Johnson Controls pilot to decarbonise Canadian buildings

  • March 26, 2024
  • Steve Rogerson

Johnson Controls is installing its OpenBlue technology in the Susan Fennell Sportsplex in Brampton as a pilot project for the Canadian city’s long-term plan to revitalise and decarbonise its facilities.

The zero-carbon retrofit project in Canada’s ninth most populated city will see digital energy efficiency monitoring by OpenBlue technology to help the complex meet the Canada Green Building Counsel’s Zero Carbon Building (ZCB) performance standard, which requires annual verification.

“The city of Brampton’s innovative pilot programme has the power to serve as a model for municipalities across Canada on their journey to net zero,” said Julie Brandt, president of buildings technology in North America for Johnson Controls. “While many cities have articulated net zero aspirations, our collaborative efforts are converting plans into impactful action with tangible cost and energy savings.”

Johnson Controls conducted an assessment of the 16,000 square-metre facility to guide a programme that will help the city achieve net zero carbon operating emissions. Through energy conservation measures, electrification and carbon free energy sources, the city wants outcomes based on achievement of GHG emissions reduction. The project includes HVAC upgrades and optimisation, rooftop solar PV unit installation, a ground source heat loop, solar thermal pool heating and OpenBlue technology to provide ongoing monitoring, measurement and reporting.

Emphasising operational efficiency and addressing updates to major building systems were critical considerations in the planning process. The primary objectives of the upgrades, set to be completed in autumn 2025, are:

  • Elevating facility users’ comfort through heating upgrades and heat recovery optimisation
  • Generating lifecycle cost savings to fund ongoing maintenance
  • Reducing annual utility costs by approximately $195,000
  • Electrification of space conditioning to reduce natural gas use by 99%
  • Resilient building operations through infrastructure upgrades and backup generation

Funding for this sustainability project includes a $15.7m investment through Infrastructure Canada’s Green & Inclusive Community Buildings (GICB) programme and $10m in funding through the Green Municipal Fund’s Community Buildings Retrofit initiative. These funds will not only facilitate cost savings for the city of Brampton but also drive progress towards net zero goals and enhance the dynamic space for resident use. Fostering community awareness and involvement in these efforts, project progress will be on display on kiosks in the facility.

“The investment in the Susan Fennell Sportsplex is not just an investment into the well-being of the community, but also an investment in the future of our planet,” said Sonia Sidhu, member of parliament for Brampton South. “As I have learned, Johnson Controls will aid in retrofitting the centre to be more energy efficient, reduce greenhouse gases and provide a comfortable space for the community. The upgrades of this Sportsplex ensures that every step we take towards being active will also be a step towards a greener, more resilient community for generations to come.”

Patrick Brown, mayor of Brampton, added: “The energy transition is underway in communities across Canada, and the city of Brampton is committed to doing its part to create a cleaner, more sustainable future for everyone to enjoy. Johnson Controls guidance and zero carbon plans are helping to ensure an energy-efficient community space for residents to enjoy and be proud of for generations to come.”

To learn more about Johnson Controls OpenBlue services visit

Johnson Controls ( employs 100,000 people in more than 150 countries.