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Energy Matters: December 2021

Energy Matters: December 2021

As 2021 comes to an end, HSC’s Energy Services team is closing out the year with innovative ideas to inspire as you head into 2022. In this Energy Matters, we announce an upcoming HSC SHARE webinar on deep-energy retrofits, share a list of other great webinars focused on energy and housing, showcase sustainable building approaches from around the world, and remind you how to check your portfolio’s energy performance.

From all of us at HSC, have a safe and happy holiday season!

In this Issue:

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Register for our Upcoming Webinar & Other Top Webinars to Watch Now

Looking for fresh ideas to improve your buildings? Want concrete examples of successful energy projects?

You’ve come to the right place!

Façade at CHH’s Ken Soble tower

Upcoming HSC SHARE Webinar

OCH’s PEER Side elevation with panel layers

We invite Ontario community housing providers and Service Managers to register for our Deep-energy Retrofits in Small and Large Buildings webinar taking place on February 15, 2022 from 10:00 to 11:00 am EST.

In this webinar, you will hear from Sean Botham from CityHousing Hamilton (CHH) about CHH’s Passive House “EnerPHit” retrofit of its Ken Sobel Tower, an 18-storey, 146-unit building in downtown Hamilton. Providing a small building perspective, Daniel Dicaire of Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCH) will walk us through OCH’s pre-fabricated exterior energy retrofit to four townhome units, a pilot project now being expanded across multiple complexes in OCH’s portfolio.

Our speakers will share their retrofit stories, including the measures completed and why they were selected, lessons learned, and next steps.

Other Webinars You Can Watch Now

In addition to our upcoming SHARE webinar, there are many great offerings across the web that are sure to inspire you as you plan new construction or retrofits in your portfolio. Check out the links below for other great webinars focused on energy and housing!

U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Series

With several webinars focused on multifamily buildings, this series features expert speakers on proven best practices, cost-effective strategies, and innovative new ways to approach energy performance. Here are a just a few of the great talks in this series:

  • Combining Energy & Health Upgrades in Multifamily Housing: hear case studies from housing leaders who combined energy and health upgrades to promote health and wellness for multifamily residents and who create innovative partnerships to advance their projects.
  • A New Frontier: Electrification in Multifamily Housing: there is a growing trend toward all-electrification of new and existing buildings in multifamily housing as a means to achieve significant cost savings, reduce carbon pollution, and improve indoor air quality. Hear about programmatic and technological approaches to going all-electric in multifamily housing, current challenges in domestic hot water, and technologies for space heating using heat pumps.

Niagara Regional Housing’s 5 Keys for Sustainable Social Housing Success

Presented by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Niagara Regional Housing shares its experience creating the business case for an efficient, 67-unit seniors affordable housing development. 

Fresh Energy’s Truly Affordable Webinar Series

Fresh Energy is a Minnesota-based organization focused on driving policy solutions to achieve equitable carbon-neutral economies. Its Truly Affordable series looks at the intersection of energy and housing affordability. Check out How Can All-Electric Affordable Housing Really Work? and three other webinars.

New Buildings Institute’s Solving for the 11% Embodied Carbon Footprint in the Built Environment

As operational carbon emissions are addressed through improved energy efficiency in buildings, the idea of “embodied carbon” becomes a larger share of a building’s carbon footprint. This webinar introduces the sources of carbon embedded in manufacturing processes and approaches on low-carbon materials selection, including cost analysis that shows how deep energy and carbon retrofits can make financial sense.

Slipstream Energy Webinars and Courses

Slipstream is a U.S. non-profit organization focused on sharing knowledge to help tackle energy goals. You can register for free to access webinars and courses on a variety of energy and carbon reduction topics related to buildings and new technologies. They also have helpful energy analysis tools and calculators.

Architecture Today’s Housing – New Models, New Lifestyles

This webinar features several speakers who explored how new housing types applied in the United Kingdom could promote sustainability and greater social cohesion.

Interested in hearing about the latest webinars offered by HSC on topics such as energy efficiency, insurance, and more? Subscribe to receive our HSC SHARE webinar and event updates.

The above webinars are suggested for educational purposes only. HSC encourages all housing providers to work with professional technicians for advice on the best products and/or techniques that are right for your portfolio and that support your organization’s broader plan.

Dream Big – Sustainable Building Ideas to Inspire Your Projects

Got the year-end blahs? To help you recharge for 2022, we’ve pulled together some inspiring examples of sustainable building designs, approaches, and solutions spotted in retrofit and construction projects around the world. Not strictly housing, these examples imaginatively incorporate sustainable features from energy and water reduction to green space and more. Whether you find them weird or wonderful, consider how you can adopt their ideas in your own projects to achieve whole building sustainability and savings.

Super Sustainable: Bullitt Center (Seattle)

With a 250-year lifespan, the Bullitt Center was designed as a model for true sustainability and resilience to push architects, developers, bankers, and policymakers to make greater strides in higher performing buildings. A showcase for the Living Building Challenge, the Center leads by example through its exclusion of 362 “red list” toxic chemicals, such as PVC, lead, mercury, and formaldehyde, and its inclusion of a high-performance building envelope, closed loop geothermal system, rainwater collection system with a 50,000-gallon cistern to filter and disinfect water, and a 230,000 kWh/year rooftop solar panel array. For details on its many features and their benefits, check out this case study from the U.S. National Institute of Building Sciences.

Click Image to go to interactive web page. Source: Bullitt Center
Source: Valley

Green Space in the City: Valley (Netherlands)

By integrating dense plantings amid its natural stone façade, Valley creates pockets of sought-after green space on its Amsterdam site.

The structure is targeting a robust Energy Performance Certificate rating and a BREEAM-NL Excellent rating through measures such as solar panels, triple glazing, and off-site energy production.

Award Winning Social Housing: Goldsmith Street (UK)

Goldsmith Street in Norwich, United Kingdom was the first social housing development to win a Stirling prize from the Royal Institute of British Architects. This was just one of many awards this 105-unit development won since its construction. Built to the Passive House standard, the estate incorporates the airtightness, high insulation, and low-energy demand the standard is known for. In addition, annual energy costs are estimated to be 70 percent lower than the average British home.

The seven townhome blocks are arranged with shared secured alley spaces to encourage children to play, while enhanced pedestrian and bike access routes enable connectivity to the city centre. Careful window placement and thoughtfully sloped roofs optimize daylight to promote safety and openness.

Taking Back Brownfields: Newham Housing (UK)

The council in Newham, UK, pursued a pilot project to provide 100 new homes through infill – which refers to major refurbishing of existing structures – on 18 brownfield sites around the borough. One of the firms selected, Bell Phillips Architects, approached the pilot sites as a whole project and designed a new terrace model to apply across all locations, as well as any future sites. The focus was on passive design, long life, and reduced reliance on technologies that could become obsolete. With a model that can be mapped to multiple properties, the project is achieving its infill goals through low-energy, sustainable housing.

All of the projects in the above examples share a deep focus on sustainability, in terms of both the building’s life and its energy and carbon impacts. And while not all of the buildings are used for housing, all of them offer approaches and components that are worth considering for your own new construction and retrofit projects – at least something to aspire to!

Log-in to Check Your Buildings’ Energy Performance

Sample UMP Chart

Winter is a good time to plan for capital projects and improve operational processes. Reviewing your buildings’ utility use is a critical piece to help in your decision making. HSC’s Utility Management Program (UMP) helps you see how your buildings are using energy and water from season to season and from one year to the next. You can use UMP to spot issues such as leaks or excessive consumption, and to identify poor performers in your portfolio.

Log in to UMP to view your latest dashboards and Gas, Electricity, and Water reports. If you have questions on your UMP results, don’t hesitate to contact us!

If you have questions on your UMP results, Contact us!

Other Topics? If you’d like to suggest a topic or want a one-on-one review with HSC staff, please contact us!

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