The Technology Arrives

Colin and Nicole are students in the Building Sciences Dept. at BCIT
Colin and Nichole are students in the Building Sciences Dept. at BCIT

Leanne and I are lucky enough to have attracted the interest of the Rodrigo Mora, of the Building Sciences department at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. One of his students, Colin Tougas, is interested in doing a project on our project and another, Nichole Wapple (pictured) is thinking about doing another project on our project separate from Colin’s project.

Most people who renovate their homes can barely afford the basic cost, let alone energy-saving choices. Livesmart BC grants encourage us to¬† use the opportunity to reduce our energy bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. But how many people can afford to do what Livesmart BC was intended to encourage–a complete retrofit of a whole house? Well, not us, but we’re going to try anyway and hope our story helps others do the same.

Even the most basic opportunistic retrofits produce results that are difficult to quantify. How much money, energy and emissions are we really saving? Will these upgrades pay for themselves in 5 years? 10 years? Ever?

Rodrigo said, “There is a wide range of research problems in which Colin could get involved., including: monitoring, energy analysis, developing retrofit alternatives, indoor environmental quality, life-cycle cost analysis, etc. ”

Colin holds the kitchen temperature and relative humidity sensor. This is called a "hobo"
Colin holds the kitchen temperature and relative humidity sensor. This is called a “hobo”

Yesterday Colin and Nichole distributed some sensors around the house to measure temperature and relative humidity. They also placed one carbon dioxide sensor in the kitchen. Nichole is looking at doing an air-quality project. She told me that if the CO2 doesn’t look good, there may be other air-quality issues. Then tests for other specific problems would be done.

Here is Colin showing you the sensors in the kitchen.

The CO2 sensor is plugged into the wall, but the “Hobos” are battery powered. They collect temperature and relative humidity levels until someone plugs them into a computer and collects the information.

After the renovation, we’ll see exactly how these readings changed which will help us see how much better the world is.

Upstairs bedroom sensor
Upstairs bedroom sensor
Bathroom sensor
Bathroom sensor
Sunroom sensor
Sunroom sensor
Bedroom sensor.
Mainfloor (Master) Bedroom sensor.
Living room sensor
Living room sensor
Kitchen sensor and CO2 sensor
Kitchen sensor and CO2 sensor

Published by

James Rowley

James lives in Maple Ridge, BC, Canada with his amazing partner, Leanne Koehn, and their two amazing kids in their beautiful house. He studied Science and English Literature at the University of British Columbia where he met Leanne. He also studied acting for a while at Studio 58 in Vancouver. He works as a teacher of English and curriculum writer for new Canadians.

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