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Resource Management

Why We Measure Energy Consumption

Despite the use of energy-efficient technology throughout the Olympic Village, effective conservation also requires individual residents to shift their energy consumption behaviour. For this reason, the Village is equipped with energy metering systems that provide a baseline and encourage people to improve their behaviour.

Nick Farina is president of Enerpro, the company that provided iEMS – the integrated energy management system used in the Olympic Village. He says the business case for the system comes in lowering capital costs, saving money and creating comfort. Farina says making savings visible helps to build awareness on many levels. For example, the information from the system provides residents with an economic incentive to cut their showers from ten minutes to two. On a larger scale, savings at the household level translate into efficiencies such as downsized infrastructure for water and sewer, and in the operation of building equipment such as boilers and HVAC systems. In fact, changes and adjustments based on information from the iEMS monitoring system have been show to result in energy savings of 10%–15% without retrofitting the actual heating or cooling equipment. At Millennium Water, each tenant pays only for energy that they use. “If you use less, you pay less. This model should be financially painless,” says Farina.

If you use less, you pay less.

Summary of Economic Benefits of the integrated Energy Management System (iEMS):

1. A revenue stream is produced for the lifetime of the equipment after it is installed.

– The lifetime revenue stream is created through the bulk buying and selling of wholesale power from the utility and supplying it directly to the building’s occupants.
– Property owners improve their competitive position by way of lower operating costs through reduced energy pricing.

2. Life-cycle costs are reduced by extending the longevity of the energy consuming mechanical equipment installed in a building.

3. The capital value of the building increases, as it is more efficient and less prone to equipment failures and breakdowns.

4. The system contributes to green building rating systems, such as LEED.

Energy Aware – Technology + Application

“Sustainability is supposed to be a lifestyle,” explains Janice Cheam, President of Energy Aware Technology Inc. Energy Aware enables consumers to make lifestyle choices by seeing how much energy they are using as they go about their normal routines. The system displays the usage of cold and hot water, energy for heating and cooling, as well as electricity. Electricity use is monitored in real time, displaying either cost or kW per hour. This means that when you turn off a light or the dishwasher, you immediately see your energy cost go down.

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The energy aware power tab is a display unit, which communicates in real time, energy and resource use in each suite.

Energy Aware provides a display called the PowerTab that connects to Enerpro’s sub-metering system and is included in every Olympic Village residential unit. The display consists of a 128 X 64 graphic LCD screen that uses wireless communication for maximum mobility. There is a different screen for each resource, which shows residents’ current rate of consumption and estimated bill each month. Three LEDs indicate whether consumption is average (amber), above average (red) or better than average (green).

“The first reaction people have when we explain our product is, ‘I can’t wait to show my kids’,” says Cheam. She says education is a positive feedback system that helps change people’s attitudes over time as well as their behaviour. It also offers rewards: real-time feedback on energy consumption enables homeowners to adjust their routine and save money.

How We Measure Energy Consumption

With 1,100 residential units and a goal of achieving LEED Gold certification, energy management for the Olympic Village had to be taken very seriously. Enerpro was responsible for a solution that involved coordinating meters, communications strings and data for 5,500 related meter points. Installed in each suite is a visual display meter developed by Energy Aware, that will show consumption of heating energy (BTUs), cooling energy (BTUs), domestic hot water consumption (US gal), domestic cold water consumption (US gal) and electricity (kWh)* use for that unit only.

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The energy aware power tab is a display unit, which communicates in real time, energy and resource use in each suite.

Nick Farina, the president of Enerpro, recognized that understanding the entire system and the relationships between a variety of people would be critical from the very start. “Our model put Millennium Water in the middle and assembled stakeholders such as project managers, mechanical engineers, financial specialists, post-construction advisors, and property managers,” he says. As a team they selected the tools that would integrate the consumption, measurement and purchasing of all types of energy and water. Enerpro’s experience guided the team towards an integrated solution, which included in-suite display monitors.

Awareness is a central element in making smart energy choices – for developers, owners and occupants. The efficiencies for new construction and infrastructure upgrades in retrofitted buildings speak for themselves. Whether a project consists of a 5 million square foot shopping centre or a 500 square foot condo, knowing what quantities of water, gas or electricity are consumed is important for cost-effective management (quite different from simply paying a flat cost each month, or never knowing how much of a resource was used). Enerpro’s results show the national water use average of 344 L/day can be cut in half as a result of behavioural change driven by
awareness.

Enerpro’s iEMS brings together technology, knowledge and people in an integrated energy management system designed for each project, explains Farina. Technology from all over the world combines for effective energy management by measuring energy consumption, water volumes, air quality, temperature and occupancy in buildings, and providing ongoing real-time monitoring and adjustments that maximize efficiencies. This supports the sustainable use of energy and preservation of natural resources, and reduces
building operating costs too.

League Assets Corporation, a private Real Estate Investment Trust, has established a sustainable energy fund providing financing for the capital costs of the energy management system. There is a ten-year lease for the infrastructure and equipment, after which Millennium Water strata will own it and their ongoing costs will drop.

Commissioning of Control Systems

Commissioning is a process that adds an additional perspective to the design and construction of building systems, and provides guidance to the operation phase such that proper maintenance is assured. It’s a step performed by an independent group that helps assure quality in building design and construction, and is encouraged by the LEED certification program.

During the design phase of a project, commissioning input is provided that affects system selection, as well as other integrated design aspects such as envelope, shading and orientation choices that play a role in minimizing heating and cooling loads and in making sure
that mechanical systems are more efficient and durable
in the long run.

During construction, commissioning ensures that systems are performing optimally and as intended, and that problems are caught that would affect the longevity of the system. In the post-construction phase, commissioning ensures that building operators are trained and documentation is provided so that the commissioned systems can be properly maintained in the commissioned state.

“KD Engineering has a couple of hats on the [Olympic Village] job as the mechanical commissioning agent and as the LEED commissioning authority,” says Chris Leaming of KD. The LEED commissioning authority completes the LEED EA (Energy and Atmosphere)
pre-requisite 1: Fundamental Building Systems Commissioning, as well as LEED EA Credit 3: Best Practice Commissioning, worth one point in the LEED system. This role joins the design team before the design is finalized, to contribute to the design process focusing
on the mechanical systems and some aspects of the lighting system, create a commissioning plan included in the project specifications, oversee the commissioning process, orchestrate a “near-warranty-end” review and produce a final LEED commissioning report. Under the
Mechanical Commissioning Agent hat, KD performs the hands-on testing that verifies the proper functionality of the mechanical systems.

Leaming says commissioning was an important process for the Olympic Village project. “This is not a standard residential tower project,” he says. “It has more sophisticated mechanical systems, and it will be LEED certified. As such, a full commissioning process makes
sense. As well, the Energy Transfer Cabinets that control the heating and cooling to the capillary mat zones in the suites are a new product in this part of the world, and therefore required extra commissioning attention.”

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