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Decision Making When Designing a Low Carbon Building


J.L. Richards is designing a new head office building in Ottawa, Ontario. We explored options for achieving a low carbon and net zero energy building. As designers and owners of the new building, we were presented with challenges associated with deciding which low carbon elements to include in the building design. The procedure involved analyzing multiple options with the goal of balancing two seemingly opposing priorities: up-front capital expenditure and the desire for a low carbon building.  Multiple products and technologies were analysed for envelope design, heating, cooling & ventilation and on-site electrical generation in order to determine the most attractive options. The final goal the design is a high performance and cost effective building which promotes a healthy and comfortable work environment.   

We will discuss the decision making process and the challenges faced regarding: capital budget, scheduling, technical analysis and the balancing act with apparently opposing priorities.



Jarrett Carriere
Energy Systems Engineer
J.L. Richards & Associates Limited

Jarrett is a certified energy manager with over twelve years of engineering experience in energy systems and renewable energy. He has experience in performance modelling and design optimization of building energy systems, building envelopes, district heating systems, CHP, heat recovery ground source and air source heat pump systems, earth energy systems, photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal systems, and complex heat-transfer mechanisms. He is also proficient in the monitoring, performance analysis, and data driven optimisation of existing systems.