Battle of the Buildings contributes to an overall 10% reduction in energy and raises awareness on campus

                                                                                                                                                                    Photo Credit: Capilano University

Capilano University has committed to reduce energy use on campus not only through upgrades and technological changes, but also by encouraging energy conservation among colleagues and students. Cap U is participating in BC Hydro’s Workplace Conservation Awareness (WCA) program, which draws upon the power of employee engagement to save energy and to establish a permanent culture of conservation within an organization.

"The Battle of the Buildings has further embedded sustainability into Capilano’s curriculum... creating a campus where sustainability is a part of everyone’s role is our ultimate goal."

--Susan Doig, Capilano's Director of Facilities

The Challenge

The buildings at Capilano  University vary from decades old to recently completed, but all have potential for continued energy savings from building occupants. Using community-based social marketing techniques of peer to peer communication and behaviour modelling, students were tasked with leading the conservation efforts.

The Competition

Students in Sharka Stuyt’s “Leadership In Teams” (BADM 218) business class were assigned to one of seven teams representing seven Capilano campus buildings to face-off in a battle to create and implement an energy saving campaign. Teams selected the most appropriate energy conservation behaviour for that building. The teams focused on the following three energy saving strategies:

  1. Turning off the lights
  2. Turning off computer and monitors
  3. Taking fewer elevator trips

Energy savings were tracked through an online metering system, as well as through participation. Each building was represented on the Pulse Energy dashboard, which was updated daily throughout the duration of the challenge.

Winners were entitled to the coveted energy conservation trophy, an additional five percent bonus on their project mark, as well as bragging rights for the remainder of the semester.

The Battle of the Buildings brought staff, faculty and students together through this fun competition, raising campus awareness around energy use.  By conducting background research, interviewing key contacts, and utilizing the toolkit provided, students stepped up to the plate, and raised awareness through:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Blog Posts
  • Presentations
  • Signage
  • Their own actions

The Results

The campaigns fostered significant energy savings for their respective buildings, and raised energy awareness on campus. And most impressively, the teams involved contributed to a 10% overall energy savings for the buildings involved. This energy savings  included all operations in the building. On a daily basis,1429.79 kWh was achieved during the challenge, totalling 41,464 kWh or 10%. If this level of reduction continued, the annual cost savings would be $36,530!

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