Interior shot of the mechanical room at Royal Victoria Hospital

The following information is provided as a public service to Owner/Operators of heating oil and diesel fuel appliances and systems in Ontario. It addresses regulatory requirements and the Technical Standards and Safety Authority’s (TSSA) Code Adoption Document as they relate to Owner/Operators responsibilities for operation and maintenance of fuel oil systems, specifically for fuel tanks. Performing the required inspections and maintenance activities can improve the life expectancy of fuel tanks and reduce the risk of an unintended release of heating oil and diesel fuel to the environment.

ONTARIO REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000
Ontario Regulation 213/01 Fuel Oil
CSA B139: 2019 Series Installation Code for Oil Burning Equipment

In Ontario, the use and operation of heating appliances using heating oil, including stationary diesel engine-driven equipment, and their associated fuel and combustion systems, are subject to Ontario Regulation 213/01 made under the Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2001, S.O. 2000, c.16.

This regulation is administered by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA), which is a not-for-profit, self-funded organization, with delegated authority from the Government of Ontario concerning specific technical safety subjects. TSSA inspectors and technical staff have authority as officers-of-the-court in regard to enforcement of the Act and its regulations, including access to private property for the purpose of inspection of safety-related equipment and systems.

Under this regulation, there are certain obligations imposed on the Owner/Operator of these systems. These obligations can be organized in the following categories:

  • maintenance of these systems
  • periodic inspection of these systems by a qualified technician
  • record keeping
  • actions to be taken when a leak of heating oil or diesel fuel is known or suspected
  • actions to be taken when fuel systems are no longer used or are to be removed.

These operational requirements are specified in three documents:

While the regulation rarely changes, the CSA standard is typically updated on a five year cycle. The TSSA then undertakes a code adoption review process, and issues a code adoption document which may include amendments to the adopted codes or standards.

O.Reg. 213/01 Maintenance Requirements

In respect to operation and maintenance of equipment governed under this regulation, the Owner of the equipment is to:

  • maintain the appliance and associated systems in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance procedure [O.Reg. 213/01, s. 8.(1)(a)];
  • have those maintenance procedures evaluated every 10 years, and the maintenance procedures modified if determined to do so by the evaluation [O.Reg. 213/01, s. 8.(1)(b)];
  • have the appliance or work inspected every 10 years by a person who is a holder of a certificate of qualifications for this purpose [O.Reg. 213/01, s. 8.(a)(c)] – in most installations other than residential, this means a person who holds a license as an Oil Burner Technician Level 1 (“OBT1”); and,
  • maintain a copy of these inspection reports until the next inspection and report are completed [O.Reg. 213/01, s. 8.(3)]

TSSA Code Adoption Document for Fuel Oil

Through the TSSA Code Adoption Document for Fuel Oil, it amends CSA B139:2019:

  • “Annex M – Operations” of CSA B139 becomes a mandatory requirement
  • Adds additional requirements to Annex M concerning Owner/Operator environmental responsibilities.

In addition to the operations requirements found in Annex M, the additional requirements concerning environmental responsibilities describe:

  • the actions the Owner or Operator of a fuel oil system must do when a leak is suspected or detected, or if a fuel spill occurs; and
  • the actions that the Owner must do if an underground or aboveground tank is no longer used or is being replaced.
Above ground tank at CFB Petawawa

CSA B139:2019 – Maintenance and Operations

While this CSA standard primarily concerns the installation of oil-fired equipment and systems, it includes requirements concerning maintenance and operations of these systems:

  • oil-burning equipment to be inspected and maintained in accordance with the manufacturers’ recommendations
  • testing for presence of water at the bottom of a tank at least annually; if detected, the water must be removed
  • visual inspection of oil tanks, tubing, piping and filters for leaks at least once per year, and replaced if leaks are found
  • bottom outlet tanks (where the appliance is supplied fuel from a fitting on the bottom of the tank) are checked for proper slope and, if necessary, the tank pitch is corrected to slope the tank bottom towards the outlet
  • periodic operational testing for detection of leaks in underground tanks and piping systems
  • maintenance requirements of aboveground and underground tanks, and underground piping and piping sumps (Annex K)
  • operation requirements concerning filling of tanks (Annex M) – this annex is made mandatory by the TSSA CAD.

Annex J of this Standard provides background information on the importance of testing for water in fuel tanks, and for the removal of water and oil-sludge from the bottom of steel tanks to protect them from internal corrosion.

Having a fuel tank that is “free and clear” of oil, sludge and other debris at the bottom of the tank will go a long way to improving the usable life of the tank.

For more information, please contact:

Headshot of Peter Formosi

Peter Formosi, P.Eng.
Mechanical Engineer
peter.formosi@hhangus.com

Headshot of Ruben Paulo

Ruben Paulo, P.Eng.
Mechanical Engineer
ruben.paulo@hhangus.com

Headshot of Anthony Ho

Anthony Ho, P.Eng.
Mechanical Engineer, Manager
anthony.ho@hhangus.com

Blue umbrella in a row of white ones

We are honoured to be named among Canada’s Best Managed Companies for 2021, our third consecutive year of being recognized. 

The award has heightened importance for us as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. It reinforces the importance of a strong company culture together with a strategic focus on managing day-to-day operations, planning for the future and finding growth opportunities in uncertain times.

Head shot of Paul Keenan

“Over the past year, the pandemic has called on us to be nimble and adapt to a constantly changing corporate landscape. Our management team had been focusing on growth and enabling innovation and technology to enhance existing services and offer new ones. Looking back, this strategic focus allowed us to shift seamlessly overnight to working from home without skipping a beat”, said Paul Keenan, President. “And while it isn’t clear yet what the post-pandemic economy will look like, I am confident that our firm is better positioned to anticipate and address both the challenges and the opportunities because of our management rigour.”

Head shot of Sameer Dhargalkar

“Despite the upheaval of the past year, we’ve continued to invest in growing our capabilities in areas such as digital strategy consulting, low-carbon energy solutions, reality capture, smart buildings solutions and robotics – areas which are driving our clients’ business  goals,” commented Sameer Dhargalkar, VP Business Development & Marketing, “At the same time, we’ve been able to expand our presence in British Columbia and Quebec through growth of staff and new projects.”

Of course, we wouldn’t have been able to do this without the dedication of our employees and the support of our clients – we thank you for the important role you play.

The Canada’s Best Managed Companies award, now in its 29th year, distinguishes overall business performance and growth of best in-class, Canadian-owned companies with revenues of $15 million or more. To learn more about the award, click here


HH Angus contact:

Sameer Dhargalkar, Vice President, Marketing & Business Development
sameer.dhargalkar@hhangus.com
hhangus.com

Shot of a group of programmers working together on a computer code at night

5G and Pilot Projects to Optimize New Infrastructures

By Akira Jones, BIM Leader, HH Angus & Associates Limited

By now, most of us in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) sector have read about, lamented and experienced our industry’s general conservativeness and inability to affect change quickly, particularly with respect to developing and emerging technology. However, we are starting to see now that this is changing. Large-scale 3D printing, generative design, virtual/augmented/mixed reality, artificial intelligence, design process automation through software and a push towards a common data environment for design and construction information represent some of the many ways AEC is embracing the digital era.

The nature of design consulting is also changing. Multi-disciplinary design firms are transforming into software developers, moving their way into the SaaS market. General contractors employ teams of software developers. Companies from non-engineering sectors are rapidly entering into the AEC market. Professional services companies and technology start-ups are developing platforms for optimizing building infrastructure through Edge Devices and creating operational/digital twins. Much like the rest of the world, AEC is converging towards digital processes and the borders between different sectors are becoming less defined.

Edge Devices and Digital Twins will have a massive impact on how we design, build and operate building infrastructure, particularly as we continue our push towards a more sustainable built environment through low or zero carbon, net zero and more. We are already seeing a big uptake of smart buildings technologies and the global smart building market is expected to reach almost 62 billons USD by 2024.

Understanding Internet of Things, or IoT technology, in particular, and the current and future benefits to the built environment and how people interact with it will be instrumental in HH Angus’ ability to design spaces that perform better, create better and longer lasting value, and reduce the impact on the environment. It’s certainly easier to design and build new buildings with smart technology but what really interests us is the opportunity in the massive stock of existing infrastructure that can significantly benefit from these technologies. In fact, they provide an opportunity to evolve the ways in which we deliver our work and our relationships with the end-users, from the building owners and operators to occupants.

As designers, we often lose touch with the infrastructure we design, perhaps coming back years later to find something unrecognizable from its original state. At the opposite end, engineers also come into buildings later in their lifecycles, often without proper as-built documentation and have to scrape together any available information about how or why the building operates the way it does. Not an ideal situation, which can typically add time and expense to most projects.

Gathering operational, environmental and presence data can provide a bridge between the building, its occupants, and the engineers to create the potential for gaining useful insight into a building’s real-world operations and occupant behavior.

To this end, HH Angus had the desire to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between smart buildings technologies and improving building performance. We launched our Smart Spaces initiative in 2019. Through this, we are exploring these new technologies through our own initiatives as well as research partnerships with academic institutions and tech start-ups and established providers. With Smart Spaces, we are exploring the use of IoT edge devices to gather environmental and occupancy data in commercial and institutional buildings.

As our pilot project had begun pre-COVID, we, like many firms, had to quickly adjust our plans. With everyone working from home, our office was empty, and we were trying to figure out what data we could collect since there was no one in the building. Like any challenge, this presented an opportunity. Where our previous approach had been to install a set of sensors that gathered a wide array of data with plans to see what insights we could glean, we were presented with a situation that provided us an immediately relevant use case. We thought about ways that the sensors could be used to aid our eventual re-entry into our own office. We shifted the balance of sensors to include more presence sensors to aid in people flow throughout our office. The sensors were placed in common and high traffic areas, giving employees aid in maintaining the ability to socially distance while in the office while also giving insight into usage patterns of these common spaces. The collected data is integrated and aggregated into an intuitive dashboard and transferred to the cloud/other edge devices via the 4G network such that we can view the basic analytics.

This pivot has helped us gain insight into the challenges faced by many of our commercial and institutional clients.

With the first stage of our pilot implemented, we look to expand our research to the 5G network. We were fortunate enough to be awarded access to the 5G ENCQOR test-bed located in the MaRS Discovery District (in downtown Toronto) which gives us the opportunity to explore use cases that can benefit from the low latency performance of 5G technology. We are currently engaged with our clients to determine real-world use cases for existing buildings to research on the testbed, paving the way for purpose-built data platforms.

As with any new (or new to us), technology there are no giant leaps in innovation, only deliberate and incremental steps forward. Where the challenge lies is not in using these technologies, but in determining how these new technologies can help our clients and our employees adapt and succeed in an ever-changing world. As consulting engineers, we can (and should) take a little step out of the traditional AEC approach and adopt some of the best practices (and mindset) of tech start-ups – mainly being inherently curious; focus on possibilities as opposed to the way its always been done; and be willing to quickly prototype, learn, and modify to get a minimum viable product into the real world.

HH Angus is an employee-owned, independent consulting firm of engineers, technical specialists and project managers with offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. Our core services include mechanical and electrical engineering, lighting design, vertical transportation, energy, sustainable design, information communications audiovisual technology (ICAT) and security design and digital strategy consulting. Together, we create innovative solutions for our clients’ most complex challenges to expand what is possible for a better future.

Reprinted from CanBIM Innovation Spotlight Publication 2021
https://www.canbim.com/articles/why-consulting-engineering-firms-should-think-more-like-tech-start-ups

Akira Jones, P.Eng., LEED AP, Principal
BIM Leader
akira.jones@hhangus.com

Akira Jones, P.Eng., LEED AP, Principal
BIM Leader
akira.jones@hhangus.com

Exterior of BC Place and Science World with modern cityscape and harbour, Vancouver, British, Columbia, Canada.

Canada’s federal Climate Plan aims to exceed Canada’s 2030 emissions reduction target and achieve a net-zero emissions economy by 2050. There will be many pathways to get to this goal. One pathway is the decarbonization of our energy systems. Creative Energy is collaborating with BC Hydro in an effort to decarbonize their energy plant at 720 Beatty Street in downtown Vancouver by adding new electrode steam boilers to the existing natural gas-powered steam plant. HH Angus has been engaged to provide mechanical and electrical engineering services to support this important conversion.

According to Creative Energy, the new system would have enough capacity to serve approximately 12 million square feet of new development, enough to serve over 10 years of growth in low-carbon buildings in the downtown region and avoid 38,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year.

With a dedicated Energy Division that brings extensive experience with energy systems for the built environment, including low carbon energy and renewable/sustainable systems, we’re excited to be part of this important project that contributes to building a low carbon energy future.

You can read the full press release from Creative Energy and BC Hydro here – https://bit.ly/3l49o4U

If you would like to talk to us about assisting with your next energy project, get in touch with us.

Join HH Angus’ Nick Stark and The Ottawa Hospital’s Jessica Fullerton as they discuss Considerations for Planning & Design of Isolation Rooms to Improve Safety in Healthcare Environments. ”

Date: March 18 @ 1PM – 2 PM EDT

45 minute Panel Discussion followed by live Q&A
Webinar Registration Fee: $65 (including taxes and fees)
www.cchf.net

Isolation Rooms help to separate patients and residents in healthcare settings as needed to protect patients and staff. Typically, acute care hospitals allocate isolation rooms in hospitals, with some being simply private rooms, and others having specialized engineering depending on the clinical needs of the patient and the safety requirements presented.  Given COVID, hospitals, long-term care homes and other healthcare facilities are looking at increasing and potentially upgrading the design of their isolation rooms, and reconsidering engineering design to enhance safety in the facility.

This webinar covers:

  1. Differentiating between the different types of isolation rooms to meet specific needs and corresponding design criteria.
  2. Identifying infection prevention and control risks related to the design of building HVAC systems in ‘pressure’ (positive / negative pressure) critical spaces.
  3. Reviewing the role of HVAC systems in the context of Pandemic Planning and Catastrophic Event Management

Speakers:

Nick Stark's headshot

Nick Stark P. Eng., CED, LEED AP, ICD.D
Vice President, HH Angus and Associates Limited Consulting Engineers

In 40+ years at HH Angus, Nick has pioneered many innovative and sustainable initiatives as solutions to difficult challenges faced by clients. His technical expertise also benefits staff as he directs HH Angus’ Knowledge Management initiatives, ensuring the firm’s skillsets continue to lead the industry. In 2017, Nick was awarded the PEO/OSPE Medal for Engineering Excellence for his outstanding contributions to the profession. He spearheads the design and management of HH Angus’ P3 hospital projects, and served as the firm’s Principal-in-Charge for the massive $2 billion+ CHUM P3 project in Montreal. The team’s work on the project was honoured with the 2018 Schreyer Award, Canada’s highest honor for engineering.  Nick chair’s the CSA Subcommittee on Special Requirements for HVAC Systems in Health care Facilities, is Vice Chair of the CSA Subcommittee on Z8000 Canadian Health Care Facilities, and is a former member of the CSA Subcommittee on Infection Control during Construction or Renovation of Health Care Facilities.

Jessica Fullerton's headshot

Jessica Fullerton, M.Sc. CIC
Construction Lead – Infection Prevention and Control, The Ottawa Hospita
l

As a member of the Infection Prevention and Control team at The Ottawa Hospital, Jessica specializes in health care facility design and construction, focusing on design elements to help prevent the spread of infection. She has provided Infection Prevention and Control expertise on a wide range of acute care, rehabilitation, ambulatory care, community health, and long-term care projects. Jessica’s passion lies in bridging the gap between health care design and how it can positively or negatively influence the care and safety of patients. She currently sits as a member of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Health Care Facilities Technical Committee providing expert content for several standards related to health care design and construction. Jessica is the Chair and member of CSA training faculty for the Z317.13 Standard, Infection Control During Construction, Renovation and Maintenance of Health Care Facilities.