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

Volume 3, Issue 4

NRCan wins RPIC Excellence Award

NRCan has been recognized by the Real Property Institute of Canada (RPIC) for its leadership in energy efficiency in 2015. The federal department was awarded the RPIC Excellence Award for Energy Efficiency of Federal Buildings for its innovative programs and energy saving projects carried out under the Low Carbon NRCan Initiative.

Photo of Natural Resources Canada Low Carbon initiative project team

Low Carbon Initiative - Project Team NRCan

NRCan developed the Low Carbon NRCan Initiative in support of its goal of leading by example. Through the initiative, NRCan aims to reduce GHG emissions from its 17 building sites (accounting for 94 percent of its emissions) by 17 percent by 2020 from its 2005 baseline. To this end, NRCan has implemented several measures that increase the energy efficiency for federal buildings, such as retrofitting, recommissioning and building optimization. Other measures include piloting the implementation of the ISO 50001 Energy Systems Management standard, demonstrating clean technologies, and increasing employee engagement in and awareness of energy efficiency.

RPIC presents several awards every year to honour innovation and leadership in different aspects of property management, including environmental sustainability and energy efficiency. The RPIC Excellence Award for Energy Efficiency of Federal Buildings recognizes the best energy efficiency projects for one or more buildings at a site. Each year, a prize is awarded in each of the following categories: existing building, new construction and energy team/green team. Applicants need to show energy savings gained by projects, preferably using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, and associated environmental improvements.

To date, 62 energy efficiency projects have been implemented under the Low Carbon NRCan Initiative, reducing GHG emissions by 10.7 percent as of 2014-2015. Projects have included building recommissioning, energy performance contracts, and energy and GHG emission tracking using Portfolio Manager. Moreover, ten energy teams have been created to identify opportunities and oversee project implementation.

NRCan was not the only federal department to be recognized in its building energy efficiency efforts. The Department of National Defence’s Canadian Forces Base Valcartier in Quebec also won an RPIC award in the federal category. A 2011 feasibility study was undertaken by Honeywell Ltd. to investigate energy efficiency solutions for 111 buildings on the base totalling 431,622 square metres. The numerous measures undertaken through an energy performance contract project have reduced energy costs and GHG emissions while maintaining employee comfort. The energy cost savings of the project are evaluated at 1.7 M$/year.

For the full description of all RPIC’s awards, visit www.rpic-ibic.ca/en/awards/real-property-rp-awards/rp-award-categories and for a description of other award-winning projects, see www.rpic-ibic.ca/en/awards/real-property-rp-awards/rp-award-winners.

RCMP facility in Nova Scotia earns LEED Gold

The RCMP’s H Division headquarters in Nova Scotia is one of the most energy-efficient buildings ever constructed by the Government of Canada. The building achieved LEED Gold certification in early 2015 and boasts many efficient design details and processes that have improved its energy efficiency by 47 percent over benchmark buildings built to code.

Photo of the RCMP H Division headquarters in Nova Scotia

The 14,860-square-metre building is located in the Burnside Business Park in Dartmouth and houses around 500 employees in essential RCMP departments, including the major crime investigation, dog, and bomb disposal units; emergency response and underwater recovery teams; and traffic patrols. The $113 million construction project was completed in 2013.

The H Division headquarters was built with a very efficient building envelope that features triple-glazed windows. Natural light is a key design feature that reduces the requirement for artificial lighting and contributes to energy savings. External sunshades also reduce the need for cooling in the summer. Moreover, occupancy and daylighting sensors are associated with additional reductions in lighting costs.

The Canada Green Building Council awards LEED certification to high-performance buildings through independent, third-party verification in the areas of sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Four levels of certification are available:

  • certified
  • silver
  • gold
  • platinum

Other features that helped the building achieve LEED Gold Certification include condensing gas boilers, variable speed magnetic bearing chillers, and circulation pumps and fans equipped with variable speed drives. In addition, heat is recovered from exhaust air passing through the building’s air handling units.

Recycled and local materials were used as much as possible in the building’s construction, and construction waste recycling was maximized. The use of recycled rainwater held in a cistern and low-flow plumbing fixtures have also reduced overall water consumption. Finally, a high-quality indoor environment was also integrated into the design with an indoor air quality system that monitors CO2, particulate matter, humidity, total volatile organic compounds and temperature.

To prepare for LEED certification, building owners and managers should follow Best practices for new buildings. Energy benchmarking is a key tool in identifying opportunities and monitoring building energy performance (see Why benchmark energy performance). Moreover, energy use baselines and the success of energy efficiency projects can be effectively tracked using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

For the full article, visit www.reminetwork.com/articles/the-rcmps-new-nova-scotia-headquarters/ (Source date: November 11, 2015). To learn more about the building’s sustainable design features, visit: www.mreng.ca/portfolio/government-of-canada-building.

To learn more about the Canada Green Building Council LEED certification system, visit LEED Canada Rating Systems.

Canadian Tire Corporation earns top marks in climate data disclosure

“We've made it a top priority to be more energy-efficient, use fewer resources, produce less waste and reduce emissions in everything we do, which is good for our business and for the environment,” says Robyn Collver, Senior Vice-President, Risk and Regulatory Affairs, Canadian Tire Corporation.

Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC) was the only Canadian retailer to make the CDP’s Climate Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) for 2015. This marks the second year in a row that the company has been recognized for climate change transparency.

The CTC achieved this honour by disclosing high-quality, independently assessed data through the CDP’s climate change program. The company received a score of 99 (A-) out of a possible 100, which is up from 92 (B) in 2014 and 79 (D) in 2013.

Robyn Collver, Senior Vice-President, Risk and Regulatory Affairs, Canadian Tire Corporation says, “We've made it a top priority to be more energy-efficient, use fewer resources, produce less waste and reduce emissions in everything we do, which is good for our business and for the environment. Whether it's providing more innovative and environmentally-preferable products to our customers, developing more sustainable ways to package and deliver goods, or using new energy efficient technologies in our stores, we're always seeking innovative ways to be more sustainable as a company.”

CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, is an international not-for-profit organization that encourages companies and cities to disclose their environmental impacts and thereby give decision makers the data needed to change market behaviour. The CDP’s index features companies from around the world that are leaders in combatting climate change. The CDLI shows how organizations have considered climate change as a key economic factor and have significantly reduced GHG emissions.

Inclusion on the CDLI is not the only distinction that CTC’s sustainability efforts garnered in 2015. It was also selected for the 2015 Dow Jones Sustainability World and North American Indices. These indices are part of a family of sustainability indices that track the economic, environmental and social performance of the world’s leading companies. In addition, CTC was also presented with the ENERGY STAR Market Transformation 2015 Award by NRCan for advancing energy efficiency. Every year ENERGY STAR participants are recognized in manufacturer, retailer, utility, advocate and participant of the year categories, and earn the privilege of using a special ENERGY STAR winner’s symbol.

Leading companies like CTC follow Energy management best practices, which include energy benchmarking with such tools as ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. To find out the benefits of using this free online tool, visit: Why ENERGY Star Portfolio Manager.

To access the full article about CTC’s listing on the CDLI, visit www.newswire.ca/news-releases/canadian-tire-corporation-earns-top-marks-on-cdps-climate-disclosure-leadership-index-552165361.html (Source date: November 20, 2015) and for CTC’s other awards, visit http://corp.canadiantire.ca/EN/AboutUs/Pages/AwardsRecognition.aspx#2015.

For more information about NRCan’s ENERGY STAR Canada Awards, see nrcan.gc.ca/energy/products/for-participants/awards/13524 and for 2015 winner profiles, visit nrcan.gc.ca/energy/products/for-participants/awards/17707

Calendar of events and other important dates

Canadian Institute for Energy Training (CIET)

CIET Sustainable Energy Training – Advanced Course on Building Recommissioning

  • Date: May 17-20, 2016 – Montreal, Quebec (Offered in French only)
  • This is a 4-day advanced course on recommissioning and will cover all the stages of the recommissioning process: planning, investigation, implementation, hand-over and monitoring.
    • This course is offered in collaboration with CanmetENERGY.
    • Click HERE to see the course description and to register now.

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.

We welcome reader feedback and are always interested in your story ideas.