At ESBES, we offer a diverse range of services to help our clients save on energy

Energy Modeling

Energy Modelling is the process of creating a computerized model of a building design to estimate its operational annual energy consumption. It is also used to evaluate the payback of different energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions like upgraded insulation, high performance glazing, HVAC technologies, and solar panels and photovoltaics among others. A replica of a building is constructed in a virtual environment and simulations are performed using a set of hourly weather data.


The publication “An Architect’s Guide to Integrating Energy Modelling in the Design Process” describes the benefits enabled by energy modelling throughout the different stages of design. Concept stage to Design Development energy models address fundamental design parameters and provide feedback to the design team on how the form, orientation, massing, mechanical equipment, and other variables will likely affect the project’s performance in terms of energy, daylighting, comfort, and other design characteristics.


In addition to design assistance, energy modelling is used to prove compliance against local and national building codes. There are two main approaches to prove compliance with the energy code, a prescriptive approach (or its sub-category, a trade-off approach) and a performance approach.


In contrast to the prescriptive method where every component should comply with a minimum performance level, the energy model used in the performance path provides the design team with the most flexibility and will lead to the biggest savings in construction cost. Performance-based compliance is typically expressed in terms of “percent better than” energy use in comparison to a baseline. This means that the design team has the flexibility to select various combinations of design strategies, components, and technologies that provide the greatest energy savings for the lowest cost.


At ESBES, we have over 16 years of technical research, energy conservation and energy code compliance work. We have helped optimize numerous designs by assessing early stage factors such as building orientation, envelope performance, lighting, and HVAC design options. We have worked on code compliance and green building certifications for a wide spectrum of building types and applications.


We provide energy modelling services for building permit applications in compliance with part 8 of the 2015 National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB). We note that NECB 2015 was adopted within the Nova Scotia Building Code Regulations (section of the Nova Scotia Building Code Regulations made under Section 4 of the Building Code Act, effective April 1, 2017).


We also provide energy modelling services in partnership with Efficiency Nova Scotia for their New Construction rebate program. ESBES is an Efficiency Nova Scotia accredited service provider.

Energy Management & Energy Audit

There is an increasing need in business and industry to more effectively manage energy use. An energy management plan is a tool designed specifically to maximize a building’s productivity while minimizing its energy use. It is a roadmap to help organizations reach their goals for reducing energy consumption while simultaneously achieving cost savings. Most plans will include measures to improve energy efficiency. Progress in the plan is tracked to allow for reevaluation and implementation of dynamic goals.


Technology alone cannot achieve optimal savings. It is only when coupled with Operations and Maintenance (O&M) practices, as well as management systems, it can lead to significant savings.  An effective Energy Management System is a continuous, dynamic process based on the following key aspects:

  • Integration of the organizational and technical aspects
  • The implicit importance of the people or human element
  • A continuous dynamic process in which the organizational elements are regularly reviewed and the technical elements are revised for optimal result


An energy audit is key to developing an Energy Management Program. Although energy audits have various degrees of complexity and can vary widely from one organization to another, every audit typically involves:

  • Data collection and review
  • Plant surveys and system measurements
  • Observation and review of operating practices
  • Data analysis


The audit is designed to determine where, when, why, and how energy is being used. This information is then utilized to identify opportunities to improve efficiency, decrease energy costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Energy audits can also verify the effectiveness of Energy Management Opportunities (EMOs) after they have been implemented.


At ESBES, we have completed energy audits for over 90 buildings ranging from ASHRAE level I to ASHRAE level III or investment grade audits. Buildings covered include banking institutions, primary and secondary educational institutions, office buildings, science buildings and laboratories, residential and university buildings among others.