UBCO Skeena Student Residences
When the University of British Columbia decided to add another student residence to their Okanagan campus in 2017, the UBC Board of Governors (with input from UBC Properties Trust) decided to pursue Passive House certification for the pr oject to affirm UBC’s reputation as a leader in sustainability. This was an ambitious goal. Not only was this going to be UBC’s first Passive House project, but no other educational institution in Canada had yet attempted Passive House certification for a student residence. To tackle the challenges that come with this goal, the development, design and construction team had to unite early in the design stage to ensure that the goals of the project were met.
The building’s semi-centralized ventilation system includes three Swegon Gold RX energy recovery ventilators (ERV). Depending on the model, the ERVs have a sensible heat recovery temperature efficiency ranging from 84% to 86% based on -10°C (14°F) supply air. One ERV serves the ground floor and two larger ERVs serve the floors above. The two units serving the floors above are interconnected in parallel to work as one larger ERV. The ERVs run continuously and are equipped with a bypass mode for when the outdoor temperature can be used for free cooling. The ERVs are equipped with a heating coil which provides top-up heating in the event that the rotary heat exchanger slows down to avoid freezing in cold weather conditions.