CGC signs geothermal agreement with Ontario Building Officials Association
The Canadian GeoExchange Coalition (CGC) and the Ontario Building Officials Association (OBOA) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to train Ontarian Municipal Inspectors and other building officials in inspection processes and building code issues around geothermal heat pump technology, and to partner generally. CGC originally developed its Inspector course materials in cooperation with City of Calgary's Development and Building Approvals office, and has consulted the materials nationally.
By Craig Pearson
“As the Ontario Building Code evolves to include measures which promote the use of green technologies, the OBOA is committed to ensuring that Building Officials have access to the latest and best available information and training,” said OBOA First Vice President Leo Cusumano. “The OBOA’s new partnership with CGC reinforces this commitment, and ensures that building officials are equipped with the necessary knowledge and understanding of geothermal heat pump technology. We look forward to an ongoing and prosperous relationship with the CGC.”
“Regulators and policymakers are increasingly dealing with disjointed or inadequate regulations for geothermal, throughout the country,” remarked Ted Kantrowitz, Vice President of CGC. “Industry meanwhile finds great variation between inspectors, due mostly to varying levels of familiarity and comfort with our industry’s highly innovative, renewable energy technology. This partnership is intended to help strengthen municipal inspectors’ sophistication at the same time it improves the national quality program. CGC also wants to help strengthen the OBOA itself, building a new partnership to help both industry and regulators for years to come.”
Working with CGC in 2010, OBOA trained approximately 25 inspectors at its training facility in Barrie, Ontario. The instructor, from City of Calgary, then accompanied inspectors on several site visits for practicum exercises. OBOA, using its own facilitators, will deploy training for Municipal Inspectors throughout the province in early 2011. As part of the agreement, both organizations will share information on geothermal heat pump technology methods and practices and consult where specific or systematic issues arise. OBOA will keep all course profits.
CGC’s municipal tools, developed by a consortium of municipalities, include: 1) a model inspection procedure, based on existing regulations; 2) a municipal by-law template for regulating geoexchange; and 3) a municipal policymaker guideline, including ranked steps to deal with geothermal systems.
For more information, visit www.geoexchange.ca.