OCH Staff Given Young Energy Professional of The Year Award
Ottawa Community Housing takes the phrase “going green“ seriously.
In the past 10 years, we have worked to reduce the impact our operations have on the environment, by building more efficient housing and doing renovations in some of our existing communities to reduce the amount of energy used to heat and cool tenants’ homes.
In recognition of this work, Daniel Dicaire, OCH’s Manager of Conservation and Sustainability, was named the “Young Energy Professional of The Year” from the Association of Energy Professionals for Canada on November 18. He said that the work he has been doing for the past decade has been really rewarding, and he is proud to work for such a progressive organization.
“Thank you to OCH and its leadership team for believing in me,“ he said.
SOME EXAMPLES OF GREEN PROJECTS
Whenever OCH builds new housing, the goal is to make it run as efficiently as possible. New OCH buildings aim for passive house performance – that means they consume up to 85 percent less heating and cooling energy than traditional buildings. Some OCH projects that aim for that standard are the mixed-use seniors building at 1290 Coldrey that was completed in 2019, and a retrofit of four townhomes on Presland Avenue. As part of the PEER project, their exterior walls are being retrofitted as part of a partnership project with Natural Resources Canada. The work will provide a much-needed facelift for the homes, and reduce the energy required to heat and cool them. The work will also include a bank of solar panels.
Another important part of OCH’s green work is working with tenants to reduce energy and water use, and divert waste from the landfill.
OCH installed several building automation systems that help reduce energy consumption for heating and cooling and allows staff to monitor the heating and water systems for anything that requires repair.
Currently, 30 apartment buildings have lobby screens that show the building‘s energy consumption and offer tips on how to reduce your energy use.
Over the past 10 years, Dan and his team have coordinated the installation of 500 MW of solar arrays on 36 different OCH sites. That allows us to produce energy and send it back into the hydro grid.
Another key investment was a LED light retrofit – replacing 30,000 interior and exterior light fixtures throughout the portfolio to save more than 4.6 MWh of electricity each year – which is about half of what it takes to power an average for a year.
“Our organization has big plans, and there is much more amazing work to come,“ Dan said.