From our guest blogger, and new colleague, Chad Berndt…

Blog - Chad Picture2Hello everyone,

I haven’t met many of you yet, but I’d like to introduce myself.  My name is Chad Berndt and I’ve just recently joined UHN in the Energy & Environment Team as an Energy Project Manager.  My mandate is to review new and existing building installations to identify and implement energy saving opportunities.  UHN’s goal in this respect is to make sure that energy is used with a purpose and used efficiently; that way there’s more money to spend on programs and we reduce the impact on the environment.  At the same time, we humans spend 90% of our time indoors, so the comfort and functionality of these indoor spaces must be maintained or improved.  It’s a good goal.

You may already know this, but here are some facts about buildings:

Building Energy & Water Use (across all sectors, EPA Data for US, 2009)

Building Facts Chart - Chad

So you see that buildings use a large significant portion of our overall energy, electricity, and water (water would be a  higher percentage if we didn’t use so much for agriculture, but that discussion is for another day).  So if we want to reduce our environmental impact, costs, and greenhouse gas emissions, it is of critical importance that we manage these resources effectively.   Hospitals use the most energy per square foot of any building type (non-industrial), and with this number increasing (see below) even a small improvement can result in big savings.

Energy Consumption by Building Type, Selected Years 

energy consumption by building type Chad

(Source: 1983 through 1995 CBECS)

I come to UHN with a strong background in sustainability.  For the last 5 years I worked for Enermodal Engineering out of the Calgary office.  I served a number of roles, but my primary focus was in building commissioning.  Commissioning involves third party review of the design, construction, and operation of building mechanical and electrical systems.  I’ve also personally certified a half dozen LEED projects, while contributing to the certification of many more.  My experience rounds out with that in the design of green campuses, waste audits, energy modeling, and M&V (measurement and verification).   I’m a P.Eng, CEM, and LEED AP.  And while I grew up in BC, I actually went to university here at UofT.

There’s a great cartoon sketch I saw recently and an idea I’d like to leave you with.  The cartoon is of many stagnant motorists, with various thought bubbles complaining of the other drivers and being stuck in traffic (who hasn’t).  You can almost feel the exasperation.  The caption reads “You aren’t stuck in traffic, you are traffic”.  I think that’s the mentality we need to have, to take it upon ourselves to be better, so that we can all live in a better world.  It’s a subtle change in the way we look at the world but it can have a big impact.  I look forward to meeting and working with you all and I leave you with this quote.

“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body.  If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.  As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.  This is the divine mystery supreme.  A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness.  We need not wait to see what others do.”  ~Mahatma Ghandi