Our Commitment to Saving Energy

Langara College is committed to saving energy and has been working in partnership with BC Hydro to achieve its goals. In 2009, with sponsorship through BC Hydro, an Energy Manager was brought on board to help Langara develop and implement an energy management plan, engage the campus community in energy conservation, and track success in energy reduction goals. In addition, Langara participated in an Energy Management Assessment (EMA) workshop to assess current energy-related practices and identify opportunities for improvement. That same year, Langara joined the BC Hydro Continuous Optimization (COp) program, which helps identify and implement building system controls that improve energy efficiency.

Our goal is to foster and provide leadership to create more environmentally sound, socially just, and economically vibrant communities. More specifically, our energy goals are:

  • To optimize the campus energy usage with the existing technology and controls;
  • To reduce Langara’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions;
  • To reduce and control energy costs and minimize exposure to energy price volatility;
  • To upgrade building systems with the most efficient alternative through capital improvements and maintenance where feasible, considering the life cycle cost of the equipment;
  • To raise awareness of the need to use energy efficiently among the college community;
  • To minimize the load on BC’s electrical infrastructure and as a result, minimize the environmental impact of new generation capacity.

Langara engages with the entire college community to encourage positive attitudes and behaviour. Over the past five years, Langara has organized a variety of campus engagement activities to encourage students, staff, faculty, and the community to participate in energy conservation actions. 

In 2009, Langara created a Strategic Energy Management Plan (SEMP) to take our commitment to saving energy above and beyond benchmark standards and BC government regulations. Prepared by the Energy Manager in association with the Facilities Department, the SEMP supports Langara’s commitment to reducing its energy use and environmental impact. 

As part of this plan, Langara set the goal of reducing campus energy use of existing buildings by 15% (from 2009/10 levels), over a five-year period. By the end of the 2013/2014 fiscal year, we not only met but also exceeded our energy savings target by achieving 19% overall energy savings. As a result of these energy conservation efforts, by end of the 2014 calendar year, Langara also reduced its greenhouse gas emissions, reducing its environmental footprint signficiantly. For more details on our greenhouse gas emissions, visit the Carbon Neutral Action page.

Having successfully completed our initial five-year plan, Langara created a new three-year SEMP which will be active from 2014/2015 through 2016/2017 fiscal years. The targets set in our active SEMP is to maintain the savings achieved previously and accumulate an additional 2% reduction in energy use each year, bringing us to a 25% reduction compared to baseline by 2016/2017.

In 2008, Langara College participated in its first Energy Management Assessment (EMA) workshop with BC Hydro. In 2009, with sponsorship through BC Hydro and in consultation with Prism Engineering Inc., an Energy Manager was brought on board to help Langara develop and implement an energy management plan, engage the campus community in energy conservation, track success in energy reduction goals. The Energy Manager works on-site to assist with managing building operations in an energy efficient and sustainable way. In addition, the energy manager is responsible for mandatory GHG reporting required by colleges per the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act (GGRTA).

The Energy Manager uses the EMA recommendations to help develop and maintain the Strategic Energy Management Plan, as well as in planning and daily operations, including:

  • Implement current Strategic Energy Management Plan which includes management of capital upgrades and retrofits, operational and behavior change initiatives
  • Incorporate new strategic priorities identified in the EMA, into a renewed energy management plan for the College, including securing management approval and budgeting
  • Incorporate energy management practices into daily operations and maintenance
  • Monitor energy performance and analysis; establish protocols that require operations personnel to troubleshoot identified energy intensity variations exceeding expectations or differing significantly from previous comparable periods.  
  • Engage the College community to improve participation in the energy conservation program

Belkin Energy Monitor devices are available for loan at the Library. The devices enable users to track personal energy use and understand where energy is going by showing how the proliferation of electronic devices used each day affects plug load usage and waste.

Timeline of Energy Management Initiatives

PLAN FOR FISCAL 2017/2018

  • Continue Strategic Infrastructure Funding (SIF) project: fan upgrade to be completed March 2018
  • Continue LED exterior lighting upgrades
  • Incorporate LED lighting upgrades and improved ventilation distribution into space planning and renovation processes for repurposed and upgraded areas
  • Continue participation in Energy Wise Awareness Program, including fume hood/green labs campaign, kitchen equipment and plug loads, and general awareness
  • Work with the Student Engagement Office to increase awareness and engagement of sustainability activities on campus
  • Support the Langara College Foundation in their student-led renewable energy projects
  • Continue to work with operators on building controls training and operation

FISCAL 2016/2017

  • Strategic Infrastructure Funding (SIF) awarded to upgrade A Building fan systems (S6 and S7) from constant air volume to variable air volume (VAV)
  • New LEED Gold Science & Technology Building opened
  • Fine Arts workshop dust collector and air compressor upgrade
  • Campus-wide LED exterior lighting upgrades
  • LED lighting upgrades during space planning and renovation process
  • Library LED lighting upgrade and redesign completed
  • Green IT: Campus-wide thin client desktop and server virtualization implementation continues
  • Optimizing building controls, including improved graphics and analysis tools
  • Installing additional metering to capture more accurate and detailed energy usage
  • Continuing monitoring, targeting, and reporting (MT&R) of buildings' energy use
  • Training for operators on building automation systems
  • Increase awareness of the impact of unnecessary fume hood usage on Langara's GHG emissions*

* This campaign will focus on fume hood safety and operation as a pilot with the goal of building a more comprehensive green labs program in the future.

FISCAL 2014/2015

  • Green IT: Thin client desktop and server virtualization implementation 25% complete
  • Aligning building heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) control with the building operation schedules
  • Installing additional occupancy sensors for classroom lighting control
  • Connecting server room air cooling units and Daycare supply fans into DDC for better control
  • DDC upgrade at Library, C Building, and LSU
  • Continuing monitoring, targeting, and reporting (MT&R) the buildings' energy use
  • Training for operators on building automation systems
  • Face time with employees and students during occupancy surveys, Welcome Week, and participation in international Sweater Day campaign

FISCAL 2013/2014

  • Installation and commissioning of new B Building VAV Boxes, including schedule optimization
  • Repair B Building heating water piping gaskets and optimize heating plant control strategy
  • C Building controls optimization to renew end-of-life hardware and improve comfort and energy efficiency
  • Library Controls Optimization & Upgrades study
  • Creative Arts LED track retrofits 
  • Evaluate campus-wide heat exchange/recovery potential, including overall district heating strategy

FISCAL 2012/2013

  • Boiler plant investigation and maintenance upgrades
  • A Building: additional end-of-life building controls upgraded, including improved operator interface updates and related training
  • A and B Buildings: BC Hydro Continuous Optimization Program (COp) investigation Phase Implementation
  • Dashboard updates and awareness initiative
  • Buffalo Lounge and Creative Arts grad show LED demonstration project
  • Electric vehicle charging station installation and signage
  • Maintenance items: large failed cooling valve replaced on S6 Air Handling Unit
  • Small upgrades: new bollards for safety to illuminate pathways, specified as LED

FISCAL 2011/2012

  • L Building COP implementation phase
  • Green IT study carried out to identify IT energy upgrades potential
  • A and B Buildings: COP investigation phase

FISCAL 2010/2011

  • Campus electrical and gas submeters installed
  • Library Building COp investigation phase
  • Maintenance items: A and B Building breezeway corridor unit heaters repaired so they turn off in warm weather; new cooling coil valves for B Building AHUs as older valves were passing
  • Small retrofits: Printshop exhaust fan converted from 24/7 to occupancy-based; Langara LED sign and various lighting control projects; dishpit fan controls; exterior lighting LED demo - replaced existing 150W MH lamp standards with LED RUUD
  • Approved for the BC Hydro Continuous Optimization Program (COp)
  • Adopted the Association of Canadian Community College's Pan-Canadian Protocol for Sustainability

FISCAL 2009/2010

  • Building controls were upgraded in A and B Buildings, including new zone valves and software version upgrades (economic stimulus funding used)
  • Application and approval in BC Hydro’s Continuous Optimization (COp) program
  • Main chiller plant serving A Building upgraded with a Trane Multistak 4-module chiller
  • Newly renovated C Building (formerly Library) and Students' Union Building (LSU) opens; buildings feature innovative, energy efficient mechanical heating and cooling systems
  • BC Hydro Energy Manager Program initiated

2008

  • Energy Management Assessment process through BC Hydro initiated
  • Energy Management Action Plan wins Gold Champion Level Reporter in 2008 Canadian GHG Challenge Registry

2007

  • New Library Building: first LEED Gold Certified building on campus opens and features energy efficient, geo-exchange heating and cooling technology
  • Energy Management Action Plan wins Gold Champion Level Reporter in 2007 Canadian GHG Challenge Registry

2006

  • Energy Management Action Plan wins Gold Champion Level Reporter in 2006 Canadian GHG Challenge Registry

2005

  • Energy Management Action Plan wins Gold Champion Level Reporter in 2005 Canadian GHG Challenge Registry

2004

  • Energy team developed

2002/2003

  • Energy Management Coordinator appointed
  • Energy Management Action Plan wins Gold Champion Level Reporter in 2003 Canadian GHG Challenge Registry

2001/2002

  • Energy upgrade implemented

2001

  • Environmental Responsibility issued
  • Energy Management Action Plan wins Gold Champion Level Reporter in 2001 Canadian GHG Challenge Registry
  • Energy retrofit program implemented throughout the College; efficiencies include lighting system upgrades; occupancy motion sensors; building weatherization; implementation of energy management control systems; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning upgrades; comprehensive staff training and awareness programs

2000

  • Energy study completed

1998

  • Joined Energy Innovator Program