Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Volume 4, Issue 3

Volume 4, Issue 3

The years 2017 and 2018

New fiscal year – Let’s get into gear!

Fiscal year 2017-2018 promises to be a big one for buildings: we’re hard at work to bring you some great new programming to help you manage your energy use and meet your energy efficiency goals! Here’s an overview of what you can expect from us in the coming year.

For new buildings

National High-Performance Building Challenge

As previously announced, BOMA Canada will be spearheading the National High-Performance Buildings Challenge. The Challenge is intended to recognize leading building designs that demonstrate significant progress toward net-zero energy performance. In this way, NRCan hopes to support the buildings sector as a whole as it moves toward this ambitious goal. BOMA plans to launch the Challenge this summer, so stay tuned, or contact BOMA for more information!

Update to the 2015 National Energy Code for Buildings

NRCan is working with key stakeholders on an update to the 2015 National Energy Code for Buildings, to be released in December 2017. The update will feature significant performance improvements over the 2015 edition of the code and is a great tool to help the Canadian buildings sector move toward net-zero energy performance in new building design.

Learn more about the National Energy Code for Buildings

For existing buildings

Updates to ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager logo

Fiscal year 2017-18 will be a big year for energy benchmarking in Canada. NRCan is planning a number of updates to the tool to make sure you’re benchmarking against the most accurate and up-to-date information possible. Source energy factors will be updated based on the latest data, and an updated Office scoring model will be developed based on statistics from the Survey of Commercial and Institutional Energy Use 2014. In the fall of 2017, we will also be introducing a brand new 1-100 ENERGY STAR score for Canadian ice and curling rinks, based on data from the Survey on Energy Consumption in Arenas 2014. The new score will provide rink managers and municipalities with current, statistically sound data on similar facilities, making it easier for them to assess and manage their energy use.

Learn more about ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager in Canada.

Learn more about the schedule for updates to the tool.

ENERGY STAR certification for Canadian buildings

You asked for it; we are bringing it! We are hard at work adapting the ENERGY STAR certification process for use in Canada so that you can earn recognition for your top-performing energy-efficient buildings. Starting in 2018, eligible building types with ENERGY STAR scores of at least 75 will be able to apply for certification and share their success with everyone who walks through their doors. We will share more information about this exciting initiative as it becomes available, but in the meantime, make sure you’re benchmarking and taking advantage of all the energy-saving opportunities you can so that you’re ready when applications open!

Learn more about certification for Canadian buildings.

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Data Snapshots

The arrival of ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager into Canada provided a valuable new source of data that the buildings sector has been looking forward to. We are pleased to announce that we will be making this data available shortly through a new series of documents to be published twice per year. The Data Snapshots will provide Canadians with regularly updated statistics and information about the buildings entered into Portfolio Manager, including numbers of buildings, energy use profiles, energy use intensities, distribution across the country, and more. Data Snapshots will be published for a selection of building types, as well as for Canadian buildings overall. The information contained in these documents can be used for policy development, reference, research and planning.

Major Energy Retrofit Guidelines

Want to maximize the energy savings potential of your upcoming retrofit? NRCan’s Major Energy Retrofit Guidelines can help you to do just that. The Guidelines are a new series of documents intended to provide guidance for building owners and managers who want to undertake significant retrofits to make their buildings more energy efficient. The first document, the Principles Module, will outline the principles of the recommended approach to major retrofits. It will be followed by other modules that build on this foundation while focusing on the measures that can be applied to specific building types. Watch for modules for office buildings, K-12 schools, hospitals, and more!

For federal buildings

Real Property Institute of Canada Excellence Awards for Energy Efficiency

Nominations are open for the 2017 Real Property Institute of Canada (RPIC) awards. The annual awards are intended to recognize and celebrate the best energy efficiency projects and the most energy-efficient buildings in the federal government. This year’s awards ceremony will be held in November 2017.

Get more information about applying for an RPIC award.

NRCan’s Federal Buildings Initiative (FBI) helps federal departments and agencies reduce the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of their facilities.

Learn more about the FBI.

Canada racks up LEED milestones

With a cumulative total of almost 3,000 LEED projects, Canada has been recognized as a top performing country by the U.S. Green Building Council for the third year in a row. This total also represents over one billion square feet in LEED-certified space — a major milestone for the Canadian green building industry.

The numbers tell the story: 406 projects achieved LEED certification in 2016. Of these, 30 earned Platinum certification, 152 earned Gold, 154 earned Silver and 70 earned Certified status. By province, Ontario led LEED-certified projects in 2016 with 147, followed by Quebec (103), British Columbia (62), Alberta (61) and Manitoba (10).

LEED Gold is the most-earned certification in Canada, making up 42 percent of all projects. The first quarter of 2016 saw the total number of Gold-certified projects surpass 1,000. During that same quarter, the cumulative reduction of CO2e emissions achieved by LEED-certified projects surpassed one million tonnes — the equivalent of taking 238,377 cars off the road for a year.

A number of other milestones were also achieved last year:

The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change identifies the buildings sector as key to meeting greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. The sector’s successful adoption and recognition of LEED certification throughout Canada will help it make the greatest possible contribution to those goals. The Canada Green Building Council is doing its part to set the bar higher for environmental performance from both new and existing buildings through LEED v4, its most rigorous rating system yet, and through its new Zero Carbon Buildings Initiative.

To learn more about improving energy performance in existing and new buildings, explore NRCan’s web pages on Why energy efficiency? and Energy management best practices.

For the full article, go to: LEED® projects in Canada surpass 1 billion square feet, and for ongoing updates on LEED in Canada, visit www.cagbc.org/LEED.

New low-cost housing apartment to be Passive House certified

Paying only $28 per year in heating costs sounds too good to be true, but it has become reality in an Ottawa neighbourhood. A recently opened affordable housing complex is expected to be the first of its kind in North America to be Passive House certified.

Ottawa housing complex

The four-storey, 42-unit residence, built by Ottawa Salus, a charitable organization, offers housing for adults with severe mental illness. It was designed with strict environmental and cost-saving goals in mind, and it is estimated that the apartment building will be up to 90 percent more efficient than regular buildings. Ottawa Salus anticipates that the yearly energy consumption from the apartment building will be the same as that associated with a single family dwelling.

Lisa Ker, Executive Director of Ottawa Salus, expects the building to be Passive House certified by the fall of 2017. Passive House certification requires buildings to use less than 15 kWh per square metre of living space per year in heat and less than 120 kWh for primary energy.

A number of energy-efficient features helped the building meet Passive House certification requirements:

  • Triple-glazed windows and doors that are much more efficient than the Ontario Building Code requires.
  • Exterior walls with thick insulation that includes graphite-based insulation, making them 2.3 times more efficient than code requirements.
  • A painted cool roof that reflects heat in the summer to reduce cooling costs.
  • A large, centralized energy recovery ventilation unit that provides a full air change every three hours.

Not only will the organization reduce its environmental footprint, but it will also realize significant cost savings that can be reinvested into the maintenance of the organization’s 13 other supportive housing buildings around Ottawa. Managing energy costs in its tax-funded buildings is also part of the organization’s responsibility on behalf of the public. Ker believes that the building makes wise use of tax dollars and offers a spotlight on the most vulnerable sector of society. The 42 new residents are at the forefront of sustainable housing and “are championing an approach that is good for all Canadians.”

To read the full article, visit: Ottawa Salus, city's new affordable housing complex, boasts top efficiency rating  
For more information on passive buildings, visit: www.passivebuildings.ca
For more information on designing energy-efficient new buildings, visit: Energy efficiency for new buildings.

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Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency is published by Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency and distributed monthly to 16,000 subscribers. Our goal is to deliver meaningful news and information about programs, services and events related to energy efficiency in commercial and institutional buildings and, as well, to share the success stories of organizations that have benefited from positive change. Help us spread the word by sending this link to your colleagues. We encourage you to subscribe to our sister publication that focuses on energy efficiency in industrial facilities, Heads Up CIPEC.

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