Phase 4: Project Proposal and Scope

Phase 4 of the Carbon Neutral Steel Building System (CN-SBS) Research Project will include energy modelling and conceptual building design consulting services to develop a net zero energy consumption case study and compare the life cycle costs (construction, maintenance and energy over 20 years) to an actual “business as usual” case.


Project Understanding

To gain a thorough understanding of the current facility, the following background information will be collected:

  • Utility bills for the previous two years
  • Most recent facility drawings – mechanical, electrical, architectural
  • Building construction costs,
  • Energy related maintenance costs (e.g. HVAC maintenance, light bulb replacements, etc.)

Benchmarking and Operations Analysis

Upon receipt of this information, MMM Group will analyze the utility bills for the previous two years in parallel with the most recent facility drawings available. The drawings will be used to determine building design factors contributing to energy use. Floor area, occupancy, and space usage will be verified and used to gain a better understanding for the factors that affect energy use.

After completing the energy benchmarking and documentation review, they will visit the facility to meet with the project and operations team and walk through the building to confirm our initial assessment, gain an understanding of building systems and operational characteristics and answer any outstanding questions from the benchmarking exercise. During this visit, we will note any specific noticeable energy items in the operation for “process” energy consumption and discuss the operation with the owner/operator to gain a better understanding and identify items to include in energy model.

Energy Model Development

Using the information collected they will create a “baseline model” representing the building as currently operating. Where information is unavailable, the model of the building will include energy modelling assumptions (e.g. installed lighting power density, single zone rooftop units, etc) reflecting current retail industry practice.

A “net zero model” reflecting facility building systems with all agreed upon energy conservation measures installed and operating as designed will be created. The approach to reducing the energy consumption of a building starts with conservation before considering more efficient energy production and/or procurement. To create a net zero retail building they will address energy efficiency measures in the following order:

  • Reduce energy demand
  • More efficient energy delivery.
  • More efficient energy production.
  • On-site energy generation.
  • Off-site energy.

Based on the energy modelling results they will estimate the capital cost and operating cost savings for the net zero building scenario.

They will complete an assessment of the life-cycle impacts for the net zero building including embodied impacts and building and process energy use. Life-cycle cost will also be provided as part of this analysis.