Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency - Volume 5, Issue 8

Volume 5, Issue 8

How does an office building evolv1?

Evolv1 is a unique 100,000 sq. ft. three-storey office building in Waterloo, Ontario and the first project to receive a Zero Carbon Building – Design certification from Canada Green Building Council. Certification requires a zero carbon balance modelled for future operations and a highly efficient energy and ventilation system to meet a threshold for thermal energy intensity.

“Our original vision was to design and build a building that was net positive energy at similar costs to conventional construction – and we were determined to prove it was possible,” said Adrian Conrad, Chief Operating Officer of the Cora Group.

With this goal in mind, evolv1’s project team – including Stantec, which designed the building, and construction firm Melloul-Blamey – employed a highly integrated design process that incorporates both active and passive systems to optimize value against construction cost. The building’s design includes elements aimed not only at maximizing its energy efficiency, but at producing more energy than it consumes.

The building envelope was optimized with cladding and glazing as well as exterior sun shading to reduce solar gain while maximizing daylight to reduce lighting needs. The cladding is a high performance aluminum composite panel system.

Evolve1’s mechanical system is a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) tied to a geothermal system. A dedicated outdoor air system manages ventilation, utilizing energy recovery from exhaust air preconditioning the air coming into the building. CO2 monitoring helps moderate the amount of outdoor air required. The south end of the building is used as a solar wall. Instead of the insulated panels, an air space is left behind the first layer of metal cladding allowing heat to build up, preheating incoming ventilation air during cold weather seasons.

In the collaborative atrium space, a three-storey green wall adds comfort and esthetic appeal while providing a host of benefits. Air moves up and through the green wall, lowering the burden on the active humidification systems.

Meanwhile on the roof, you’ll find 700kW photovoltaic panels (PVs) with additional PVs installed as canopies over a portion of the parkade. Evolv1 projects the net electricity generated will exceed what the building requires.

Success stories like Evolv1 inspire future innovation in the buildings sector as Canada continues its journey towards a low carbon energy efficient tomorrow.

Make the MURB energy consumption survey a success!

A new national survey of energy use for Multi Unit Residential Buildings (MURBs) begins in September 2018.

The survey will be collecting detailed information on the energy consumption patterns of MURBs in Canada. Gathering this data is vital to the development programs and policies for improving the energy efficiency of MURBs, including the development of new ENERGY STAR scores.

ICF Consulting Canada Inc. (ICF) will conduct the survey on behalf of NRCan in eight cities: Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa/Gatineau, Toronto, Halifax, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver. We’re asking associations and organizations that include MURB owners and managers to encourage their members to participate if selected.

And of course, if you own or manage a MURB, please participate so you can benefit from up-to-date data on similar buildings to compare your own energy performance.

Each respondent will receive an invitation letter and a brochure that will provide answers to frequently asked questions. You can complete the survey questions through the web or over the phone with an interviewing agent. This approach aims to capture the richest information possible in an efficient, statistically sound and cost-effective manner.

If you would like to learn more about this national survey, please email NRCan’s Office of Energy Efficiency at nrcan.buildings-batiments.rncan@canada.ca.

Oxford County, Ontario educates by example

The new Oxford County Waste Management & Education Centre is a cutting edge facility generating its own energy. It includes a solar photovoltaic system that is expected to generate as much electricity as the building consumes on a yearly basis. The building is designed to meet the requirements of the New Building Institute’s Zero Net Energy criteria, but it is also anticipated that the entire County landfill site will be net zero with the electrical requirements of all site operations, including the new building, offset by the solar photovoltaic system.

The Waste Management & Education Centre includes numerous energy efficient features, including twenty-two inch thick rammed earth walls containing eight inches of insulation, triple-pane windows and Energy Recovery Ventilators that recover heat energy from the building’s exhaust air to heat the incoming air supply.

Yet it’s their eye on the future that impresses the most. Interactive displays educate on environmental sustainability, renewable energy and zero waste, informing visitors on the importance of energy efficiency.

Oxford County CAO Peter Crockett says it is an incredible facility that will serve the community well for years to come, "It is a major step moving forward for us as an organization and as a community as we continue on the road to sustainability including 100% renewable energy and zero waste."

In addition to being an administration building for waste management facility staff, the Waste Management & Education Centre offers school tours. Not in school but interested in touring the building? Contact Oxford County’s Public Works Department to request a tour at 1-800-755-0394.

Policy Update for ENERGY STAR® Certification for buildings

Certain commercial and institutional buildings can now earn NRCan’s ENERGY STAR® certification. ENERGY STAR® certified buildings use less energy, and cause fewer greenhouse gas emissions than their peers, which is great for your organization’s budget, profile, and the environment. As more and more buildings are turning to benchmarking with ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® to earn certification, NRCan continues to develop and expand the program to better serve the Canadian buildings sector.

Here is the latest policy update on certification regarding conducting a site visit to verify data and assess the indoor environmental quality.

When certifying a building, a site visit of the building is required. The site visit may take place anytime within the 12-month application period, or within the 120 days following the year ending date. The Licensed Professional is responsible for verifying that the information on the application is an accurate representation of the building’s performance for the application period. A site visit can be used to verify two consecutive application years, as long as the date of the site visit meets the requirements for both certification years (meaning the site visit occurs within the 120 days after the first certification year, and within the 12-month application period for the second certification).

For the application period, the Licensed Professional must assess the indoor environmental conditions with appropriate measurements and determine whether the building has acceptable outdoor air ventilation, thermal environmental conditions, and illumination. Measurements should be kept on file for two years. The recorded measurements will be required as supporting documentation if the application is selected for an audit.

REMINDER: If your building receives a score of 75 or higher, it may be eligible for ENERGY STAR® certification. The deadline for 2018 ENERGY STAR® certification applications is November 15, 2018. We look forward to receiving your application soon.

Let us know what you think

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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