Case Study

High-Performance Building Skin Pays Off

Architect Terry Williams is working to prove that energy-efficient buildings need not cost more to build. With the new Engineering Laboratory Wing at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, he has demonstrated that, at least in Victoria’s accommodating climate, that is indeed the case. In spite of its high internal loads from computers and equipment, the building uses only nighttime ventilation for cooling. And even in the persistently cool winter, the perimeter offices require almost no supplemental heat.

In some very direct ways, the Engineering Laboratory has evolved from Williams’ recent experiences. In a series of buildings at nearby Malaspina University-College, Williams set the tone at a number of buildings with very high-efficiency glazing, operable windows, and various daylighting strategies. College officials estimate that they have saved $523,000 (Canadian) since 1991 due to efficiency measures implemented. These measures were paid for, in part, by $207,000 in incentive payments from BC Hydro, so the total savings are $730,000. These savings have proven invaluable as the college works to maintain operations within a budget that has been shrinking annually.

Published July 1, 1997

(1997, July 1). High-Performance Building Skin Pays Off. Retrieved from