Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Volume 4, Issue 1

Volume 4, Issue 1

2016 in review!

It has been a year abounding with energy efficiency activities at NRCan’s Buildings Division. We released a new ENERGY STAR score and worked hard to support a host of new benchmarking and energy efficiency initiatives launched by some of our key stakeholders. Here are some of the highlights:

New 1-100 ENERGY STAR score for senior care communities and residential care facilities

Last spring, senior care communities and residential care facilities became the sixth building type to be eligible for a 1-100 ENERGY STAR score in Canada. The new score applies to facilities that provide permanent rehabilitative, restorative and/or ongoing nursing care to patients or residents in need of assistance with the activities of daily living. There are close to 6,500 of these facilities in Canada, accounting for about 39.1 million gigajoules of energy every year. The new score allows these facilities to better understand their relative energy performance and encourages them to improve it.

For more information on the new score, visit Energy benchmarking for senior care communities and residential care facilities.

Launch of BOMA BEST 3.0

The latest version of BOMA Canada’s building certification program, launched in the fall, includes an online platform that integrates with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and uses the same methodology to assess certain criteria. This integration makes it easier for building owners and administrators to manage their Portfolio Manager and BOMA BEST accounts, which in turn helps them to focus on improving their energy performance. BOMA BEST 3.0 also includes additional BEST practices and a streamlined questionnaire, and is based on the latest industry standards.

For more information, visit About BOMA BEST.

Ontario enacts energy and water reporting and benchmarking regulation

Last summer, Ontario became the first Canadian jurisdiction to enact mandatory energy benchmarking and reporting legislation (Bill 135). The Large Building Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking regulation will be phased in over several years, and will ultimately require buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to benchmark using Portfolio Manager and report the results to the Ontario government on an annual basis. Results will be disclosed publicly after the first year of reporting. The regulation is intended to help building owners and managers understand their energy performance, which is the first step to improving it. In this way, the Ontario buildings sector will help the province to achieve its conservation and GHG emissions reduction targets.

Read the Large Building Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking regulation.

CaGBC releases National Energy Benchmarking Framework

The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) has long supported the use of energy benchmarking as a catalyst for energy-saving initiatives, and it includes ENERGY STAR scores in its LEED certification criteria for eligible building types. Last spring, it released a white paper presenting a proposed national framework, based on industry and stakeholder consultations, to support the development of benchmarking policies throughout the country. The national framework is intended to offer background information and recommendations to jurisdictions that may be considering such policies, to promote consistency and maximize the effectiveness of these policies.

Read the CaGBC’s white paper, Energy Benchmarking, Reporting and Disclosure in Canada: A Guide to a Common Framework [PDF – 2 MB].

Manitoba launches Race to Reduce building energy challenge

This month, Manitoba launched its Race to Reduce, a four-year challenge aimed at reducing energy use in participating buildings by 10 percent. Manitoba Race to Reduce is modelled after the highly successful Race to Reduce run by CivicAction in the Greater Toronto Area between 2011 and 2015. That challenge involved more than 42 percent of the region’s commercial office sector and surpassed its savings goal, achieving collective energy savings of 12.1 percent.

Like its predecessor, Manitoba Race to Reduce promotes collaboration between landlords and tenants to encourage team building and behaviour changes that save energy. Participants will have access to a variety of resources and incentives to help them on their path toward greater energy efficiency, and annual events will be held to publically honour their achievements.

Manitoba Race to Reduce joins a number of energy efficiency challenges that have used ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager as their primary tracking tool, including CivicAction’s Race to Reduce, the City of Richmond’s Building Energy Challenge, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s nationwide Battle of the Buildings. Manitoba Race to Reduce will also be the first Canadian building energy challenge to offer participants the added benefit of uploading their data automatically into Portfolio Manager via web services.

If you own or rent space in a commercial building in Manitoba, why not join forces with the other occupants in your building to find out how much energy you can save by working together? Visit Manitoba Race to Reduce to learn more and to register your building and start saving!

For more information about building energy challenges, visit:

New high-performance designation is now available for property managers

These days, building owners and managers are expected to responsibly and sustainably develop and manage real estate assets while addressing the bottom line. BOMI International’s new High-Performance Sustainability (HP) designation aims to help property managers meet this expectation by becoming leaders in sustainable building management.

The BOMI-HP Designation Program consists of three online, self-study or in-class courses – Principles, Practices and Investments. The program provides credentials to participants and equips them with practical and cutting-edge knowledge to effectively drive and implement initiatives.

The first in the series, the Building Principles course, covers topics such as improving energy efficiency in existing and new buildings, integrating high-performance building standards and guidelines, identifying and resolving issues, and achieving top-to-bottom organizational buy-in for initiatives.

The Building Practices course provides participants with no- and low-cost sustainable initiatives. This course offers best practices that cover all aspects of the built environment and allows managers to drive operational efficiencies for high-performance buildings.

The last course, Building Investments, delivers strategies for building a business case for high-performance investments. With this course, participants can fully integrate the social, environmental, and economic factors associated with the bottom line.

Participants who earn their BOMI-HP designation will have an in-depth understanding of how to define, initiate, pay for, complete, and obtain a return on investment for sustainable initiatives within all segments of a building or portfolio. The HP designation program also incorporates information on BOMA Canada’s recent move to BOMA BEST 3.0, placing graduates in a strategic position to attain this stringent industry standard.

For more information, visit: High-Performance Sustainability (HP) designation

For the full article, visit: Transforming property managers into high performers

Upcoming training and events:

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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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