The Live Building at Queen’s University

Queen's University has an amazing website which tracks, in real time, the performance of its Live Building which houses its Faculty of Applied Science. The building was designed as a teaching tool for students to learn about building, construction, and design strategies for making better and more sustainable buildings. The website contains overviews of the various strategies employed to make the building more environmentally friendly and comfortable for its occupants. Among other things, occupancy sensors and daylighting are used to reduce lighting energy requirements, an enthalpy wheel exchanges heat and humidity between the incoming and outgoing airstreams to reduce the energy required to heat/cool and humidify/dehumidify the building, a gorgeous three-story biowall acts as a natural air filtration and humidification system, and a detailed life-cycle analysis based on Athena™ was used to determine whether cast-in-place concrete or structural steel with a composite deck would have a lower environmental impact (the concrete won out). Details of the building's structural design and electrical systems are also discussed on the website, along with data from a full suite of monitoring tools and sensors which track room-by-room lighting levels, temperature, humidity, electrical power consumption, and even the temperature in different layers of the building envelope (which allows for tracking of the performance of insulating layers).