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Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Volume 4, Issue 2

Volume 4, Issue 2

BOMA Canada to lead the National High-Performance Building Challenge

NRCan is pleased to announce that BOMA Canada has been selected as the proponent to lead the development and administration of the National High-Performance Building Challenge. The Challenge will support the Canadian buildings sector’s move toward net-zero energy performance by recognizing leading designs that demonstrate significant progress toward this goal.

BOMA Canada was selected following a call for proposals launched by NRCan in the fall of 2016. Work on the project started in January 2017, and BOMA Canada anticipates launching the Challenge this spring. Stay tuned for updates on this exciting project, or contact for more information.

Canada in the top ten for LEED-certified green buildings

Canada is yet again among the top 10 countries for LEED-certified green buildings, placing second in the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) annual ranking for 2016. Every year the USGBC recognizes the top ten countries outside the U.S. that are leading in sustainable building design, construction, and operations.

The USGBC analyzes countries according to their gross square metres (GSM) and numbers of LEED projects to date. In 2016, Canada had LEED-certified space totalling 34.39 million GSM with another 90.36 million cumulative GSM and registered space. This represented 2,937 LEED-certified projects across the country and a total of 6,082 projects participating in LEED.

Canada shares the spotlight with nine other countries that include six of the world’s 20 largest single-nation economies by GDP and five of the top 11 GHG emitters. China took top honours with slightly more LEED-certified gross square metres than Canada, but only about one-third the number of certified projects. India, Brazil, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Germany, Turkey, Sweden, and the United Arab Emirates rounded out the top 10 countries for LEED-certified green buildings.

LEED certification means buildings use less energy and water, reduce carbon emissions, and create healthier living and working environments while saving money for individuals, businesses and taxpayers. As such, green buildings are one of the most cost-effective mitigations for climate change. Globally there are more than 82,000 commercial projects involved in LEED spread over more than 1.4 billion GSM, and an additional 112,000 residential units are certified under LEED Homes.

Mahesh Ramanujam, USGBC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, says, “with a focus on LEED and green buildings, Canada is prioritizing environmental and human health in the built environment on a holistic scale and helping us get one step closer to a green building for all within this generation.”

Thinking of LEED certification for your facility? A good way to start is by energy benchmarking using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

For the full article, visit Canada ranks second in Top 10 countries for LEED green building.

The Town Hall Challenge names most energy-efficient city halls in Canada

An article released in December 2016 acknowledged that the Mississauga Civic Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, and the Moncton City Hall in Moncton, New Brunswick, shared the 2015 Town Hall Challenge award as the most energy-efficient city halls in Canada. Both municipalities were recognized for not only meeting but exceeding the Challenge’s goal of energy use reduction to 20.0 equivalent kWh/square foot (ekWh/sq. ft.) by last year.

The municipality of Mississauga had already achieved this goal by 2013 and reduced its energy use even further to 17.2 ekWh/sq. ft. by 2015. Moncton City Hall surpassed the goal in 2012 and went on to further reduce its energy consumption to 17.2 ekWh/sq. ft. in 2015. Other participating municipalities in the 2015 Challenge included Barrie, Caledon, Oshawa, Region of Peel, Richmond Hill, Toronto and Windsor (all in Ontario), as well as Gatineau in Quebec.

The Mississauga Civic Centre, which opened in 1987, houses the municipal headquarters and administration. The municipality wants to lead by example by demonstrating that sustainability need not be sacrificed for economic decisions. It knew that by going green, it could modernize its facilities and reduce operating expenses.

Improvements to the Civic Centre include building automation system upgrades, new maintenance programs and employee training sessions. Employees are also actively involved in saving energy for the municipality by practicing energy efficiency both at work and at home. Moreover, a real-time energy dashboard pilot project that shows the daily, weekly and monthly energy and water use statistics was launched at the Centre. All of these actions have contributed to the impressive reduction of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

The Town Hall Challenge is an initiative of The Living City, delivered by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, which challenged municipalities to reduce their energy use to 20.0 ekWh/sq. ft. by 2015. The Challenge works with cities, towns and regional governments from eight provinces to identify and recognize energy-efficient buildings in Canada.

Join other municipal leaders in the Town Hall Challenge and investigate the potential for improving energy efficiency for existing buildings, and learn about energy benchmarking for municipalities.

For the full article published in December 2016, visit Did You Know Mississauga's City Hall is the Most Energy Efficient of its Kind in Canada?

What happens after you benchmark? New York City’s unique building retrofit approach offers a model of what can be done for municipalities

Canadian cities wanting to go to the next level in building energy efficiency can look to New York City (NYC) for inspiration. The city’s unique approach, the Retrofit Accelerator program, helps building owners and managers take advantage of energy saving opportunities in existing buildings.

The Province of Ontario and other jurisdictions in the United States, including NYC, already have benchmarking laws that require building owners to report energy and water use. However, to ensure that benchmarking translates into energy savings, NYC has adopted a very active approach to educate decision-makers about relatively simple upgrades.

The NYC Office of Sustainability, which administers the Retrofit Accelerator program, has identified steam heat as the single largest opportunity to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. About 70 percent of the city’s large buildings use steam heat but have aging, inefficient systems. The office estimates that a city-wide GHG emission reduction of about five percent could be achieved if relatively simple upgrades were implemented in every large steam-heated building in NYC. This would help to address the city’s climate change target of an 80 percent reduction in GHG emissions by 2050. Individual building owners can save about 15 percent in energy costs annually with steam heat retrofits.

The Retrofit Accelerator aims to be the city’s one-stop shop for energy efficiency education and personalized implementation advice. Educating building owners/managers about maintenance and small upgrades is an effective approach to energy efficiency improvements and is more accessible than investments in major building renovations or large-scale system replacements.

The managers/owners of more than 2,000 buildings in NYC have already started working with the program. Some of the upgrades implemented include heating system retrofits, vent maintenance to improve steam flow, and the installation of in-unit radiator valves to let tenants control heat.

In addition, the city is actively recruiting and training contractors to implement steam upgrades. The Office of Sustainability says that this offers a valuable business opportunity for service providers in NYC and other cold-weather municipalities.

Many building owners/managers are already benchmarking with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, but they may not know what to do next. The Retrofit Accelerator program helps them decide on the next steps, find qualified contractors to do the work, and secure financial incentives and support to make it happen.

For more information on the NYC’s Retrofit Accelerator, visit:

For the full article visit: New York City Cracks Down On Steam Heating

Visit NRCan’s website for more information on:

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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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