Thought Leadership

Interactive: Explore Ontario Buildings' Environmental Impacts

As a sustainability consultant I believe that objective, reliable data and reporting about the energy performance of existing facilities and buildings can drive improvements in efficiency and sustainability. Energy performance information helps to change behavior by highlighting poorly performing facilities for improvement, and by identifying best practices that may be replicated elsewhere.

Recently, RWDI worked on a project that aimed to draw together and illustrate this kind of energy performance information to make it as useful as possible.

Under the Green Energy Act, all public agencies (municipalities, post-secondary institutions, hospitals and school boards) in Ontario must report their annual energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. This requirement has created a large open data trove accessible to building professionals and the general public. It enables us to drill in to understand small details, such a spotting specific outlier facilities (strong performers or weak ones), or step back and see major trends in building energy performance across the province - at least in Broader Public Sector (BPS) facilities.

This visualization allows users to explore the data that was posted by the Ontario government in 2013.

  • The filters can be used to show results from only specific sectors, cities, or organizations. 
  • Results can be colour coded by using the “Colour By” selector to show the sector, organization, or building.
  • Results can be aggregated to the organization level, or shown as each individual building, using the “X-Axis Grouped By” selector.
  • Graphs can be sorted by clicking the button that appears above each Y-axis title.
  • The graph also displays the average of the values shown.

(Note that results were self-reported, so any missing or incorrect data is the responsibility of the reporting agency.)

Infographic prepared by Chris Frankowski, Sustainability Consultant