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Deep Energy Retrofits – Guide and Submissions

SBC is pleased to release its latest Guide for undertaking Existing Building Design Workshops and related Energy Modelling Requirements.  This report will shortly be followed by a thermal bridging analysis Guide focusing on existing buildings.  SBC encourages the use of the integrated design process as a way of maximizing the potential energy savings and GHG emissions reductions for a major retrofit project.  Intrinsic in this approach is the use of sophisticated energy modelling approaches as described in the Guide.

SBC has initiated an effort to collect information about Deep Energy Retrofits (DER), focusing on the commercial, institutional and multi-residential sectors.  This effort aims to create an open-source catalog of DER projects that can be shared with interested stakeholders through our website.  Users can submit their project information in PDF format through our on-line portal.  SBC will review the submission to ensure it contains an appropriate level of detail and meets our definition of a DER.

What constitutes a DER?

After a review of industry definitions, SBC is choosing to use the following “hybrid” definition:

Approximately 50% reduction in energy use and where the retrofit includes envelope upgrades (either opaque areas and windows or both). It is recognized that achieving 50% may not be possible for some applications and SBC will use its own judgement to determine if projects qualify as DER.

Why envelope improvements? 

After a review of the literature, it is apparent that achieving significant reductions in energy use in existing buildings can only be possible when the envelope is upgraded.  Moreover, SBC believes that saving space heating load is particularly important as most buildings in Canada are heated with carbon-based fuels – natural gas, fuel oil and propane.  For Canada to achieve its GHG emissions reduction targets, reducing the use of these fuels is particularly important.  Finally, we are great supporters of the integrated design process as a way of maximizing energy performance as a holistic activity and feel that this process can be applied to existing building retrofit opportunities.

If you would like to learn more about submission requirements, or to submit your DER project, do so below!

Our intent is to provide a degree of rigour to the reporting, however we will not be undertaking any verification activities. We encourage users to ensure their submissions are accurate and reflect the best available information.

Natalia Ortiz Moreno

Natalia Ortiz, student of Project Management Environmental (PME) program in Seneca Polytechnic, has an Environmental Engineering background completed at Universidad El Bosque in Colombia. She has always been involved in sustainability roles and projects that included Environmental Management Systems implementation, Water Treatment Systems’ design and operation, Hazardous and Conventional Waste management and minimization practices, as well as Ecosystem’s Conservation and Energy
Efficiency programs.

For the PME – Applied Project Management Course, Natalia developed a Green Roof Assessment Tool for Seneca Polytechnic’s Office of Sustainability, with the aim to provide green roof technology recommendations best suited to a particular scenario, taking into consideration multiple aspects of green roofs and buildings; infrastructure, design, materials, environmental factors, and costs, as well as the Toronto Municipal Code – Green Roof bylaw. Natalia also has a scientific journal publication as the main author of the project “Selection and sizing of industrial wastewater treatment units required at the
new maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) aircraft facility owned by Avianca S.A. in Rionegro Antioquia” in the El Bosque University Journal of Technology.

Natalia strongly believes there are several research topics left to be developed, and the importance of
working towards Sustainability from different backgrounds, knowledge, and cultures to build strong, productive, and resilient communities.
With the vision of growing cities and infrastructure along with nature, always preserving and respecting the ecosystems’ attributes and services, Natalia would like to keep researching and acquiring more experience in Sustainability roles.



Emily Smit

Emily is a second-year PhD student in Geography at the University of Toronto, and a co-operator of a small home renovation company, Magnus Home Improvements. Her research seeks to determine how single-family homes can quickly and best be retrofit to achieve Toronto’s emissions reductions targets – including net-zero by 2040 – as part of the TransformTO climate action plan. Specifically, she will assess the impact of municipal home energy reporting and disclosure programs, as well as produce recommendations for growing the retrofit labour force in ways that attend to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Further, her research seeks to understand how home retrofit activities can be regenerative and produce net-positive impacts for humans and the environment towards transformative, place-based sustainability. When not at her computer, Emily can be found cycling with her kids to and from school or making funky sounds on her analog synthesizer.

Bofa Udisi

Bofa is a sustainability professional with over seven years in the energy and environment industry. He has a Bachelor of Science in Energy and Petroleum Studies from Novena University in Nigeria and graduate certificates in Energy Management and Environmental Project Management from Seneca College in Toronto. In 2020, he graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Master of Environment and Business degree. He is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the Building Science program at Toronto Metropolitan University, researching whole-life carbon reduction in new construction and building renovations.

Bofa‘s work experience is primarily in the built environment, working in the private and public sectors in roles that involve structural and environmental assessment of building structures, HVAC engineering design and sales, and facilities management. Bofa is a member of several industry associations, such as the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), the American Society for Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and the Project Management Institute (PMI). SBC’s bursary will go a long way in supporting Bofa‘s research and his desire to learn.