Zero Carbon Building Design

Low carbon building
Building Systems and Engineering Design, Renewable Energy, Renewable Energy & Microgrid Design, Research and Innovation
About This Project

Internat Energy Solutions Canada (‘IESC’) has been tasked by the Corporation of the Town of Halton Hills to examine the feasibility of a high-performance building retrofit of their Town Hall, located at 1 Halton Hills Drive in Georgetown, Ontario. The intent was to develop a 10-year plan to ultimately achieve Zero Carbon Building (ZCB) certification as defined by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC). The project included the analysis of four retrofit pathways, their associated energy performance, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and complete life cycle cost and financial analyses.

IESC performed a complete data and document review as well as a site visit in order to fully understand the existing building systems and performance. A baseline energy model was created and calibrated to historical utility data, allowing for the accurate representation of the operation of the existing building. Once the existing building and site were fully understood, four retrofit Pathways were developed and analyzed in detail within this study. Each option includes retrofit components of the existing building systems (building envelope, mechanical and electrical). In addition, renewable energy strategies are presented, as well as building automation system (BAS) control strategies, while taking into account additional considerations such as future building expansion and COVID-19 response.

The retrofit Pathways were analyzed using energy modelling techniques to predict the overall performance of each Pathway at the end of the 10-year implementation and upon application for Zero Carbon Building (ZCB) certification. Tabular summary of the financial analysis as well as energy and GHG emission performance of the four Pathways, including Class C cost estimates were provided to the decision makers.

IESC designed detailed strategies for following pathways

  • Optimize existing building systems
  • Geothermal
  • HVAC Overhaul
  • Maximum Savings including HVAC overhaul


The design and strategy team provided additional tools to reach ZCB performance target as follow:

  • Incentives and project funding opportunities.
  • Detailed renewable energy analysis including Solar Photovoltaic (PV) system.
  • Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) of each pathway
  • Implementation plan including logistics and staff distribution
  • Impact of fuel switching


Projected Benefits:

  • Meet climate leadership objectives cost effectively
  • Reduce risk to asset value due to future extreme weather
  • Drive innovation and economic growth
  • Avoid costly and disruptive future retrofits
  • Achieve lifecycle value through O+M savings
  • Improve comfort, health and productivity
  • Protect against rising energy and carbon pollution prices


  • Renewable energy design
  • Scenario analysis
  • Energy modelling
  • Electrical design
  • Multi-system controller design

Project Customer:

Halton Hills

Project Location:

Georgetown, ON