Thinking Beyond the Energy Audit to Achieve Deep Carbon Reductions in Existing Buildings

Abstract

 Over the years, energy audits have been the cornerstone of energy reduction programs for existing buildings.  More recently, climate change has shifted the focus from strictly energy use and cost reduction to carbon reduction.  This presentation looks at how a change in mindset and approach to energy audits is needed to achieve deep carbon reduction in existing buildings.  
This paper will share success stories and lessons learned from carrying out deep carbon reduction studies on existing commercial buildings and implementing the findings. The paper will focus on several key areas:
•    Similarities and differences between an energy audit and a deep carbon reduction study
•    Change in mindset needed by practitioners and building owners
•    Practical challenges of implementing deep carbon retrofits
•    Benefits of a low carbon grid in pursuing electrification
•    How to engage staff in the process (both audit and implementation) and the importance of building operations and maintenance considerations.
We will share results from community centres and ice arenas on achieved and measured carbon reductions in the 50-90% range, the approach used office buildings, and challenges and examples from electrification projects used to achieve a deep carbon reduction in the advanced education sector.

Presenter

Sam Thomas
Principal
Prism Engineering Ltd.

Sam’s background includes a broad spectrum of energy studies and audits, electrical and mechanical concept design, field review, and engineering and construction project management.  He has conducted numerous energy and building automation system optimization studies on commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities.  Sam acted as the Energy Manager for the University of the Fraser Valley over a four-year period, and drove the organization to exceed their energy reduction target two years ahead of schedule.  Sam prides himself in effective and open communication, and works alongside clients through all aspects of energy management and engineering projects to ensure success.  Sam manages Prism’s Kootenay office in Nelson, BC.