Green Heat: Low Carbon Energy Generation for Heating Existing Buildings

Test Drives

The Department of National Defence will put your tech through its paces.

The Challenge

The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) are seeking a large-scale, low carbon energy generation/transfer system for heating existing buildings by integrating with their current hydronic heat distribution systems.

What IDEaS Provides

IDEaS provides the funding for the solution to be installed and operated by the innovator at the designated test building (VC-31) at Canadian Forces Base Kingston.

What Innovators Bring

A large-scale, low carbon energy generation/transfer system for heating existing buildings by integrating with the building’s current hydronic heat distribution systems that the innovator will install and operate.

Technology Readiness Level

To be considered for this Test Drive, your proposed energy generation/transfer technology must have already completed the technical work associated with TRL 6: “Simulated Demonstration—near-end state solution is demonstrated and tested in a simulated environment.” This ensures that proposed solutions are ready for the TRL 7 or higher testing efforts that will occur during this project where the “near-end state solution is demonstrated and tested in an appropriate real-world environment.”



On March 21, 2022, the IDEaS program awarded a 477k contract to Black & McDonald to implement their solutions for the Green Heat challenge. In the coming years, this Ontario based company will undertake the endeavor of converting an existing building by integrating their current hydronic heat distribution system.

The objective of this project is to acquire, install, and operate a large scale low carbon energy generation and storage system for heating an existing building in order to assess the effectiveness and costs of such a technology. A building at CFB Kingston (building VC-31) has been selected as the test building for this project, which will:

  • maintain the building on the existing electrical power grid, as this project will only modify the heating systems of the building, not the lighting or other electrical demands;
  • disconnect the building from the central steam plant;
  • install an appropriate green energy heating solution (such as wind or solar power);
  • if required, install a compatible energy storage system to enable energy delivery even when the generation system is off-line (due to weather or daylight for example);
  • maintain a backup heating connection to manage a failure of the new system to provide sufficient heat to keep the building operational; and,
  • run the installation for approximately two years to determine its effectiveness, costs, and scalability for applications across DND’s footprint.

This project is being conducted in distinct phases:

Concept Development Phase

Completion of a detailed concept to integrate the selected solution into the test building.

Design Phase

Preparation of detailed design documents (drawings and specifications).

Construction Phase

Installation,initial testing and commissioning of the system to ensure the building is ready for occupancy and operational trial of the energy solution.

Operational Phase

Continuing through several seasons of test, data collection and evaluation.

Final Reporting Phase

Detailed report on the results of the technology and recommendations on the scalability and applicability to the wider DND infrastructure footprint.

The Green Heat Test Drive is an integral piece of a government-wide mandate focused on carbon emission reduction. As the project enters its Design Phase, preparations are well under way to achieve an environmentally responsible and sustainable way to convert DND’s existing infrastructure. At this stage, Black and Macdonald has already provided a detailed concept as part of the Concept Development phase. Progress reports highlighted the anticipated approach which Black and MacDonald are in the process of implementing. Thus far, an investigation was conducted in order to assess the roofing structure for the installation of solar panels, as well as a geophysical assessment of the soil for pads and storage tanks.



The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) are seeking a large-scale, low carbon energy generation/transfer system for heating existing buildings by integrating with their current hydronic heat distribution systems. A test building has been selected in Kingston, Ontario for a Design-Build team to design and install an innovative system, in order to assess the effectiveness and the costs of these integrated technologies, with the aim of reducing the energy demand and carbon footprint of DND/CAFs infrastructure portfolio. The potential funding for the Design-Build contract component of the project has been established in the range of $5,500,000.


The Government of Canada is committed to reducing its absolute Scope 1 and Scope 2 Green House Gas (GHG) emissions by at least 90% below 2005 levels by 2050. Currently, 60 percent of the energy requirements in DND facilities is for space heating, of which 90 per cent is generated from the burning of fossil fuels. Given that DND has more than 10,000 buildings in its portfolio, the need to address the GHG emissions of these buildings is essential. The challenge is in finding ways to convert these buildings to low carbon heating without requiring a major building retrofit, which would be cost prohibitive.

It is recognized that in addition to how energy is generated/transferred, reducing GHG emissions can also be effected by improving the energy efficiency of a building with such technologies as improved windows or better insulation. With that understood, this research project is focusing only on the energy generation/transfer aspects of the overall issue. The results of this research will enable future large scale decisions where all such additional factors and options will be merged and considered.



This call is now closed.

The following is a listing of the criteria that was used during the evaluation and selection process. A more detailed description of each was included in the procurement documentation, available through the MERX website.

  • 1 - Mandatory Company Requirements
    • M1 Industrial Security
    • M2 Consent of Surety Letter
  • 2 - Technical Pass/Fail Criteria
    • PF1 Alignment to the intent of the Green Heat Project
    • PF2 Technology Readiness Level (TRL)
    • PF3 Human Factors
    • PF4 Site Constraints
    • PF5 Thermal Demand
    • PF6 Performance Monitoring
  • 3 - Design-Build Team Pass/Fail Criteria
    • DB1 Organization of the Design Build Team
    • DB2 Comparable Design Project
    • DB3 Comparable Construction Project
    • DB4 Key Personnel
    • DB5 Schedule
  • 4 - Technical Rated Criteria
    • TR1 Environmental Impact
    • TR2 Thermal Recovery After Cold Soak
    • TR3 Scalability
    • TR4 Functionality in Different Climate Zones
    • TR5 25 Year Life Cycle Cost
    • TR6 Potential Technological Improvements
    • TR7 Added-Value Features
    • TR8 Change Impact to DND/CAF

Social media posts

Green Heat Test Drive video (June 27, 2023)

DT News interview: Mats Striegler on the Green Heat: Low Carbon Energy Generation for Heating Existing Buildings IDEaS challenge

DT News interview: Mats Striegler on the Green Heat

Multimedia Gallery of the test building at CFB Kingston

  • Genet Building – Exterior View
  • Alternate view of Genet Building Exterior
  • Genet Building Exterior – Alternate View
  • Genet Building Kingston, ON
  • Genet Bulding – Close Up Exterior
  • Genet Building – Interior View
  • Genet Building – Alternate Interior View

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