Carleton University’s Burak Gunay Receives Funding to Improve Building Efficiency

Carleton University’s Burak Gunay, and fellow researchers Liam O’Brien and Scott Bucking, have received $510,000 from the NRCan Green Infrastructure Fund to develop new data-mining tools that will improve building energy efficiency, occupant comfort, health, and workplace productivity.

Carleton University Canal building — Photo Courtesy of

“Carleton continues to take the lead on advances in sustainable construction,” said Rafik Goubran, vice-president (Research and International). “This research program will maximize the energy efficiency of buildings and ensure that the potential for green construction is realized on our campus and beyond.”

In addition, CopperTree Analytics, Delta Controls, Sensible Building Science and Bentall GreenOak each provided $30,000 of in-kind support totalling $120,000.

According to the University, this project will apply state of the art data mining techniques to analyze operational data sources such as building automation systems, energy meter networks, computerized maintenance management systems and Wi-Fi traffic data.

This data will be used to detect operational abnormalities and sub systems that may not be working correctly.

“There is a lot of focus on designing energy efficient buildings, but even well designed buildings can function inefficiently unless further quality assurance measures are taken,” said Gunay, assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “Without the proper tools it is very difficult for building managers to diagnose problems and correct them. This tool will provide operators with key metrics and insights into building functionality.”

The researchers have already applied the new technology of correcting programming errors in the environmental controls to Carleton’s Canal building, which according to the University, has resulted in saving approximately 30 per cent in office energy use.

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