Data supporting the original "20 by ‘15” target was based on normalized
energy usage that was collected from national, large-scale pilot
projects conducted by CaGBC in 2008. These pilot projects engaged more
than 40 commercial office and government real property owners, involved
144 buildings totaling 48 million ft2, and created a large, detailed database of Canadian office building energy performance. The pilot project data was normalized for weather differences across the country as well as for material space, occupancy, and energy source differences between buildings.
These normalization procedures were re-conceptualized and enhanced in the development of the original Template (now Database).
For any energy use target or whole building performance evaluation to be used as a powerful management tool, it must be based on a foundation of accurate and robust data, credible and equitable assumptions, and a replicable methodology. The Database Input Guidelines discusses the technical details behind each of the key factors and inputs within the Database and the parameters by which buildings are eligible to participate. Both the Database Input Guidelines and the Normalization Database incorporate industry expertise as well as international best practices and are to be used as tools for calculating and reporting a building’s energy use intensity.
In 2012, an in-depth review of the underlying methodology was completed by the Energy Benchmarking Technical Committee resulting in significant enhancements and changes being incorporated in to the Database. For details on these changes, please review the Technical Bulletin released in April 2012, below.
REALpac Energy Database Input Guidelines (version 1.0 released June 17th, 2015)
Technical Bulletin Released (May 13th, 2015)
The REALpac Energy Benchmarking Methodology was revised in May 2012 to better reflect industry demand for comparative metrics and more refined reductions/savings determinations. REALpac made enhancements to the weather normalization approach which allowed owners/operators to compare their energy intensity from the current year to the base year by taking into account degree day weather differences in the location of the building. As a result, there were two energy intensity metrics added that allowed for separate comparisons – one for comparing an individual building to the base year in the building’s original location and one for comparing an individual building to the to the base year in the base city. See below for further details.
Through ongoing review, and during the development of the water normalization methodology, it was noted that the year-over-year normalization calculations (comparing an individual building to the base year in the building’s original location) were not generating results as expected. Further investigation uncovered a variable needing revision, which has been implemented in the 2015 Survey and throughout the Energy Normalization Database. The technical bulletin dated May 13th, 2015, describes the revisions made and the impact to building energy use metrics, both the Weather Normalized Building Energy Use to Base Year 2009 metric and the final Location Normalized Building Energy Use to Toronto metric (Fully Normalized Building Energy Use).
REALpac Energy Benchmarking Program Data Normalization Technical Bulletin (version 2.0 released May 13th, 2015)
In late 2011, REALpac, in collaboration with Halsall Associates, developed a methodology to benchmark water use performance for Canadian commercial office properties. The draft methodology for water use normalization was reviewed and presented to REALpac members in the summer of 2012. This document lead to the launch of the Pilot Survey in August of 2012, again in collaboration with Halsall, where REALpac members were asked to participate and submit their office building water data for analysis. The methodology was refined during the Survey period based on feedback from key stakeholders and data from 83 commercial buildings totaling almost 36 million square feet of gross floor area.
The goal of the Pilot Survey, and of a water benchmarking program for office buildings, is to allow for meaningful and robust water use intensity reporting and benchmarking between buildings across the country. The resulting water performance metrics (reported as water use intensity, “WUI”) better reflect the efficiency of the building’s water consuming systems and allows the benchmarking of building water use performance. The Database Input Guidelines discusses the technical details behind each of the key factors and inputs within the Database and the parameters by which buildings are eligible to participate. Both the Database Input Guidelines and the Normalization Database incorporate industry expertise as well as international best practices and are to be used as tools for calculating and reporting a building’s energy use intensity.
REALpac Water Database Input Guidelines - will be released in May 2016.