Case studies

Climate action by B.C. public sector organizations

Energy systems, efficiency and innovative buildings

Belmont Secondary School: Big Savings through Recommissioning

Belmont Secondary School: Big Savings through Recommissioning (PDF, 1.6 MB)

Facility staff at Sooke School District 62 were able to achieve a 50 per cent gain in energy efficiency through optimization of mechanical systems as part of a detailed recommissioning process.

Cataline Elementary School: Creative Collaboration for Heating Solutions

Cataline Elementary School: Creative Collaboration for Heating Solutions (PDF, 1.4 MB)

Partnering with a neighbouring institution made possible a complete mechanical upgrade and the addition of a 400kw biomass (pellet) boiler to Cataline Elementary. This has resulted in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions, costs savings and reduced offset purchase requirements not only for the school itself, but for Thompson Rivers University campus next door.

Emily Carr University: Going for Gold with a P3 Model

Emily Carr University: Going for Gold with a P3 Model (PDF, 1.2 MB)

Emily Carr University had outgrown its facility, and was facing $12 million over five years in renovations and upgrades to stay viable. A long-term public-private partnership (P3) made it possible to design, build, finance and maintain a new LEED Gold caliber facility at a new location.

False Bay Elementary School: Community Partnering for an Off-Grid Solar Switch

False Bay Elementary School: Community Partnering for an Off-Grid Solar Switch (PDF, 3.4 MB)

Community partnering and dedicated support for a solar energy installation on Lasqueti Island paid off in cost savings, reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, educational spin-offs, and a more tranquil community setting. This kind of solar energy project can work for many remote, coastal, off-grid communities, and is scalable to larger populations.

Insurance Corporation of British Columbia: Managing Paperwork, Printers, and People

ICBC: Managing Paperwork, Printers, and People (PDF, 0.7 MB)

Historically, ICBC has been a major consumer of printer and photocopier paper. Now a province-wide initiative, combining better technology and practices, has reduced paper-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 31 percent from 2007 to 2017, in a way that perfectly aligns with organizational goals.

Ridge-Meadows Hospital: Collaboration the Key to a Multi-phase Project

Ridge-Meadows Hospital: Collaboration the Key to a Multi-phase Project (PDF, 1.5 MB)

What began as the installation of a new condensing boiler and the upgrade of controls on the ventilation system evolved into a multi-phase and collective approach to improving energy efficiency at Ridge Meadows Hospital (part of Fraser Health Authority). The project has resulted in significant energy reductions and operational cost savings, with a 25% reduction in annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 2015 levels.

Vancouver General Hospital: Using Wasted Heat to Replace Natural Gas

Vancouver General Hospital: Using Wasted Heat to Replace Natural Gas (PDF, 2.0 MB)

A newly installed heat recovery chiller is capturing previously wasted heat, generated by the hospital’s chilled water plant, and converting it into thermal energy for use in building heating – both domestic hot water and hot water heating. This measure will result in an estimated 10% reduction in natural gas consumption by the hospital’s central steam plant.

Vancouver Coastal Health Authority: Radical Energy Savings through Passive House Design

Vancouver Coastal Health Authority: Radical Energy Savings through Passive House Design (PDF, 2.1 MB)

Following a fire in a staff housing complex, the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority rebuilt the complex to Passive House standard as a way to significantly – and permanently – reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs. 




BC Housing: Creating a Cost-Effective Adaptation Strategy

BC Housing: Creating a Cost-Effective Adaptation Strategy (PDF, 2.0 MB)

BC Housing has developed a comprehensive adaptation strategy that will help address the financial, social and physical risks associated with climate change.

Nanaimo General Hospital: Assessing Climate Risks & Opportunities

Nanaimo General Hospital: Assessing Climate Risks & Opportunities (PDF, 1.4 MB)

A forward-thinking group at Nanaimo Hospital developed a comprehensive climate risk assessment matrix which is becoming an integral part of their organizational decision-making. Future hospital retrofits will potentially include increased cooling capacity, enhanced air filtration, and other measures to reduce costs, greenhouse gas emissions, and protect the facility and its patients from the potential effects of climate change.

Public Sector Buildings: Assessing Climate Vulnerability and Cross Dependences using XDI (PDF, 362 KB)

Managing infrastructure in a changing climate requires understanding how extreme weather events may impact a facility as well as the critical infrastructure that supports its operations. The Climate Action Secretariat led a series of pilot projects testing the Cross Dependency Initiative (XDI) Platform, a software that analyzes climate risk and vulnerability of a wide range of infrastructure, to help aid in planning and decision making for a changing future.  



Low carbon building materials

Brock Commons Tallwood House

Brock Commons Tallwood House (PDF, 0.2 MB)

This landmark 18-storey residence building at the University of British Columbia was, at the time of construction, the tallest contemporary wood hybrid building in the world.

BlueShore Environmental Learning Centre

BlueShore Environmental Learning Centre (PDF, 0.2 MB)

The BlueShore Environmental Learning Centre at the Cheakamus Centre in Brackendale is a striking timber structure raised up into the canopy of the surrounding forest. 

L'École Mer et Montagne

L'École Mer et Montagne (PDF, 0.2 MB)

The new building for L’École Mer et Montagne in Campbell River uses reclaimed Douglas Fir joists salvaged from the existing building which adds warmth and reduces the new building's environmental impact. 

Ronald McDonald House

Ronald McDonald House (PDF, 0.2 MB)

The LEED® Gold certified Ronald McDonald House at the BC Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Vancouver provides a home-like environment for children and their families while undergoing treatment.

TELUS Garden

TELUS Garden (PDF, .02 MB)

Completed in 2015, TELUS Garden boasts many sustainability features and was the first Canadian project to be awarded Platinum certification under the LEED® Canada 2009 Core and Shell rating system. 

Wood Innovation and Design Centre

Wood Innovation and Design Centre (PDF, 0.2 MB)

The Wood Innovation & Design Centre in Prince George is one of the tallest modern timber buildings in North America and makes extensive use of wood materials.