Humber College in Toronto has a vision for one of its campus buildings: to turn it into a showcase example for the building industry on how to perform deep, near-net-zero energy efficiency retrofits on existing buildings in the Ontario climate. The college plans to make this vision a reality by requiring that the building retrofit achieve the Passive House Institute EnerPHit Classic certification.

The Passive House standard is widely recognized as being one of the most stringent energy efficiency standards in the world. The EnerPHit standard has been designed specifically for retrofit applications and imposes strict limits on heating and cooling demands, airtightness, and energy use intensity (EUI). Through this project, Humber College hopes to house the first EnerPHit certified institutional building in Canada.

We were engaged to complete a calibrated energy model of the building. Our team performed hourly energy modeling to support design development and energy target setting as well as Canada Green Building Council Zero Carbon Building certification. Our calibrations included submeter data analysis, and consulting with occupants and building operators to understand the building occupancy patterns and process loads. Our team will use this energy model to analyze the impacts of various energy efficiency measures and to recommend energy strategies that will assist in achieving the Passive House EnerPHit certification.

Using the measurement database that we have been developing combined with site visits to interview occupants, our team is able to thoroughly understand a building’s occupancy and internal loads (plug loads) trends and magnitudes. With this knowledge, we can provide good estimates of the building’s energy use before we begin modeling it. Additionally, spreadsheet modeling allows us to answer big questions before we dive directly into a full-blown energy model. We can set design directions with the project team early in the process.

In 2019, the NX Building was the first retrofit to achieve the Zero Carbon Building – Design certification from the Canada Green Building Council.

RDH is now conducting measurement and verification, which aims to support an existing building financial incentive for energy savings.

Rendering provided by B+H Architects.


May 6, 2019


B+H Architects


B+H Architects

General Contractor:

Bird Construction

Our Role:

Building Enclosure Consultant, Energy Performance Consultant

Key Services

Design Assistance
Net Zero Design Consulting
Deep Energy Retrofits

One of the main goals of our energy performance services is to inform the design in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability aspects. This can include providing early stage concept design input, completing model iterations to assess the impact of potential design strategies, comparing energy savings against costs, and modeling potential cost savings measures to optimize the design while ensuring performance requirements are met.

Steve Kemp | M.A.Sc., P.Eng., LEED AP BD+C, LEED Fellow

Principal, Senior Energy & Climate Specialist
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