High-performance Buildings program

With energy costs expected to double by 2020, the need for Canada’s institutional and commercial building owners to retrofit energy-saving technologies that are validated, de-risked and cost effective is becoming more urgent. The High-performance Buildings program helps Canadian firms to commercialize and deploy verified energy retrofit technologies for high-performance energy-efficient buildings.

By bringing together important stakeholders to create an R&D ecosystem, the High-performance Buildings program enables the commercialization of validated technologies and offers new services to reduce energy use while providing building owners with a compelling payback without compromising the health, safety or comfort of building occupants. These services will span the development and performance validation of new products and systems, energy data analytics and monitoring in laboratories, large-scale laboratory environments and real buildings owned by early adopters of these new technologies.

Collaborate with us

Collaborate with us on strategic research projects to help de-risk your innovative ideas, reduce your start-up costs and accelerate your commercial development timelines.

Collaboration opportunities

The National Research Council (NRC) is seeking partners from these areas: public and private building owners, building solutions companies, electric and gas utilities, and governments.

To help Canadian firms commercialize and deploy validated energy retrofit technologies for high-performance energy-efficient buildings, the NRC is bringing together important stakeholders to create an R&D ecosystem. The R&D ecosystem brings together firms from each segment of the building energy retrofit value chain to collaborate one-on-one, or in multi-party, technology-specific projects designed to bridge technology gaps with the end-goal of a new commercialized energy retrofit technology or service.

The solutions will span the development and validation of new products and systems, big data analytics, and monitoring in laboratories, culminating in large-scale demonstration and validation projects in real buildings to ensure wide acceptance in the marketplace.

The NRC will partner with industry clients on strategic projects in the R&D ecosystem as well as technical services in 3 areas:

  • Dynamic building envelope: New and validated façade technologies will make building envelope systems more thermally efficient while harvesting energy, managing solar load, and performing requirements for natural light, durability and moisture management.
  • Intelligent building environmental control: New and validated technologies will deliver interior lighting and ventilation only where and when needed. Human factors research will ensure wide adoption of LED lighting, and define building management systems parameters required for a safe and comfortable indoor environment.
  • Interactive platforms connecting building energy systems and Smart Grid: Data analysis and reasoning functionalities required for optimal building energy management will be developed, validated in buildings, and licensed to firms for integration into existing commercial systems. In addition, retrofit decision support tools will be developed to accurately predict the time for economic payback and will be validated using demonstration projects.
Collaborator benefits

For over 65 years, the NRC has been providing a competitive advantage to the Canadian construction industry. Our world-class research facilities combined with our expertise and customized technical and advisory services make us an important resource for industry's construction innovation.

Canada's institutional and commercial building owners invest billions of dollars each year in technologies aimed at reducing their annual $22B energy bill, money that could otherwise be invested in growing their core business. With the cost of energy expected to double by 2020, the need for retrofit energy saving technologies that are validated, de-risked and cost effective is becoming more urgent.

The R&D ecosystem will enable Canada's building energy retrofit value chain to commercialize validated technologies and offer new services that reduce energy use while providing building owners a compelling payback without compromising the health, safety and comfort of building occupants.

R&D ecosystem participants will benefit from:

  • a space where firms can collaborate and experience significant leverage on their own R&D investment, translating into larger gains and faster progress with less investment
  • multi-year collaborative research projects led by industry and the NRC
  • working within a multi-partner network that can result in stronger industry relationships with other leading technology solution firms and future business

The High-performance Buildings program offers opportunities to building owners, utility, and government stakeholders wanting to stimulate and influence the development of new and validated energy retrofit technologies and services.

Technical and advisory services

The High-performance Buildings program draws on the expertise of all the NRC research centres including Construction to cover the full spectrum of building performance and includes building physics, modeling, human factors and health, data analytics, material science, electrochemistry, wireless communications, printable electronics and field validation studies. We bring a proven track record in these relevant fields:

  • field studies to assess energy performance and workplace environmental conditions, including organizational productivity
  • thermal performance testing of components and systems for walls, windows and roofing
  • durability assessment of roofing systems, and integration of photovoltaic (PV) materials
  • energy benchmarking of buildings
  • ventilation delivery and control system evaluation for energy and air quality performance
  • lighting delivery and control system development and evaluation for energy savings and occupant satisfaction
  • machine learning and advanced analytics for large energy data sets to extract actionable recommendations to enable continuous demand response and other cost saving strategies
  • integration of electrochemical storage for increasing the value of building-based renewable energy sources (PV and wind)
Research facilities

NRC clients will have access to these state-of-the-art testing facilities located in Ottawa. In some cases, the testing equipment can be relocated to work on location.

Intelligent building operations

Dynamic building envelope

Large-scale energy system integration

Contact us

If you're interested in developing new construction products, accessing our world-class construction research facilities, or collaborating with our building science experts, contact:

Marcel Lavoie, Business Development Officer
Telephone: 613-949-0529
Email: Marcel.Lavoie@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

Targeted industries

Building owners, building solutions companies, energy utilities, other government departments (federal, provincial and territorial)