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FEATURE – Walking the Talk with CanmetENERGY

January 29, 2013 - It’s not often that scientists get the opportunity to “walk the talk”. At CanmetENERGY in Ottawa, Ont., their approaches are being implemented as energy savings measures through the ISO 50001 Building 3 pilot project.


January 29, 2013
By NRCan

Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) CanmetENERGY in Ottawa has been a Canadian leader in clean energy research and technology development for more than 100 years. In the past year, through a pilot project to test and evaluate the new ISO 50001 Energy Management Standard in Building 3 of the Bells Corners Complex, an Energy Team has managed to reduce NRCan’s overall carbon footprint.

The Energy Team, consisting of members from CanmetENERGY in Ottawa’s Operations and Science & Technology Groups, NRCan’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Real Property and Environmental Management Division, and SNC Lavalin O&M, was tasked with identifying opportunities to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.  

Its challenge was to test the ISO 50001 Energy Management Standard, by “walking the talk” in Building 3. The offices and laboratories of Building 3 served as a pilot project to showcase new energy efficient best practices and technologies set by the ISO 50001 standard. ISO 50001 is based on a management system that makes it easier to integrate energy management into the organizations overall effort to improve quality and environmental management.1

A sub-metering system was installed in November of 2011 to provide baseline data for the year. The Energy Team has now collected six months worth of actual energy data, which revealed savings of $18,500 or 17% in energy savings and 16% in GHG emissions reductions. The first year of the three-year pilot project is now complete and energy savings have already exceeded original estimates. Improvements include:

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• The installation and commissioning of the PowerHawk submeter by Triacta Power Technologies to monitor electrical, gas, and district heating hot water in real time. The energy usage for the complex is centrally managed, therefore the installation of this sub-metering system helped to better identify where and how Building 3 was consuming its energy. In the new year, the data from the submeters will be shared with staff via a real-time energy management dashboard.
• Turning off one of two laboratory exhaust fans, which resulted in a 5% energy reduction.
• Modification to laboratory exhaust, lighting retrofits in all the offices and laboratories, and modifications to the cafeteria exhaust.
• Portable temperature and humidity sensors for all staff so they can provide specific feedback to SNC Lavalin (the property managers for the campus) on comfort issues in the office wing.
• The installation of two LED lighting demonstration projects, a skylight in the basement cafeteria and emergency LED lighting in the hall on the second floor.

It is expected that the three-year pilot project will result in the creation of an energy management plan that CanmetENERGY in Ottawa can use to improve the energy performance of Building 3, leading to increased awareness of the implications of its energy use, and improvements in the comfort level of building occupants.

1http://www.iso.org/iso/home/standards/management-standards/iso50001.htm

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By Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)