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Debate: Air Source Heat Pumps vs Ground Source Heat pumps as the Best Solution for Decarbonizing Buildings in the GTA

  • 04 Mar 2024
  • 5:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Novotel Toronto North York, 3 Park Home Avenue, North York M2N 6L3
  • 10


  • Student ID will be verified at registration.




 ASHRAE Toronto Dinner Meeting:

Debate: Air Source Heat Pumps vs Ground Source Heat pumps as the Best Solution for Decarbonizing Buildings in the GTA

Past Presidents, Life Members and

Research Promotion Night!

Agenda and Venue

Monday, March 4, 2024

5:30 PM to 6:30 PM - Networking

6:30 PM to 9:00 PM - Dinner and The Debate

Novotel Toronto North York - 3 Park Home Ave, North York M2N 6L3

Please click here for directions!

Event Summary

The debate surrounding the most effective solution for decarbonizing buildings in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) revolves around the choice between air source and ground source heat pumps. Both technologies offer promising avenues for reducing carbon emissions and transitioning away from fossil fuels in building HVAC systems. This event brought together experts from various fields to discuss the advantages, disadvantages, and feasibility of each option. 

Panelists for Air source Heat pump

Michael Genin, P.Eng.

Founder - Canadian Division of Advance Industrial Refrigeration.

Michael Genin is a graduate of Mechanical Engineering from Queen's University. He has spent his career in the industry with many different manufactures of chillers, heat pumps, other HVAC equipment. Today he focuses on manufacturing zero carbon "active" heat-recovery systems for commercial and industrial buildings. Michael is a past-President of the ASHRAE Toronto Chapter and is currently the Regional Vice Chair of Government Affairs for Region II (Eastern Canada)

Saad Khan, P.Eng., CEM

Zero Carbon Design Team Leader - Continual Energy Inc.

Saad Khan is passionate about the HVAC industry and decarbonization. With over 10 years of experience in the HVAC industry, he has specialized in retrofits, energy efficiency, and the design and commissioning of central heating and cooling plants. He has a deep understanding of the technical, economic, and environmental aspects of decarbonization. Saad has been involved in some very innovative HVAC decarbonization projects in Canada, such as the 100 Yonge St and the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, both of which have achieved the CAGBC Zero Carbon Certification. He is currently leading a decarbonization project team at Continual Energy Inc., a company that is committed to creating a sustainable and clean-energy future. He is also a mentor for aspiring engineers. In his free time, he enjoys reading, cooking, and camping.

Cara Sloat, LEED AP

Principal - Hammerschlag & Joffe Inc.

Cara Sloat brings over 20 years of increasingly complex experience in high-performance mechanical design and energy efficiency expertise to Hammerschlag and Joffe. She has worked extensively with decarbonizing building portfolios, including for Fortune 50 companies, and has worked in high-performance mechanical system design, with a career focus on energy efficiency, energy exchange, and indoor environmental quality. In our current housing crisis, she is also passionate about finding better mechanical solutions for the Canadian housing market. She can help clients explore and understand the full range of available low-energy mechanical systems, and provide nuanced explanations of how these systems interact with other building elements.  She has LEED certified over half a million square feet of new construction real estate projects, and provided energy audits for over 5 million square feet of commercial properties, identifying millions in potential energy savings.  As part of supporting the HVAC industry and decarbonization efforts in our community, Cara volunteers with ASHRAE Toronto, and sits on the board of Toronto’s 2030 District. Cara has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo (2004) and is a member of Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) and ASHRAE.

Panelists for Ground source Heat pump

Sergio Almeida

Principal - Geo-Xergy Systems Inc.

As Cofounder and CTO of Diverso Energy and CEO of Geo-Xergy Systems, Sergio is widely regarded as one of the most experienced and influential leaders in the Geothermal Industry. Sergio has spent his entire career in the design and delivery of building mechanical systems, specializing in Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. After almost 8 years delivering turn-key, design build solutions, Sergio became a partner with Geo-Xergy Systems, leading the firm to grow into one of Canada’s pre-eminent specialists in the design and installation of geothermal-based mechanical systems. Leveraging his experience and knowledge, Sergio along with 2 other partners, started Diverso Energy, Canada’s largest Geothermal Utility company in 2015.

Sergio has developed an expertise in integrated mechanical system design, effectively incorporating proven technologies into a variety of applications. The majority of his experience has been in multi-family residential projects, having designed 200+ projects across North America, while also working on a number of similar health care and hospitality projects.

Sergio co-authored a technical paper titled “Ground-Coupled Heat Pump and Energy Storage” published in April 2013 edition of the ASHRAE journal, outlining the technical analysis of a unique combination of these proven technologies.

Adam Alaica, P.Eng., MASc

Director, Engineering & Development - GeoSource Energy Inc. 

Adam is an energy professional, with over a decade of experience in the energy sector. Majority of Adam’s tenure in the industry has been focused on the feasibility and the design-build-operations-maintenance of low-carbon thermal energy technologies, sewer heat recovery, heat pumps, heat recovery chillers, with an expertise in geothermal systems; both at the building and community level. In addition, Adam brings extensive experience in automation and process control from the industrial sector, with a targeted emphasis on digitization and creating visibility trough data availability in the low-carbon energy sector.

William Rea

HVAC Sales Engineer - HTS

Will Rea provides support and guidance to consultants surrounding new technology. In the past 13 years working with HTS, he has helped with design, support, and on-site commissioning of many top tier projects in Ontario - from office towers to hospitals and everything in between - including large-scale geothermal and net-zero energy projects. He co-leads the HTS customer training group, most recently leading the development of the 12-series Get Off the Gas, focused exclusively on reducing GHG emissions through old, current, and new HVAC technology.


Kurt Monteiro, B.A.Sc., P.Eng., LEED AP, HFDP, HBDP

Principal - Smith + Andersen

Kurt Monteiro, B.A.Sc., P.Eng.,LEEP AP, HFDP,HBDP Principal, Smith + Andersen. Over a career that spans more than 20 years, Kurt Monteiro has established a reputation that carefully balances innovation with client satisfaction. Kurt has spent the majority of his career with Smith + Andersen and, over the last decade, has focused on healthcare and laboratory projects- particularly large P3 projects and renovations to existing healthcare facilities. Kurt has been an active member of the ASHRAE Toronto Chapter for many years, serving on the board of governors and currently acting as President-Elect of the Chapter's Executive Committee. He is a voting member of the ASHRAE Certification Committee, as well as a provisional corresponding member for several healthcare and laboratory technical committees. Kurt is also an active member of the CSA Medical Gas technical sub-committee that published CSA-Z7396.1 Medical Gas Pipeline Systems. His leadership and design acumen frequently leads to award-winning work, including first place in the New Healthcare Facilities category at the 2017 ASHRAE Society Technology Awards for the $1.2-billion Humber River Hospital project in Toronto. Most recently, Kurt led the Smith + Andersen team that won first place in the New Healthcare Facilities category at the 2020 ASHRAE Society Technology Awards for their work on Peel Memorial Integrated Health Centre in Brampton- the greenest ambulatory care center in the province. 

Walk-in registrations will not be permitted.

Please feel free to reach out if you need assistance:

Sandeep Mendiratta
ASHRAE Toronto CTTC Chair


Avijeet Sangha
ASHRAE Toronto CTTC Co Chair


ASHRAE Toronto Chapter | 4936 Yonge Street, #2748 Toronto ON M2N 6S3

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