BC Hydro helps Science World with energy-efficiency upgrade


Posted by Linda Mott

Science World is getting an energy-efficiency upgrade that showcases innovation – and BC Hydro is pleased to be very much involved.

BC Hydro is working with Science World on needs assessments and financial incentives for specific efficiency upgrades at the South False Creek facility. The partners are also teaming up on educational outreach initiatives.

"Science World's mission is to engage British Columbians in science and inspire future science and technology leadership in B.C.," said Bev Van Ruyven, Deputy CEO & Executive Vice President of BC Hydro. "We're thrilled to work with them in helping an already wonderful and highly recognizable facility achieve even more energy efficiencies and conservation innovations."

Bryan Tisdall, President and CEO of Science World, shared an impressive list of energy upgrades that are part of the facility's extensive renewal project, including:

  • A new gallery with floor to ceiling windows that will double as solar panels, providing stunning city views and solar power generation.
  • A plant-covered green roof that will provide cooling in the summer, insulation in the winter and energy savings.
  • Solar thermal devices on south-facing walls that will produce hot water for washroom sinks.
  • Building envelope renovations, along with the use of radiant heating in the main entrance.
  • Energy-efficient LED fixtures in place of all dome lights, saving energy and improving light quality.
  • Photovoltaic panels mounted on walls, the roof and many windows to capture the sun's energy and create even more electricity.

Tisdall also noted plans to engage Science World's visitors in conservation efforts, particularly during the BC Government-initiated Year of Science that runs through June 2011.

"[The Year of Science] is a partnership with stakeholders throughout the B.C. science community to increase awareness and interest in the importance of science and to understand the issues facing B.C. in developing science capacity," said Tisdall. "Science World has a legacy of science leadership in B.C. and we're pleased to engage in further activities to increase awareness around key science issues, including energy and conservation."

Energy conservation education initiatives at Science World include:

  • The Our World gallery's introduction to alternative sources of electricity and ways to decrease personal energy consumption.
  • A newly-created deck over the new addition on the west side, which will offer visitors the chance to learn about green roofs and different ways to use the sun's energy, from growing plants to making electricity and heating water.
  • One of the City's first Electric Vehicle (EV) Fast Chargers will offer a look into the future of electric car charging where visitors will have the opportunity to interact with this new technology.
  • SWITCH, an outdoor science park that offers visitors an insight into the daily uses of energy, home design innovation, transportation and food choices, waste and waste water treatment issues.

As part of the Year of Science, Science World is also bringing its live science shows beyond the walls of the beautiful dome. Science World's "On the Road" tour, which will include a focus on energy options and conservation, will engage schools throughout the province, providing teacher resources as well as community science celebrations to engage the communities.

"BC Hydro has provided the necessary support and tools to help Science World monitor progress and improvements in energy conservation," Van Ruyven stated. "Metering equipment and software will help turn the data into decision-making information on how to become even more energy-efficient. This information will obviously flow through to the public."

The partnership between BC Hydro and Science World is a success story that just keeps going.

Linda Mott is a program manager with BC Hydro commercial marketing.