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A ZERO CARBON TRANSITION


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THE CITY OF BRAMPTON: MANAGING ENERGY AND EMISSIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE OUTCOMES

WRITTEN BY

WILLIAM SMITH PRODUCED BY

CRAIG KILLINGBACK


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CITY OF BRAMPTON

CHUN LIANG, SUPERVISOR, ENERGY MANAGEMENT AT THE CITY OF BRAMPTON, ONTARIO, DISCUSSES THE ROLE SUSTAINABLE ENERGY HAS TO PLAY IN MEETING EMISSIONS TARGETS

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limate change matters pertaining to emissions and sustainable sources of energy are high in the public conscious-

ness. Energy generation measures such as solar 04

panels and wind turbines serve as symbols of energy that are more sustainable because they reduce emissions at large, with an emissions strategy often functioning as the vanguard for sustainable outcomes. Chun Liang is Energy Management Supervisor at the City of Brampton, Ontario, and is responsible for the energy and emissions strategy of City owned buildings. He credits the urgency of global warming as inspiring his entry into the field. “Right before I got into energy performance contracting, the Kyoto Protocol came into effect and said two things: global warming is happening and human activity is contributing to it. Warming is related to emissions which are generated by the energy that we use, especially the burning of fossil fuels, so I thought to myself, ‘this is a great time to get into energy


Photos courtesy of the City of Brampton

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CITY OF BRAMPTON

performance contracting – the world is moving on this, and I can join the movement to help the planet and recover energy costs’.” In his current role, Liang has used his energy background to help rectify some of the challenges Brampton faces. This includes a large portfolio of older buildings that have a number of energy performance issues including building envelope and building automation systems. Some have outdated automation systems so Liang initiated a technology

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“TOO OFTEN WE WORK IN SILOS WHEN WE COULD BE SHARING KNOWLEDGE AND LESSONS LEARNED” — Chun Liang, Supervisor, Energy Management, City of Brampton


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘UNLOCKING DOWNTOWN BRAMPTON’S POTENTIAL: CONCEPTUAL VIDEO’ 07 investigation including discussions

has brought his experience to bear on

regarding a unified display portal

properties in Brampton, and one of

(single pane of glass view) with key

the major potential energy efficiency

stakeholders to determine the best

improvements comes from heating.

solution for the City of Brampton.

“When you look at the energy and

“The hope with a unified display is that

emissions pie chart of a building,

building operators will have an easier

especially in an Ontario, Canada

time managing the control of many

context, much of it is from heating

different buildings, improve energy

since we’re burning fossil fuels for

performance and increase occupant

eight months a year. That is a major

comfort.” With an energy performance

consideration for us because it

and modelling background to ensure

applies to both of our objectives: to

buildings meet targets, including

reduce energy use while also reduc-

energy performance targets under

ing our emissions. The focus for the

the LEED building rating system, Liang

next five years – the term of the City’s w w w.bra mp ton . ca


CITY OF BRAMPTON

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Zero Carbon Transition Plan – is

new structures are built to high

finding ways to reduce natural gas

performance standards. “The City

use in the City’s existing buildings.

of Brampton is designing, building

A recent successful project done

and renovating many new community

by the energy management team

centers, fire stations, etc. due to

was the installation of heat recovery

population growth. The energy

system. “This system recovers heat

management group works closely

from swimming pool drain water at

with our building design and construction

one of the City’s community centres,”

division, collaborating with them,

says Liang.

to integrate energy design into the

While effective measures can be

buildings.” To achieve the energy

taken to improve the energy perfor-

targets required, Liang and his team

mance of existing buildings, future

have introduced parametric energy

gains can be achieved by ensuring

modeling that uses cloud computing


as one of the central tools. “The benefit of energy modeling on the cloud is that it can quickly simulate interactive effects, thereby drastically reducing the amount of time it takes to produce options that not only provide optimal energy performance but can also illustrate paths for emissions and operating cost reductions. If we change lights to LED or we use more daylighting, what effect does that have on the heating? Strategic use of daylight for a building can also be a passive form of heating which can help to reduce emissions associated

E XE CU T I VE PRO FI LE

Chun Liang, Supervisor, Energy Management Chun Liang is an energy management professional with over 20 years of experience in the building industry including HVAC design and construction, energy performance contracting, building energy modelling and LEED consulting. He is currently the Supervisor of Energy Management at the City of Brampton responsible for strategic planning, project delivery, energy procurement, utility management, third party funding and reporting.

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CITY OF BRAMPTON

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“I T’S NOT JUST ABOUT ENERGY EFFECTS, BUT ALSO OCCUPANT COMFORT” — Chun Liang, Supervisor, Energy Management, City of Brampton

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“W E’RE IN A RACE AGAINST TIME TO HIT THE PROVINCIAL AND FEDERAL EMISSION REDUCTION TARGET, WHICH IS BASED ON THE PARIS AGREEMENT, SO WE NEED TO TRANSITION TO ZERO CARBON AS SOON AS WE CAN” — Chun Liang, Supervisor, Energy Management, City of Brampton

and the federal government has set an 80% reduction target by 2050, which is in line with the Paris Agreement to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050. Our Zero Carbon Transition Plan is predicated around these targets. We’re looking at reducing our energy use for new and existing buildings by 30% by 2030. We’re targeting various measures: heating, ventilation, air conditioning systems and building envelope. We’re going to use heat recovery: recycling waste heat wherever possible. Once you get the energy demands of the building down, then the next step is to look at renewable technology. That’s the most efficient

with heating.” Aside from utilizing

way to approach it. It’s energy

sustainable energy, such measures

management 101.” Other innovations

have the knock-on effect of improving

geared towards meeting the city’s

the experience of citizens, as with the

targets include innovations in passive

natural light provided by daylighting.

heating. “The SolarWall is a matte

“These are the types of things that we

black surface that can be put on top of

also look at. It’s not just about energy

a building’s exterior wall, leaving an air

effects, but also occupant comfort.”

gap,” says Liang. “The sun hits this

Such measures are to play a vital

black surface, and transfers energy to

part in achieving the city’s ambitious

the wall and air gap. The air is heated

Zero Carbon Transition Plan. “The

in that gap and then brought into the

provincial government has set a target

building to preheat the air for ventilation.

of 30% emissions reductions by 2030,

“We expect to verify the energy savings w w w.bra mp ton . ca

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CITY OF BRAMPTON

for a system installed at a City of Brampton building as it has found success in other building applications.” The system may be able to reduce emissions associated with heating. Regarding the reduction of vehicle emissions, charging stations for electric cars have been installed at City owned buildings with a focus on public facing sites such as libraries and community centres. “We’re in a race against time to hit the provincial and federal emission 14

reduction target, which is based on the Paris Agreement, so we need to transition to zero carbon as soon as we can,” says Liang. It is obvious that Brampton is proactively contributing to this effort, setting targets and bringing in concrete measures to ensure their achievement. Nevertheless, sometimes advancements can bring their own drawbacks. “We have a number of solar photovoltaic installations that generate electricity for us, and they provide a steady stream of revenue, as well as reducing our electricity use. The challenge is the cost of electricity. If we switch over to electricity to heat our buildings, electricity costs


significantly more than natural gas per equivalent energy unit, so the question is, how do we bridge that gap? It’s kind of an open question.” One possible solution to this conundrum is an improvement in the way society works together. “I’m hoping to see more collaboration between municipalities, utilities, and the private sector. Too often we work in silos when we could be sharing knowledge and lessons learned. For example, a battery storage project can provide resiliency for a building and perhaps also provide part of its energy needs for heating and cooling. This approach provides great co-benefits, if the costs of off peak battery charging can be lowered further. That’s something I hope to see more of in the future. As we collaborate and collectively pool our resources, we accelerate the case for sustainability.”

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City of Brampton 2 Wellington Street West Brampton, ON L6Y 4R2 T 905.874.2000 www.brampton.ca

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City of Brampton August 2019  

City of Brampton August 2019