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CITY (Retro)fit: Supporting Comprehensive Assessment of Urban Built Environment Decarbonization and Electrification Retrofit Strategies

Key project details

Principal investigator Jenn McArthur, associate professor, Mechanical Engineering, Toronto Metropolitan University

Co-principal investigators

Ursula Eicker, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Smart, Sustainable and Resilient Communities and Cities and director of the Next-Generation Cities Institute, Concordia University; Mohamed Ouf, assistant professor, Building, Civil, and Environmental Engineering, Concordia University; Alan Fung, associateprofessor, Toronto Metropolitan University

Research collaborators

Helen Stopps, assistant professor, Toronto Metropolitan University; Russell Richman, professor, Associate Chair, Graduate Studies, Building Science, Toronto Metropolitan University; Mazdak Nik-Bakht, associate professor, Building, Civil, and Environmental Engineering, Concordia University
Non-academic partners National Research Council Canada, NRCan, City of Toronto, Purpose Building, RDH Building Science, Enwave
Research Keywords building archetypes, building retrofit, electrifying built environment, building stock analysis, life cycle carbon emissions
Budget Cash: $250,000 In-Kind: $373,000

Research focus

A detailed 3D model visualization of an urban area with various layers indicating different aspects of the built environment. The image shows a software interface with main layers and services listed on the left side, including options for 'Built Environment', 'Transport', 'Energy', 'Waste' and 'Ecosystem'.

Development of representative archetypes

In this aspect of the research, the focus lies on crafting enriched archetypes that effectively encapsulate the diverse range of building types, sizes, energy systems, and occupant behaviors prevalent in Canadian building stock. These archetypes will serve as representative models for regulators, enabling them to assess the efficacy of existing building codes and regulations. By capturing the nuanced characteristics of different buildings, this research aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the current state of building energy performance and identify areas for regulatory improvement and optimization. 

A detailed 3D model visualization of an urban area with various layers indicating different aspects of the built environment. It features a services menu with options such as 'Building Info', 'Energy Demand' and 'Network Solution'.

Development of city-scale assessment models

This facet of the research project is centered on the creation of city-scale assessment models with multiple objectives aimed at informing policy, identifying feasible low-carbon retrofit strategies, supporting grid planning and operation, enhancing building resilience and facilitating the development of demand response programs. These models will leverage urban building energy modeling (UBEM) techniques to analyze the complex interplay of factors influencing building energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions at a city-wide level. 

Non-academic partners

Thank you to our non-academic partners for your support and trust.

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