Humber students investigate energy use in multi-unit residential buildings

Multi-unit residential buildings generate a sizable quantity of greenhouse gas emissions related to their energy use.  As more than half of Toronto’s 2500 high-rise residence buildings were constructed prior to 2001, it is increasingly important that these units are adapted to meet with changing environmental standards by integrating energy monitoring and targeting (M&T) technologies to improve building efficiency.  To investigate which of two M&T technologies better supports energy efficiency in multi-unit residential buildings, RTS Contols partnered with Humber College.


Working with RTS Controls and School of Applied Technology faculty member Dragos Paraschiv, a team of students from Humber’s Sustainable Energy and Building Technology program audited and outfitted two similar GTA high-rise buildings with Building Automation Systems (BAS), which control the mechanical and electrical systems of a building.  In one building, the project team installed a BAS with integrated ‘virtual meters.’  In the other, they installed a BAS system that integrated a combination of smart meters and virtual meters to create a real-time energy management system.  Analysis of these alternatives allowed for an effective comparison of the pros and cons of each M&T strategy, supporting the improvement of energy efficiency in multi-unit residential buildings.


The project provided an opportunity to expand students’ knowledge of energy auditing, modelling, building automation systems and energy meter analysis.  By the end of the project, the team had conducted a building equipment audit, identified end-uses, developed a M&T strategy, helped to select energy meters, acquired meter data, and completed data analysis and conclusions.  All this helping RTS Controls to gain understanding of energy use optimization that can be utilized to expand their services to new clients.


Humber Student Team

Keith Davidge

Eitan Gallant

Andrew Mackie

Melissa Yake


Funding for this project was provided by: