21-1208 Replace EUI with Carbon Reduction

QUESTION

The multi use arena project is a highly unique facility with no useful benchmarks in existence. EUI comparisons are not helpful as energy use various dramatically as a function of what types of shows and events are held in the arena which vary week to week and year to year. As such, what is more appropriate is to simply focus on carbon reductions which is the essence of the zero carbon program. The project fully decarbonized and replaced all gas equipment with electric equipment which was a significant cost premium. This change resulted in 1,476 metric tons of carbon reduced annually simply through the elimination of gas for heating, domestic hot water, dehumidification and cooking. On top of that, the project installed an onsite solar array projected to produce 570,000 kWh annually - one of the largest BIPV installations in the region - and is sourcing the remainder of its electricity through renewable sources. We believe this fully meets and exceeds the intent of the program. Going beyond ILFI requirements currently - the project is also offsetting all Scope 3 emissions - something never done before on a project of this scale and magnitude.

ANSWER

While carbon emissions reduction as a certification metric merits exploration, such exploration would need to be done in the context of an update to the Zero Carbon Standard, which the Institute is not positioned to undertake at present.

At the same time, ILFI appreciates that establishing an operational energy baseline for a multi-use arena including a professional hockey rink may not be a straightforward proposition and is open to proposals for alternative EUI baselines, as provided for in the Baselining Tools clarifications of the Zero Carbon Handbook.

The project team has provided baseline proposals and supporting analysis supplemental to the original request:

  1. EUI baseline (381 kBtu/ft2) based on a combination of closest fit building types available in Zero Tool (fast food restaurant and ice/curling rink)
  2. EUI baseline (140 kBtu/ft2) based on energy consumption data from a 2014 survey of the energy intensity of Canadian ice arenas, and specifically from a subset of multiplex venues
  3. Carbon emissions reduction (unquantified) based on numerous and substantial sustainable transportation, food, and beverage initiatives, focusing on efforts to reduce emissions generated by transportation to and from the venue and by production and delivery of food and beverages to the venue.

While the carbon emissions generated by transportation, food, and beverages associated with venue function are clearly considerable, and the project's efforts important, the operational energy reduction requirement of the Zero Carbon standard is concerned with the building itself. Accordingly, because it offers a relevant source of baseline energy consumption data for the building and program, the project may use the baseline derived from the multiplex subset of consumption data provided by the 2014 Canadian survey.

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