My name is Marina Timmins. I am originally from Ireland and moved to Vancouver in 2018. I graduated from University College Dublin in 2017 with a Degree in Chemical Engineering. I have been interested in sustainability for a while now, both personally and professionally. I completed a college internship at a Bioethanol Plant in Hungary and prior to moving to Vancouver I worked in the Innovation Centre for an Irish Energy Company. When working in Ireland I came to realise I had a specific interest in what it means to be “sustainable” in the built environment. When I moved to Vancouver, I knew it was the perfect place to dive deeper into this field. I currently work in the Sustainability Department at a Real Estate Development company where my interest and knowledge on sustainability and building energy is continuously developing. Vancouver is a front runner when it comes to the green building industry and I am grateful to be here in such a forward-thinking city. I am very excited to be part of the Women4Climate program and learn from women who are at the forefront of the industry.
Simplifying a whole building’s energy operations into one standalone metric can be difficult. Trying to accurately compare this simplified metric across a portfolio of buildings can be even harder. When it comes to energy benchmarking, many factors are at play.
My project aims to look at the data around building energy consumption, identify how buildings are performing and highlight areas where there might be opportunities for efficiency upgrades. I want to show simplified metrics with understandable and quantifiable saving potentials.
My goal is to accurately benchmark a sample of our portfolio and develop a continuous reporting template. This report will provide detail around how buildings are performing and from this decisions and recommendations on energy upgrades can be made. I want to present high-level, simplified metrics but also have the detail around what these metrics mean when questions are asked. I want to understand the specifics around why one building is performing better than another. I want to build the business case for energy benchmarking and use the data to effect positive, cost effective change in our energy operations.
I work for a vertically integrated real estate developer, we construct, own and operate the majority of our developments. If I can deliver clear messaging to management on the cost effectiveness of energy efficiency in operations through energy benchmarking, my team and I have the unique opportunity to effect change in all elements of a building’s life cycle- from development all the way through to operations.
Building Energy Benchmarking is a project I am working on in my workplace. Some of our buildings have to submit annual benchmark reports as per city guidelines. As I began working on energy benchmarking as a compliance item, I realised that there is huge value in this kind of analysis and it would be worth diving into in greater detail across our portfolio. Presenting accurate and useful benchmarking information has the potential to bring forward a whole new area of opportunity for our buildings.
MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET
My interest in sustainability came about when I was at university and I researched a number of sustainable topics through my coursework. The more I researched energy efficiency, sustainability and renewable energy topics, the more I realised that for the most part all of the technology already exists and there really is no good reason that we should not be deploying these across our countries. Unlike generations before us, we are seeing the effects and the potential gravity of our current climate situation. We have no excuse not to take action and it is our responsibility to commit to creating a more sustainable planet.