Sustainability Session 1 – Energy and Climate Action
The first Sustainability Session featured guest speaker Ralph Wells, Community Energy Manager at UBC’s Campus + Community Planning. Ralph shared his knowledge about green building standards on campus, energy and emissions recommendations, and resources and incentives available to residents at the household level to contribute climate action.
One important initiative that Ralph spoke about was Residential Environmental Assessment Program (REAP). REAP is UBC’s holistic green building certification program for all new multi-unit residential buildings. It incorporates many significant requirements for new buildings, including that all parking stalls be pre-wired for Electric Vehicle (EV) charging. REAP also includes climate adaptation credits – meaning buildings are required to be adaptable to 2050 climate projections – making UBC one of the first jurisdictions to include this kind of benchmark for green buildings.
During the discussion residents raised concerns about their own individual buildings and how they might work with property owners – both strata and rental – to retrofit their buildings for climate adaptation and energy efficiency. Some long-term solutions include moving UNA neighbourhoods to low carbon energy sources and installing heat pumps for heating and cooling. To help move these initiatives forward Ralph has engaged several students to conduct energy benchmarking for UNA stratas, research EV charging retrofits in existing buildings, and researching technology, cost, and financial incentives for the installation of heat pumps in mult-unit residential buildings. The final results of this research will be shared with UNA residents.
The UNA’s monthly Sustainability Sessions are an opportunity for residents to spend their lunch hour learning about different sustainability topics and initiatives happening in the UNA and UBC communities. If you have a topic that you’d like to learn about email Robyn Chan, UNA Sustainability Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.