The Case for The Building Decarbonization Alliance Open-Source Model

December 11, 2023

There is currently an important gap in publicly available analytical capacity to evaluate the impacts of building decarbonization measures in Canada. Publicly available models tend to be “top-down”, broad in scope, and lacking the granularity to address the range of technological measures, differences in building stock, and provincial or regional differences. Many “bottom-up” models, meanwhile, are proprietary, closed-source, and built for specific regions rather than national use. This gap has not gone unnoticed, with recent reports from the Office of the Auditor General’s environment commissioner and from Canada’s Net-Zero Advisory Body pointing to the need for improved, transparent, and collaborative models.

The Building Decarbonization Alliance Open-Sourced Model is designed to address this gap by providing a useful, transparent, bottom-up model of end-use energy use in Canada’s commercial and residential building sector. Incorporating multiple building archetypes, climate zones, and heating technologies, the model allows users to customize policy scenarios and compare the impacts on equipment count, energy consumption, peak load, emission reductions, and cost, at aggregate and regional levels. And since it is completely open-source, the data, assumptions, and calculations behind the model’s outputs can be questioned, scrutinized, and improved.

About the Authors

Natasha Reid

Natasha Kettle

Director of Analytics and Insights – Building Decarbonization Alliance

Natasha holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from Memorial University of Newfoundland and is a registered Professional Engineer with PEGNL. She started her career as an electrical design engineer, working with two Canadian utility companies: BC Hydro and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro. In 2019, Natasha joined a local tech start-up, Mysa Smart Thermostats. As the Product Manager for Utility Initiatives, she worked with utilities across North America to help integrate smart technology into their grids.

In 2021, Natasha moved to France, where she pursued her Master’s degree in Global Energy Transition and Governance at Centre International de Formation Européenne. Her thesis focused on how Canada can unlock demand-side potential through residential demand response. Natasha is a passionate advocate for environmental conservation and sustainability and sits on both the Smart Grid Innovation Network Board of Directors and the Newfoundland and Labrador Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund Advisory Council.


Bryan Flannigan, P.Eng.

Executive Director – Building Decarbonization Alliance

Bryan joins the Transition Accelerator to lead building decarbonization initiatives as Executive Director of the Building Decarbonization Alliance. He brings to the role over 30 years of leadership and consulting experience with governments, utilities, and businesses to find technical, program and policy solutions to reduce emissions and improve the energy efficiency of the built environment.

Prior to joining The Transition Accelerator, Bryan played leadership and expert advisor roles with some of Canada’s leading energy and environmental consulting firms, including ICF International, Posterity Group and Econoler Inc. He was Senior Manager of Operations at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and helped successfully launch the Green Municipal Fund. His early career was built on a foundation of technical and engineering roles including Director of Technical Services at Del Property Management Solutions and Energy Engineer at Siemens Building Technologies. Bryan holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ottawa, and is a Professional Engineer licensed in the province of Ontario.


Reid, N., Flannigan, B. (2023). The Case for The Building Decarbonization Alliance Open-Source Model. Building Decarbonization Alliance. Version 1.0.