Reserve fund studies and smart buildings
Buildings are among the largest energy consumers in the world. Advances have been made to turn conventional buildings into smart buildings to allow greater supervision and control of the energy resources. Improvements to energy management strategies achieve significant savings.

Advancing sustainable building practices decreases building energy consumption and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. With all the costs of running and maintaining a property, how can building owners and operators maintain reserve funds substantial enough to accommodate the unexpected, while increasing energy efficiency and maintaining occupant comfort? Planning a series of practical and efficient upgrades over the reserve fund investment horizon optimizes returns due to good decision making.

Smart buildings and energy efficiency

After a long period in Canada of low direct energy costs, energy efficiency has swiftly become a general concern. The prospect of rising operational costs incentivises improvements to buildings, which can be achieved over an investment timeframe via good reserve fund planning and implementation. The results improve building value, and will lighten energy use requirements while also reducing GHG and ozone-depleting substance flow to the atmosphere.

Building energy use is governed by the efficiency of building envelope, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, occupants’ behaviour, and lighting. Efficient energy utilization is essential for your property, and one of the first ways you can begin saving money. Smart buildings can implement cutting-edge forecasting, data tracking, and building energy modelling technology to decrease building operating expenses, achieve green building certification, inform policy and code development, and accurately monitor a building’s energy consumption.

RJC’s experts have experience in structural, building envelope, building auditing, and building performance that allows us to understand how to best leverage energy modelling for each individual building, and how to build energy models that best represent real buildings. Our holistic approach to energy modelling means that we understand the whole picture, and how all the components interact with one another.

By using whole building energy modelling software, RJC was able to provide an outline of the requirement needed for buildings like The Wilfred and Lakewood Terrace Housing Co-Operative, taking the opportunity to improve building envelope components during a renovation, thus reducing GHG emissions and saving money by increasing the properties’ overall energy efficiency. Because a renovation will need to last 25 to 50 years, planning for the building’s energy performance over that time frame is strongly recommended.

Energy efficiency for occupant comfort

Measures of occupant comfort refers to a building’s ability to provide a healthy and beneficial environment that promotes performance and productivity. Building owners and operators must be aware of factors including aesthetics, lighting, acoustics, air quality, temperature, and overall satisfaction. These factors have a direct impact on occupants’ productivity, health, wellness, and safety, and an environment that promotes occupant well-being can have a significant positive impact, with the opposite being equally true.

To meet the demanding performance metrics in today’s building codes, the design of building envelope systems has become increasingly complex. RJC stands at the forefront of evolving building science and advanced cladding materials. Our services, demonstrated in projects like 555 Fuller Avenue and The Pearl, range from the design of envelopes for new buildings to the assessment and rehabilitation of existing building enclosures, to optimize your building and promote occupant comfort while maintaining energy efficient and environmental standards.

With inflationary pressures on the horizon and volatile markets, there’s no promise how healthy reserve funds will be in the coming years. Building owners can help ensure the longevity of their buildings with the implementation of smart and sustainable practices that promote energy efficiency and occupant comfort. RJC's engineers have helped building developers, owners, and managers build and care for their properties with these goals in mind, through RJC’s design, assessment, maintenance and restoration consulting services throughout Canada.