Comparing Cambridge to Vancouver

In comparing the same building scenarios between Cambridge and Vancouver the net effect of the climate, since all other variables are held constant, can be summarized in the following figure.

Figure 14: Total Energy Use – Cambridge vs. Vancouver

One important thing to note, as the options increase in efficiency, the net effect of the different climate on the overall energy use is minimized. While the initial ‘business as usual’ scenario sees a 40% increase in energy use from Vancouver to Cambridge, the ‘VRF’ option has only a modest 7% increase. In essence, as the total building efficiency increases, the effect of the climate on the building performance decreases. This in turn increases the viability of a properly sized prototype building that spans different climates.

The following two figures compare the energy end use breakdown of the least efficient (business as usual) and most efficient (VRF) scenarios between Cambridge and Vancouver. From this, a detailed breakdown of the effect of the climate differences can be examined.

Figure 15: Business as Usual 4 Cambridge vs. Vancouver

In the ‘Business as Usual’ case, both climates have significant space heating, lighting and fan power. The effect of the milder climate can be seen with an approximate reduction in heating and cooling energy of 45% and 60% respectively.

Figure 16: Variable Refrigerant Flow 4 Cambridge vs. Vancouver

In the ‘VRF’ case, almost all end uses have been significantly decreased in both climates. Heating and cooling expectedly still see a decrease in the Vancouver case. The improvements in this scenario allow for further observations, with a slight decrease in domestic hot water heating due to a change in the ground water temperature and an increase in the lighting required due to the increased cloud cover and inclusion of daylighting controls. Of important note when comparing the two figures is the scale of the numbers.