The Living Lab concept isn’t new to UBC but we’re finding new and exciting ways to expand our partnerships with industry and community organizations beyond our four walls. We’re seeding off-campus initiatives that harness the intellectual power of UBC’s research engine to build capacity and provide direct access to resources in our communities.
The Wilden Living Lab is a collaboration between UBC, Okanagan College, local developer (Wilden), homebuilder (AuthenTech Homes) and Fortis BC to build, test and monitor the sustainability and energy consumption of two new homes – one built to current code and the other using new building technology and renewable energy sources. Once the homes are completed, UBC researchers will use build-in sensor to monitor the energy use of both dwellings for a period of three years. The scientific research is being led by UBC professor, Shahria Alam, an expert in smart materials and their structural applications, with the aim of positively influencing the implementation of sustainable building practices to reduce cost and waste.
UBC has also recently partnered with Third Space Foundation on a five-year project to provide much-needed clinical support for those in need of mental health services and companies looking to access health expertise to develop a work-life balance support system for their employees.