Research on high performance building design, analysis and operation at the University of British Columbia
(Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)

About the BDRG

The UBC Building Decisions Research Group (previously the ETA Lab) is an interdisciplinary research group based out of the UBC Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS).


The BDRG is a part of the UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. It is directed by Dr. Adam Rysanek, Assistant Professor of Environmental Systems, UBC SALA and Mech Eng. (Associate Faculty).

Research Approach

Transcending building science

The BDRG comprises engineers, designers, and building scientists working together, seeking to establish new connections within the aligned fields of building energy systems, building performance simulation, indoor environmental quality, statistics and uncertainty analysis, robust decision-making, and machine learning.

Confronting climate change and building occupant health

Post-COVID, the future of the built environment is facing significant challenges. Rapid decarbonisation of the global building stock must go hand-in-hand with improving the health, well-being, and equity of our architectural experience. We know the technologies and design measures that address one challenge are not always complementary to the others. The BDRG seeks to evaluate, highlight, and offer technology-driven solutions to these challenges.

Identifying uncertainty in search of truth

So much of what makes a building's operation complicated is driven not by phenomena we can easily predict, but by phenomena we know we can't: stochastic occupancy, personal preferences, the weather, future economic conditions, etc. The BDRG's research relies heavily on Bayes' theroem and Bayesian research methods which incorporate uncertainty in data analysis and building performance forecasting.

News and Updates

A new year, a new beginning. Welcome to the BDRG.

So, 2021. Like almost any academic these days (at least within Europe or North America), I am writing…

Congratulations for BDRG’s first completed graduate research thesis

Congratulations to Denon Sheppard, who today successfully defended his graduate thesis, titled, “Integrating Membrane-Assisted Radiant Cooling Panels in…

READ OUR PAPER: Machine learning used to forecast the impact of climate change on thermal comfort

A team effort with Rohan Nuttall (now MSc Candidate a U. Alberta) and Justin McCarty (Research Assistant, BDRG)….

READ OUR PAPER: Correlating non-thermal conditions of workplaces with perceived thermal comfort

Sarah Crosby (PhD Candidate, BDRG) has done an excellent study of applying Bayesian inference to examine the possible…

ETA Lab welcomes new members to the team!

We’re pleased to announce two new members of ETA Lab team. Sanyogita Manu (PhD Candidate, Mechanical Engineering) joins…

ETA Lab and UBC Properties Trust secure $3.5m to develop one of Canada’s largest Passive House residential buildings

UBC Properties Trust, in partnership with ETA Lab and UBC Campus & Community Planning, has commenced work on…

E.S.T.E.B.A.N. lives!

Meet E.S.T.E.B.A.N., the Exceptional Sensing Testbed for Environment, Biophilia, Air-quality, and Nippiness. E.S.T.E.B.A.N. has been a work of…

The Cold Tube opens in Singapore

After a year of toil and sweat (very literally, a lot of it), the Cold Tube pavilion held…

Research opportunities posted for 2019

Research opportunities in the ηlab for 2019 have now been posted. Click here for more details:

Our team

Dr. Adam Rysanek

Assistant Professor of Environmental Systems and BDRG Director

Sarah Crosby

PhD Candidate (Mech.)

Sanyogita Manu

PhD Candidate (Mech.)

Claude Demers-Belanger

MASc Candidate (Mech.)

Justin McCarty

Research Assistant

Denon Sheppard

Research Assistant

Brendan Buchanan Dee

MASA Candidate

The BDRG needs you.

The BDRG has open graduate research positions (MASc and PhD) and is seeking a post-doctoral research associate to join the team for Fall 2021

Funding and support

The BDRG is grateful for the support and funding received from government, industry, and research institutions, incuding:


For all enquiries, feel free to reach out by e-mail to Dr. Adam Rysanek, BDRG Director, at: arysanek <at>

Further contact information for Dr. Rysanek can be found here.