Energy Consumption in Mid and High Rise Residential Buildings in British Columbia
Many residential buildings in British Columbia and other parts of North America have, or are, undergoing comprehensive rehabilitation largely to remedy moisture-related problems. For reasons primarily related to short-term cost, little or no attention has been directed at energy conservation strategies and/or, greenhouse-gas emissions. Nevertheless rehabilitation of the building enclosure does present a unique opportunity to examine and assess the actual energy-related performance of the in-service building, and to determine the energy impact of the building enclosure improvements.
To understand the impacts of building enclosure rehabilitation on the energy consumption of mid to high rise residential buildings in the Lower Mainland and Victoria, a large government and industry sponsored research project is currently underway. The principal objectives of the study are to review and assess the actual energy consumption of in-service mid and high rise residential buildings, and the impacts of building enclosure rehabilitation related improvements on the overall energy consumption at these buildings.
The results of the study will also be used to develop better building enclosure design strategies that take into account energy conservation, and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in both new and rehabilitated buildings.
This initial paper on the study presents baseline consumption data from 39 multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs) in the Lower Mainland and Victoria, BC. The data provides an understanding into the current level of energy consumption within mid to high rise residential buildings. The contribution of gas and electricity to overall energy consumption and, specifically, space heat and ventilation are discussed in detail. The disconnect between building energy consumption and billing to occupants for their share of total energy usage is highlighted.