The Compass project endeavors to create a streamlined energy benchmarking and reporting tool for new construction projects at the design stage. By providing market-wide benchmarking analytics, this tool will enhance the quality of modelled energy performance, improve the energy literacy of the design community, improve conservation program delivery, and ultimately reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from every proposed building development in Ontario.
Compass automatically extracts up to 400 building and performance characteristics from each project that is uploaded. Users can use this data to generate draft program submission documents, to check models against a database of like-buildings, or just to explore the proposed building stock of Ontario.
Most new buildings in Ontario will need an energy model to prove compliance with one, or several, programs and/or regulations. Once the models are checked for compliance, the data inside of them will never be used again. Compass aims to put that data to use to help inform future building design.
Compass is owned and operated by Sustainable Buildings Canada, and governed in part by our Advisory Committee. The automated extraction code and database structure was developed by RWDI Inc., with generous support from The Atmospheric Fund and the Independent Electricity System Operator.
User accounts are organized into Firm profiles to enable information sharing among users from the same company. All user accounts with email domains that match the Firm will be linked, and will share access to all uploaded Firm projects.
Each user account will be tied to a unique email address. At this time, accounts cannot be deleted by a user. The “Forgot Password” function will reset the password of an account, and send an update link by email. This can be used to manage access to a Firm’s projects (e.g. when a user leaves a Firm).
The EnergyCompass.design User Agreement governs access to, and all use of, the Compass website and database, including any downloadable material. In addition, the User Agreement defines what data will be disclosed to the public and what data is kept private. Each user must agree to the terms of the User Agreement to register for an account.
Compass has established an Advisory Committee to protect the rights and interests of its users. The Advisory Committee will oversee the implementation of the User Agreement, review any proposed changes to the User Agreement by the Owner, and review and recommend solutions to any user concerns over data privacy and security.
User privacy is important to us. Data extracted from energy models will only be shared in the database when the “Shared” option is selected on each Project Version page. At that time, only “Shared Data” will be disclosed through the Explore tools and Download option. Users will be able to see all Shared and “Private Data” for their own projects, and any projects belonging to their firm.
Shared data is defined by the User Agreement, and refers to information within the Compass database that is available for download by all users of the tool. Shared data is also used to generate the visualization tools found on the Explore pages. Shared data is limited to anonymized information, normalized data, and building characteristics that cannot be used to identify a project. These limitations include:
The full list of shared data can be found in the EnergyCompass.design User Agreement.
Private data is defined by the User Agreement, and refers to information within the Compass database that is only available to the firm that uploaded the project. Individual users can see the private data from all projects within the firm’s portfolio. All data points that are not identified as “shared data” are considered private data. Private data can include:
The full list of private data can be found in the EnergyCompass.design User Agreement.
All data is stored in a secured data center located in Toronto, Ontario.
The purpose of energy modelling is not to predict actual built energy cost or energy consumption of a proposed building after construction. Instead, energy modelling is a decision facilitation tool used to evaluate the relative performance of energy conservation measures and facilitate design decisions that improve built energy performance. As such, the data within Compass should not be used to evaluate the actual performance of a building: “actual experience will differ from these calculations due to variations such as occupancy, building operation and maintenance, weather, energy use not covered by this standard, changes in energy rates between design of the building and occupancy, and precision of the calculation tool” (ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013, 11.2 Informative Note).
A long-term goal of Compass is to incorporate metered data with modelled performance metrics, but this comes with some complications. Software already exists to benchmark existing buildings using metered data, so the focus for now is in creating a database of modelled buildings in Ontario.
The extracted data from Compass should be reviewed by an energy modelling professional prior to submission of any documentation. Compass is not responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the energy model, extracted data, or database. This tool is meant as a guide only.
Compass can extract data from energy models created using the following compatible software versions:
DOE2 (eQuest, EE4) - Compatibility has been tested with models created with the DOE2.1 and DOE2.2 simulation program.
IES-VE - IES-VE 2017 is required to run VE-Scripts that generate the necessary output.
EnergyPlus - Compatibility has been tested with Energyplus 8.7.0+
DOE2 (eQuest, EE4) - In addition to the default report outputs, hourly reports are required for HPNC reporting. The .sim output file is uploaded to Compass.
IES-VE - A custom VE-Script needs to be run in IES-VE with the the model open and the .aps result files available. The generated .json file is uploaded to Compass. A video explaining the process is available here. The VE-Script is available here.
EnergyPlus - Specific output settings must be entered into the .idf input files. The generated .html file is uploaded to Compass.
Some building characteristics are not found within an energy model’s files. These will need to be manually inputted by the user.
You can upload multiple iterations of one building’s energy model using the “Add a version” function. Select the version you want to be included in the Explore tools and/or database by selecting “Shared” on the project's Version page. Only one Version of a Project can be shared.
The documentation for six building-related programs and standards can be generated using Compass:
Ontario Building Code SB-10 Compliance - Form A, Form 11
Toronto Green Standard v2 - Energy Modelling Report Summary
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Canada 2009 - LEED Letter Template
Savings By Design Incentive - Energy and Demand Summary; Custom Project Worksheet
2030 Challenge - Program Reporting
High Performance New Construction (HPNC) - IESO Incentive Worksheet
To generate these forms, navigate to the Detailed Results page of a Project Version. Note that it is the responsibility of the user to review the accuracy of the Compass tool outputs.
In order to maintain the relevance of the Compass tool for users, the standards and programs that are included will be reviewed regularly, and extraction scripts will be developed or modified as required to accommodate changes or updates. Modelling software updates will be similarly added as they become available.
The automated data extraction process cannot adapt to unusual modelling practices or the work-arounds that are sometimes required for complex buildings. It is the responsibility of the user to review the accuracy of Compass outputs and results for each uploaded project.
Three visualization tools have been developed to facilitate exploration of the shared data within Compass. The tools are accessed through the Explore pages.
Energy Breakdown - This tool allows the user to explore how the buildings in the Compass database use their energy, by displaying the energy end-use breakdown or the fuel-type breakdown, for each project. Filters can be applied to enable comparison to like-projects.
Bubble Chart - This tool explores the impact of each project within the context of the whole database. A single analysis metric is selected by the user, and each bubble represents a single project, with bubble size used to demonstrate relative impact. Colours can also be used to group the projects by like characteristics; filters can be applied to enable comparison to like-projects.
Parallel Coordinates - This tool displays the specific building characteristics of each project, to explore how different characteristics impact the total energy performance. Filters can be applied to enable comparison to like-projects.