District Energy Model

Model developed


Louis Leroy, Michaël Kummert


The model leverages popular python-based Geographic Information System (GIS) libraries as well as the Archetypal Building Energy Model (enlisted in this inventory) to construct a district-level urban building energy model in a development framework. The District Energy Model enables fast assessments of energy use at the building level and implements the visualization of useful urban-level metrics such as the Energy Use Intensity (EUI) or the Thermal Energy Demand Intensity (TEDI) of buildings. Furthermore, the model implements a new metric known as the Thermal Diversity Index, a visual and spatial indicator of heat sharing capacity between buildings. Also, the model implements the analysis of district energy networks through a topology optimizer that suggests a heat-sharing infrastructure in the context of early-design planning projects. Finally, the model helps project and visualize networks (geographically) and quickly and consistently calculate various metrics linked to topological- and energy-related measures of district energy systems.

This model is focused on the analysis of district energy networks. It was used, for example, in identifying the potential of district energy networks for the Demain Montréal C40 project in Montréal, which won the competition. The core element of this model is an optimization program that suggests various typologies for a heat sharing infrastructure based on techno-economic feasibility. Thanks to Archetypal Building Energy Model, District can leverage the energy profiles of the Montréal building energy model and explore various network configurations in specific areas, assess costs and revenues and most importantly GHG emission reductions.


It can be used to assess retrofit policies, demand-response policies, data-driven design in master planning projects and infrastructure planning.


It has been used to assess proposition for an architecture competition (Demain Montréal, C40 Montréal).

It can be used by architecture firms, Building system design and energy analysis companies, Infrastructure planners.

Registered developers

Samuel Letellier-DuchesnePolytechnique Montréal
Michaël KummertPolytechnique Montréal