Canadian German Conference on Renewable Energies in Buildings

On May 29, 2015 the Canadian German Conference on Renewable Energies in Buildings took place at the Allstream Centre in Toronto, organized by the Canadian German Chamber of Industry and Commerce Inc. Approximately 50 participants attended the half-day conference to discuss leading technologies and recent developments related to the integration of renewable energies, such as solar, biomass and geothermal into buildings.

After the welcome address given by Emma Sargsyan, Manager Business Development Canada at the Canadian German Chamber, Professor Dr. M. Norbert Fisch of the Institute for Building Services and Energy Design at the Braunschweig University of Technology in Germany gave the keynote speech about the German perspective on buildings and districts as renewable energy sources. He informed the audience about the direction Germany has been taking with Energy-Plus building design technologies, which allow buildings and whole neighbourhoods to generate power to supply to the grid as well as to cover their own energy consumption. He also presented his recent publication "EnergyPLUS: Buildings and districts as renewable energy sources", which can be ordered through the website of the Braunschweig University of Technology.

Three panel discussions followed, the first one on the topic of “The Future of Renewables in Buildings: Net-Zero Buildings”. That panel was moderated by Jim Lord, Director of the Canada Green Building Council Greater Toronto Chapter, and included Prof. Fisch as well as the following experts: Scott Bucking, Research Assistant at the Smart Net-Zero Energy Building Research Network (SNEBRN), Mark Tholen, Architect and Assistant Professor at OCAD University, and Denis Tanguay, CEO of the Canadian GeoExchange Coalition.

Next was the panel discussion “BIPV in the Building Industry”, covering building-integrated solar photovoltaic technologies. It was led by Rob McMonagle, Senior Advisor on the Green Economy for the City of Toronto under the department Economic Development & Culture. Contributors to this second panel were: Patrick Bateman, Director for Market Intelligence & Research at the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA), Bill Wong, Program Manager for the Renewable Energy and Climate Change Program at Leidos, and Loghman Ayar, Architect representing the Ontario Association of Architects.

Finally, the third discussion on “Biomass Energy in the Building Industry” was moderated by Dawn Lambe, Project Manager for the Biomass Innovation Centre, who welcomed Howlan Mullally, Building Sustainability Specialist at Infrastructure Ontario and Rob Maxwell, Manager of the Toronto Renewable Energy Office to the stage.

The Canadian German Chamber thanks to all speakers and attendees as well as the gold sponsor and partner, the City of Toronto, and the two bronze sponsors, Leidos and the Carpenters & Allied Workers Local 27 of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters for their contributions to this successful conference.  The lively discussions during the event and networking breaks demonstrated great interest in the development of building-integrated renewable energy technologies and the bilateral economic relationship between Canada and Germany.

Please find the final program of the symposium here.

Please find below a complete list of presentation contributors: