Smart Buildings are buildings that use information and communication technologies to identify operational inefficiencies and inform ongoing commissioning. To determine the costs, benefits, and challenges of implementing Smart Building technologies in federal government buildings, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) launched in 2014 a Smart Buildings pilot project using four of their buildings in the Ottawa region. PSPC turned to the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), through its Construction Research Centre, for expert guidance. NRC employees Weiming Shen and Trevor Nightingale played a very important role in the launch of the Smart Buildings pilot project and subsequently on a large initiative within the PSPC's Energy Services Acquisition Program (ESAP). As part of these initiatives they worked on the development of the Statement of Requirements according to the special circumstances of federal government buildings, the investigation of Smart Building solutions and vendors in the North American and global markets, and the development and execution of a pilot Request for Proposals.
In collaboration with industry partners, the NRC and PSPC designed and deployed a customized Energy Management Information System, which included an energy database and web-based user-friendly dashboards to help visualize the collected data and monitor real-time performance of pilot buildings.
As a result of their work, the NRC and PSPC were able to reduce energy consumption of the four pilot buildings by an average of 15%, which is a reduction of 660 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in just one year! Nine additional Smart Buildings were deployed in 2016 and eight more in 2017.
The findings from the ESAP Pilot informed the development of the National Standing Offer, which was put in place in the summer of 2017 for a wide deployment of Smart Building technologies in about 100 buildings across Canada, with a projected energy cost savings of $15M per year.
For their work on this project, Marek Dziedzic from the Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) and Dr. Weiming Shen and Dr. Trevor Nightingale of the NRC's High-Performance Buildings program were awarded the Real Property Institute of Canada Excellence Award for Energy Efficiency of Federal Buildings for their significant contributions to the Smart Buildings Initiative.
Learn more about the PSPC Smart Buildings Initiative.