Introducing Energy Compass for Municipalities

Sustainable Buildings Canada is completing an update to its Energy Compass platform through funding provided by The Atmospheric Fund (TAF). Compass is a free online tool that enables the building design community to benchmark performance against their peers and provides access to data all aimed at reducing the energy use and GHG emissions from the building designs they are responsible for.

The updates to the Compass platform are aimed at municipalities that are implementing Green Development Standards (GDS) with Energy Performance Requirements. The updates allow non-technical staff at municipalities to perform high level reviews of energy models for compliance with GDS Energy Performance Requirements. The updates were designed to address the issues raised by municipal staff, industry professionals, and members of the project advisory group. The updates include the following key features:

Energy Modelling Compliance Report

The Compliance Report allows non-technical users to review energy models for compliance with municipal energy performance requirements through 2 components: a Rule-Based Review and a Key Variable Summary. The Rule-Based Review checks for common modelling issues and verifies that input and output variables fall within expected ranges, visually flags issues, and provides a description of why the values were flagged and next steps to follow up. This review currently performs 31 checks, and is expanding. The Key Variable summary presents the most common energy model inputs in a standardized table for the user to verify with the submitted project documentation.

Portfolio Metrics

These views allow municipal staff to view and export aggregate data on a selectable set of the projects uploaded by the municipality, and view trending over time. These features are intended to allow and support data analysis and external reporting requirements.

User Access Control and Project Management

Each municipality will have one or more administrators associated with their account. Administrators can add and revoke access given to other municipal staff. To better handle the volume of applications a municipality will receive, projects can now be organized into user created folders, and additional sorting, tagging, and metadata features have been added.

The project is currently completing the beta testing stage that has included participants from 7 municipalities in Ontario. Feedback from the Beta Testers is being incorporated into the platform, and the tool will be open to use by all municipalities this summer. For more information, or if your municipality is interested in using Energy Compass, please contact support@energycompass.design

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.