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Free building energy benchmarking tool released for Ontario designers/constructors

The new online tool, developed by RWDI in partnership with the Ontario Association of Architects and Toronto’s Architecture 2030 District, streamlines energy benchmarking and reporting during the design phase of building development projects.


benchmarkAimed at accelerating the understanding and adoption of energy-saving solutions in the design and construction of buildings in Ontario, a new digital platform of information exchange called the energyCompass.design tool, or Compass for short, has been launched and is available now for free.

The new tool, developed by RWDI in partnership with the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) and Toronto’s Architecture 2030 District, streamlines energy benchmarking and reporting during the design phase of building development projects.

Users must register and can then upload energy models to the tool, which then automatically extracts over 400 variables and completes the submission requirements for six building standards and programs in a matter of seconds. (Compass can extract data from energy models created using the following compatible software versions: DOE2 (eQuest, EE4); IES-VE 2017; EnergyPlus 8.7.0+)

The six standards include:

  • Ontario Building Code SB-10 Compliance – Form A, Form 11
  • Toronto Green Standard v2 – Energy Modelling Report Summary
  • Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Canada 2009 – LEED Letter Template
  • Savings By Design Incentive – Energy and Demand Summary; Custom Project Worksheet
  • 2030 Challenge – Program Reporting
  • High Performance New Construction (HPNC) – IESO Incentive Worksheet

A data visualization platform allows users to benchmark their modelled building against a database, which in turn, informs the design process.

benchmark

Mike Williams, principal, RWDI

“Previously, data available through energy simulation studies has not been leveraged en masse to analyze performance trends or to benchmark similar buildings to improve energy performance,” said Mike Williams, principal at RWDI in a media release.

Compass is owned and operated by Sustainable Buildings Canada (SBC), and it is governed in part by the Compass Advisory Committee which is made up of representatives from the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA), International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA) and SBC with the primary intention of protecting the interests of the platform’s end users.

The automated extraction code and database structure was developed by RWDI Inc., with generous support from The Atmospheric Fund and the Independent Electricity System Operator.

The Compass tool represents an evolution of the award-winning live database called ecoMetrics, initiated by Diamond Schmitt Architects in 2015 and developed in conjunction with RWDI.

Both tools translate the extensive data of building energy simulation models into easily understood graphic presentation. The intention of both tools is to improve energy literacy and inform green building design towards the ultimate goal of net-zero carbon emissions.

RWDI will continue supporting further technical development and leading some of the planned adoption and dissemination activities over the next year.

“The design and construction industry is almost exclusively comprised of small companies and we are tasked with trying to solve some of this generation’s biggest problems, such as climate change,” added Williams. “Our thesis with Compass is that if we can find ways to begin to share data, effectively working together, we will be able to develop real solutions faster, and begin to chart a course towards a zero-carbon future.”

Benchmark

Screenshot example from EnergyCompass.