University Innovation Quarter Portfolio Review

The University Innovation Quarter (UIQ) in Calgary, Alberta, is located adjacent to the University of Calgary’s main campus in the City’s northwest. The UIQ is a collection of research and innovation buildings that provide essential space for students to interact with local start-ups and established companies. This research hub intends to cultivate innovation by giving students an opportunity to apply theory in a hands-on environment.

Williams Engineering (WE) was retained as the Prime Consultant to provide the University of Calgary Properties Group with a comprehensive Facility Portfolio Review for the UIQ. A total of five buildings are included in the portfolio, including the Life Science Innovation Hub (LSIH), University Research Centre (URC), Energy Resources Research Building (ERRB), Alberta Research Council Building (ARCB) and the Mechanical Engineering Building (MEB). WE conducted a multi-disciplinary Building Condition Assessment of the ERRB detailing the assessment of the current condition of the structural, mechanical, electrical and building envelope components in addition to the existing elevators. Audit Verification Surveys for the LSIH, URC, ARCB and MEB were conducted to visually review systems flagged as in poor or critical condition. Reports were then provided with recommendations and observations included.

In addition, ASHRAE Level II Energy Audits of each of the five buildings were conducted by WE to identify potential Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs). The energy analysis was based on the visual observations, and historical utility data gathered for each building. Annual energy use and intensity was analyzed and benchmarked against similar buildings, which was utilized to establish an energy use target in coordination with the client. Low and no-cost ECMs were identified with high, medium and low estimates for cost, savings and payback included in WE’s reports.  A Strategic Capital Investment Plan was also provided by WE that included the findings of WE’s various reports for each building.

The facility assessments and audits completed for the UIQ are an important element in reducing energy usage throughout each of the buildings and ensuring the mechanical, electrical, structural and building envelope systems are optimized to meet the operational needs of the facility. The UIQ provides critical resources to support research in science, technology, engineering, energy and various other areas of study. This research hub advances the learning experience for University of Calgary students and encourages diverse perspectives to enhance innovation within the local community.