forest Education Society and Stantec Inc. to develop the tool and perform a case study demonstration. The project was funded by an Engage Grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. The developed framework was delivered to the partners as the Canadian Off-Grid Energy Eco- Efficiency Tool (CanOG3ET) and was used to inform the future energy planning needs of Silver Lake Forest Education Society. Silver Lake Forest Education Society was able to identify a hybrid renewable energy system that met their budgetary requirements while reducing their life cycle GHG emissions. The developed tool can benefit energy planners and decision makers during the prefeasibility assessment of hybrid renewable energy systems for Canadian off-grid communities.

Project Team

  • Bruno Carneiro
  • James Hager
  • Tharindu Prabatha

Collaborators


The Wilden Living Lab was created to develop a model for overall energy consumption, energy prediction systems, cost-benefit analysis and optimization of materials and systems for long-term financial savings from residential buildings. This project is funded by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada. The internal synergies of the Life Cycle Management Laboratory (LCML) and Applied Laboratory for Advance Materials and Structures (ALAMS) at UBCO is en-route to address the multi- disciplinary goals of this project. Moreover, these labs have partnerships with local builders, developers, utility providers and building service providers to identify the profound industrial needs and work towards a feasible solution while acquiring industrial expertise. The project is into year two of a three- year plan. The energy simulation model and the life cycle cost model are nearly seventy-percent completed. Consumer behavior will be incorporated into aforementioned models through an extensive data collection from two different houses: House of Today (H2D) (that uses conventional materials and systems used in an average house in Canada) and House of Tomorrow (H2M) (that uses advanced materials and systems that are available in market for energy efficient houses). As the ultimate deliverable of this project, a decision support tool will be developed to select the best desirable materials and assemblies to reduce energy consumption, environmental impact and life cycle cost of the household, considering different consumer behaviors. The developed tool will be delivered to the industrial partners to use as a planning tool for future single detached houses. This research will help Canada to save a substantial amount of natural resources by reducing energy usage in residential buildings and thus, can contribute directly to the reduction of greenhouse gases.

Project Team

  • Dr. Shahria M. Alam(PI)
  • Dr. Rudolf Seethaler(Co-PI)
  • Dr.Kasun Hewage (Co-PI)
  • Dr.Rehan Sadiq (Co-PI)
  • Dr.Sunny Li (Co-PI)
  • Dr. Dwayne Tannant (Co-PI)
  • Piyaruwan Perera
  • Anber Rana
  • Kyle Charles

Collaborators


The aim of this project was to develop a sustainability assessment framework to evaluate the techno- economic and environmental performance of various building cooling systems. This framework focused on evaluating sustainability performances of different cooling storage systems, namely conventional snow storage system, watertight snow storage system, high-density snow storage system, and the conventional chiller cooling system. A probabilistic feasibility evaluation tool was developed to evaluate the techno-economic performance of various cooling systems. The framework was implemented in a low-rise residential building in Kelowna, BC to appraise its practicality. With this research it was identified that cooling down buildings isn’t the only thing saving snow can do: it can also enhance snow related commercial businesses, like ski resorts. The developed framework and the Excel based feasibility tool can benefit energy modellers, Green building scholars, energy planners and decision makers in evaluating the sustainability of building energy systems. Moreover, socio-economic benefits, i.e. improving affordability, equity, and enhancing energy sustainability could be achieved.

Project Team

  • Venkatesh Kumar
  • Dr.Kasun Hewage
  • Dr.Rehan Sadiq

Collaborators


The aim of this project was to evaluate human health risk management strategies for disinfection byproducts (DBPs); and to assess the environmental implications of the operational stage through life cycle assessment of public swimming pools. The UBC Aquatic Centre was investigated as a case study and proof of concept. This project was funded by an NSERC Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) Grant with industry partners: AME Consulting Group, DB Perks and Associates Ltd., Acton Ostry Architects Inc., MJMA, Healthy Buildings IEQ, and Waterplay. This research was a collaborative effort between the Life Cycle Management Laboratory, UBC Athletics and Recreation (Vancouver), and Université Laval with chemical analysis provided by UBC, Laval and Université Montréal. Two sampling campaigns were conducted. Statistical analysis of the sampling results are presented in a paper under review for Science of the Total Environment. Modelling of the human health risk and lifecycle assessment will be presented in two additional papers. The results will help swimming pool operators in decision making for operational management to reduce DBPs and associated health risk.

Project Team

  • Roberta Dyck
  • Guangji Hu
  • Sana Saleem
  • Anber Rana

Collaborators