Request for Information on
Mapping and Analytics for Residential Energy Use and Efficiency Concept Development Study
RFI Issuance Date: February 25, 2020
Response Due Date: April 3, 2020
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) are requesting information to support a concept development study on building energy mapping and analytics. The information being sought includes who undertakes this work, what data they use, what building archetypes they make use of, how they develop and/or operate their models, and how the resulting analyses, maps, and applications could be or are being used.
Mapping and analysis of the energy consumption of buildings is currently undertaken in Canada by local municipalities, energy utilities, and federal agencies independently and for various purposes and across different scales. These groups derive energy usage using many different sources and methods, yet fundamentally the data are the same: understanding of the building stock–the numbers, floor areas, and other characteristics of various building archetypes and how they impact energy usage. Despite this commonality, there is little to no coordination between these groups, resulting in differing methodologies, duplication of effort, lost energy savings, and lost opportunities for climate change mitigation and resilience.
The Building Energy Mapping and Analytics CDS is addressing this challenge by undertaking to:
This RFI document poses a variety of questions on building energy mapping and analysis from stakeholder roles to data sources and technology adoption. OGC and NRCan wish to hear from a wide range of respondents, including those from:
Responses to this request for information will be validated in a subsequent face-to-face workshop in Ottawa, Canada in early May 2020. Results will be compiled in a study report for public release to be presented in two webinars (English and French) as well as in person at the OGC Technical Committee meeting in Montreal in June, 2020. Respondents are welcome to attend the workshop in Ottawa or the meeting in Montreal but are not required to do so..
Executive Summary 1
Table of Contents 3
RFI purpose and scope 4
Organizations supporting this RFI 4
Building Energy Mapping and Analytics Concept Development Study 7
Concept and Motivation 7
RFI Objectives 8
Applications and Benefits 8
Usage Scenarios for Building Energy Mapping and Analytics 8
RFI Response Outline 9
Applications and IT Architecture 11
Data and Data Governance 12
Usage scenarios 14
Operation and Organization 14
Technology and Techniques 15
Other Factors 15
Organizations issuing this RFI 16
How to Respond to this RFI 17
Who can respond 17
General terms and conditions 17
How to transmit a response 17
Questions and clarifications 17
Master Schedule 19
This Request for Information (RFI) is part of an OGC Innovation Program Project entitled “Building Energy Mapping and Analytics Concept Development Study (BEMA-CDS)”. The initiative is sponsored by the Canadian federal government department of Natural Resources Canada.
The purpose of this RFI and the BEMA-CDS more broadly is to gather information and viewpoints from a wide array of respondents to develop a standards-based approach to building energy end-use and efficiency opportunities mapping. Building energy mapping and analytics is seen as important for geo-targeting energy policies, programs, codes, incentives, and technology integration to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon built environment and economy.
The scope of the CDS includes:
RFI responses will be validated in a subsequent face-to-face workshop in Ottawa in May, 2020. Responses will be compiled in a study report for public release to be presented in two webinars (English and French) as well as in person at the OGC Technical Committee meeting in Montreal in June, 2020. The CDS results will serve to inform future OGC innovation program and standards development activities, as well as assist NRCan in carrying forward research and development (R&D) activities in the domain.
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) (Sponsor) seeks to enhance the responsible development and use of Canada’s natural resources and the competitiveness of Canada’s natural resources products. Two groups within NRCan are providing support to the BEMA-CDS:
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is an international consortium of more than 500 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards.
Natural Resources Canada-CanmetENERGY-Ottawa (NRCan-CE-O) is leading a research activity called the Canadian Energy End-use Mapping (CEE Map) project. Funded by the Program of Energy Research and Development (PERD), NRCan’s Innovation Fund and the GeoConnections Program, the CEE Map project plans to develop an online interactive mapping solution that will expose housing energy use and efficiency opportunities data to non-building science professionals, in a usable map format. Priority policy and program applications include municipal housing energy retrofit strategies and utility Demand Side Management (DSM) along transmission and distribution (T&D) lines. It also seeks to deploy authoritative buildings and energy data, standards and technical guidance to enable building energy mapping by other organizations.
The Concept Development Study will scope the current state of development of energy mapping and analytics in the building stock as a whole for both end-use and renewables as they apply directly to buildings; the focus for the development of the architecture will focus on the residential housing stock specifically.
The CEE Map project builds upon and advances past NRCan-CE-O research on energy mapping and building-archetype applications. Experience gained, partnerships developed, and IP generated in other projects (eg. Integrated Community Energy Mapping (ICEM), which includes the Spatial Community Energy, Carbon and. Cost Characterization Model (SCEC3) model and Tract and Neighbourhood Data Modelling (TaNDM) methodology) can inform both the CEE Map project and OGC CDS.
Additionally, NRCan-CE-O is developing housing and building reference archetypes using the Housing and Building Technology Assessment Platforms (HTAP and BTAP). These platforms generate housing and building modelled energy data, for new and vintage archetypes, for all weather regions across Canada for baseline and future scenarios. Work is at present being done with HTAP and BTAP to support the National Building Code of Canada. HTAP and BTAP archetypes and associated datasets will be deployed over the next few years. They are also being leveraged for research purposes in the CEE Map Project. In future, work to combine results from HTAP and BTAP into mapping platforms may also inform the development of alteration / retrofit codes applying to the existing building stock.
Other projects presently underway at NRCan-CE-O include the Low Carbon Community Energy Systems (LCCES) project, which is receptor-driven and focused on R&D for existing communities to support stakeholder needs. It consists of three components: 1. Advanced Technology Development 2. Stakeholder engagement 3. LCCES process development. Ultimately the LCCES project and low carbon community energy technology deployment will benefit from a baseline understanding of building energy use and efficiency opportunities to facilitate strategic technology integration.
NRCan-CE-O is also undertaking renewables resource assessment mapping in the areas of wind, solar, the arctic and hydrokinetic. NRCan CanmetENERGY-Varennes (NRCan-CE-V) is undertaking mapping research to characterize the potential for Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) and Building Integrated Photovoltaics and Thermal (BIPV-T).
Concurrently, NRCan’s Canada Centre for Mapping and Earth Observation (NRCan-CCMEO) is working with Statistics Canada to develop a National Building Layer (NBL). Requirements for building attributes related to energy mapping and modelling have been provided to the National Building Layer initiative to develop the data model and potential attributes for the NBL, the development of which will be piloted in Kelowna, BC. The intent is to deploy building energy mapping in Canada nationally when the NBL becomes available as a base data layer for buildings.
Various Government of Canada priorities, initiatives and reports to which the CEE Map Project and the BEMA-CDS respond include:
Related supporting non-governmental reports that provide background and justification for the BEMA-CDS include:
● Status Report on Community Energy Plan Implementation: A Follow up to the National Report on Community Energy Plan Implementation September 2017
● The Atlantic Canada Energy Data Roadmap
The BEMA-CDS will identify stakeholders, critical concepts, relevant models, and analytical methods based on geospatial data to understand the current practices and promising future directions for building energy mapping and analytics.
Over 400 Canadian municipalities have completed community energy and emissions plans for which they acquire data and conduct or procure modelling. Electric and natural gas utilities procure Conservation Potential Reviews (CPR) and establish Demand Side Management (DSM) programs to achieve energy conservation and efficiency targets. Nationally, Canadian federal government departments conduct surveys and building energy modelling to inform policy and program development, changes to equipment standards and energy performance requirements in the National Building Code of Canada.
Energy usage is derived from different sources and methods including measured energy data, modelled data; various statistical and aggregation techniques are applied inconsistently by different organizations to estimate current and projected end-use and efficiency opportunities. Although data are used by municipal, utility and federal government policies, programs and planning processes at different spatio-temporal resolutions, at a fundamental level, the data is essentially the same. What is required for all of these processes is an understanding of the building stock: the relevant characteristics of various building archetypes and their associated energy usage impacts.
Strategic policy, planning and program efforts of municipalities, utilities and federal policy, program, codes and standards that govern these processes are not, however, harmonized in terms of how to incorporate data, characterize the building stock, and evaluate energy usage efficiency opportunities. The lack of geospatial data coordination in particular results in duplication of effort, lost energy savings and lost opportunities for climate change mitigation and resilience. Access to and use of consistent, authoritative geospatial data on the building stock and its energy performance is a systemic challenge that no one organization can fix alone.
This RFI solicits responses from a wide audience to specific questions in eight subject categories concerning the building energy mapping and analytics domain. RFI responses will form the principal basis for subsequent Concept Development Study activities, such as a validation workshop, results webinars, and a final report released publicly through the OGC Technical Committee.
An OGC Concept Development Study relies on RFI responses and other inputs to develop and communicate an understanding of the principal geospatial data sharing and interoperability challenges and opportunities in a particular domain. As the usage scenarios described below make clear, there are opportunities for realizing the benefits of enhanced data sharing for building energy mapping and analysis, enhanced roles for geographic factors in this work, improved comparability between different workflows based on common data and practices, and improved applicability to the evaluation of programs and policies for increasing efficiency, conservation and renewable energy technology integration.
Three principal usage scenarios for building energy mapping and analytics have been chosen to motivate the questions posed in this RFI. Other usage scenarios may also be relevant now or in the future.
Community energy managers tasked with developing policies and programs to achieve improved energy performance in new and existing buildings have diverse backgrounds. Knowledge of building science and efficiency and renewable energy measures for buildings varies amongst practitioners. They require but may not have ready access to data on building archetypes, their energy-related attributes, and the distribution of those archetypes in the stock. They need baseline and future scenario analysis to support evaluation of various conservation and technology measures that can be incentivized for deployment in new construction and/or as retrofits to existing buildings. For measures that are to be prioritized in the context of integrated resource planning, community energy managers need to know where to deploy them and how much they will cost , as well as a general projection of the estimated energy, GHG emissions and operating energy cost savings at local and community scales.
Program managers in utilities seek to understand the contribution of conservation and efficiency measures to utility demand and load requirements over time and across their service areas. This supports generation capacity planning, the planning and evaluation of Demand Side Management (DSM) programs and infrastructure renewal. Traditional DSM programs have focused on mass-market technology-specific measures such as changing light bulbs, removing old fridges or installing higher-efficiency furnaces. These individual measures are achieving fewer savings over time and miss the more significant energy savings that could be realized, for example, through combining multiple conservation measures into building retrofits. Another consideration is that the migration from large centralized fossil fuel and nuclear power generation to distributed and/or community scale low carbon energy generation may also significantly impact utility transmission and distribution infrastructure.
Utilities use geospatial analysis to inform asset management and right of way planning; however, it is thought that utilities often do not have the practice of using geospatial analytics to inform DSM program planning. With access to geospatially enabled, archetype-specific modelled energy data for baselines and scenarios, it is possible that additional value can be derived from DSM programs in offsetting capital costs for new transmission infrastructure through load reductions realized from conservation and efficiency measures.
Government officials involved in policy, program, standards and construction code development relating to buildings require information on distinct housing or building types, also known as archetypes, to evaluate energy performance for a specific technology or assembly measure. This information informs the development of new or improved programs and policies, and establishes improved performance measures for inclusion in equipment standards or building codes. Data for these stakeholders is currently drawn from surveys, and housing and building simulations. Non-spatial stock analysis is performed by extrapolating results to larger geographies based on total number of dwellings thought to correspond to a given archetype. Limitations of these methods include limited survey sample sizes, and restricted applicability of both surveys and archetypes in smaller geographic areas. It may be challenging to derive meaningful results for emerging bottom-up use cases given these limitations.
Responses to this RFI should take the form of answers to questions in one or more of the following categories.
Importantly, please indicate if you previously responded to the IEA EBC Annex 70 Survey on Building Stock Data Uses and Needs, or, more recently, the review of building energy mapping applications/models conducted by the Posterity Group on behalf of NRCan CanmetENERGY-Ottawa. Information provided in those other studies does not need to be repeated here.
Please note: In this section, questions 4.2.5, 4.2.6 and 4.2.7 are comparable to those posed in the review of building energy mapping models conducted by the Posterity Group on behalf of NRCan in 2019/2020. Skip these questions if your responses were provided to that study.
Please note: Question 4.3.1 is comparable to one posed in IEA EBC Annex 70 Survey on Energy and Building Stock Data, Uses and Needs. Skip question 4.3.1 if you responded to that survey.
Environmental Data & Land Use
Building form typology
Energy use, all fuels
Weather data (e.g. temperature, relative humidity, wind speed)
Energy use demand and peak
Renewable energy resource data (e.g. solar radiation and insolation etc..)
Building energy performance rating
Location data (e.g. X,Y, postal code, city, state or province)
Indoor environmental data (e.g. temp, relative humidity, C02)
Heating, cooling, ventilation, storage systems
Price or tariff
Spatial plan, zoning and density
Carbon intensity of fuel, including electricity
Planning legislation and building codes
System upgrade/ refurbishment costs
Utility infrastructure (e.g. transmission and distribution lines)
Modelled energy data (e.g. energy conservation measures)
Operation and maintenance costs
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) (Sponsor) seeks to enhance the responsible development and use of Canada’s natural resources and the competitiveness of Canada’s natural resources 6 products. We are an established leader in science and technology in the fields of energy, forests, and minerals and metals and use our expertise in earth sciences to build and maintain an up-to-date knowledge base of our landmass. NRCan develops policies and programs that enhance the contribution of the natural resources sector to the economy and improve the quality of life for all Canadians.
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is an international consortium of more than 500 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OGC standards support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. OGC standards empower technology developers to make geospatial information and services accessible and useful with any application that needs to be geospatially enabled. OGC has planned and completed over 100 initiatives – testbeds, pilots, and experiments – designed to join the public and private sectors in hands on collaborative development, testing, prototyping and demonstration of enhanced or new interoperable, standards-based approaches. Recommendations from these initiatives become new or revised open standards and best practices which help to improve decision making, reduce the time and cost in mobilizing new capabilities, and to save lives and minimize the impact to property and the environment.
Responses to this RFI are due by April 3, 2020 as listed in the Master Schedule (see Section 7). Responses will be distributed to members of the organizations listed in section 1. Submissions will remain in the control of this group and will be used for the purposes identified in this RFI. A summary of the RFI Responses may be made public. If you wish to submit proprietary information, contact (email@example.com) in advance of sending the response.
Send your response in electronic version to the OGC Technology Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org) by the submission deadline. Microsoft® Word format is preferred, however, Rich Text Format, or Adobe Portable Document Format® (PDF) are acceptable.
A response to this RFI shall respond to as many applicable aspects defined in section 5 as possible. No particular format is required, but any response should be structured in a way that allows understanding of the respondents’ position on key aspects as listed in Section 6: stakeholders, architecture, data, scenarios & use cases, requirements & constraints, operation & organization, and applications & technologies. Respondents are free to add any additional topic as they think appropriate.
Questions and requests for clarification should be sent to email@example.com.
Questions received as well as clarifications from the RFI developers will be posted publicly at the Building Energy Mapping and Analytics CDS web site:
The organizations issuing this RFI will not reimburse submitters for any costs incurred in connection with preparing responses to this RFI.
Activity / Milestone
February 25, 2020
RFI Responses Due
April 3, 2020
May 7, 2020
Final Presentation at Montreal TC
June 15-18, 2020
Refers to datasets that are too large or complex to be dealt with by traditional data-processing application software, according to any or all of volume, velocity, variety, or veracity.
BTAP: Building Technology Assessment Platform
BTAP is a framework being developed by NRCan to assist in the analysis of the energy performance of technologies used in commercial buildings.
CDM: Conservation and Demand Management
Energy conservation and demand management consists of measures for conserving or otherwise reducing the amount of energy consumed and for managing consumer demand for energy, including a forecast of the expected results of current and proposed measures. (cf.f. O. Reg. 397/11, s. 4 (2).)
CDS: Concept Development Study
Early stage in the OGC process for developing new standards and interoperability practices
DSM: Demand Side Management
The modification of consumer demand for energy through various methods such as financial incentives and behavioral change through education (Wikipedia).
HTAP: Housing Technology Assessment Platform
NBL: National Building Layer
National scale database of building footprints and other attributes for Canada, see also the Statistics Canada Open Database of Buildings.
OCAP®: Indigenous Ownership, Control, Access and Possession
RFI: Request for Information
A CDS stage of widely gathering information from knowledgeable stakeholders on geospatial interoperability and data sharing challenges in a new domain.
The Spatial Community Energy Carbon and Cost Characterization (SCEC3) model was developed by NRCan’s CanmetENERGY-Ottawa for the City of Prince George, BC between 2008 and 2012. It used housing and building simulation on an archetype basis to create a baseline and future scenario projections for the City’s housing stock in support of GHG-related targets, policies and actions in the Official Community Plan.
The Tract and Neighbourhood Data Modelling (TaNDM) project was led by the province of BC and sponsored by NRCan in 2010-12 to improve the structure and level of geography of energy and emissions inventory data. It developed a new bottom-up method for aggregating buildings energy and emissions data by building type to a privacy-compliance threshold.