Who are we?
Sidewalk Labs is an Alphabet company tackling the challenges of urban growth. Our vision for cities is rooted in a cross-disciplinary approach that is reflected in our team, composed of experts from real estate, government, finance, technology, and (software) engineering and more. Since its founding in 2015, Sidewalk Labs has evolved into an organization of over 100 employees based primarily in New York and Toronto.
We are currently designing a new kind of mixed-use, complete community on Toronto’s waterfront in partnership with the tripartite agency Waterfront Toronto and the local community. This joint effort, called Sidewalk Toronto (SWTO), will combine forward-thinking urban design and new digital technology to create a people-centered neighborhood that achieves precedent-setting levels of sustainability, affordability, mobility, and economic opportunity.
We are working to achieve something unprecedented — help us build it!
What is the role?
We are looking for a technical expert in district thermal energy and building heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems with the capacity to span from bleeding edge vision to roll up your sleeves pilot implementation.
Your main deliverable for Toronto is a cost effective, efficient and virtually greenhouse gas-free thermal energy solution, which could consist of a neighborhood loop with heat pumps generating hot and chilled water using geothermal sewer heat recovery, and waste heat from building and data center cooling systems, but could also be a more distributed solution. Ultimately, the system must be economically and environmentally optimized, and bill customers in a fair and defensible way.
Looking beyond Toronto, we will look to you to drive ongoing Thermal Energy innovation. We believe technology advancements, many of which exist today but are not fully utilized, can deliver new levels of performance, efficiency and affordability. You will explore new thermal energy technologies and controls integration, along with business plans and utility rates to achieve unprecedented levels of environmental performance within the bounds of affordability.
Given the above, we expect the right person has significant expertise with the design, modeling, and metering of building and district-scale heating, cooling and ventilation systems; SCADA and digital system controls; financial proformas and development partnerships; customer metering and billing; and, ideally, customer contracting and operations. The individual will be both detailed-orientated and strategic; appreciating that the “devil is in the details” when it comes to execution, but getting a project built requires broad thinking, a level of opportunism and flexibility.
What are the deliverables?
As described above, your initial main focus will be on our goals in Toronto. We expect the below to be representative:
After 3 months, you have…
- Worked closely with MEP consulting engineers on the design of a Passive House-inspired mixed-use building prototype.
- Overseen development of three thermal energy solutions, identifying the range of cost, performance and building flexibility impacts.
- Finalized customer billing strategy for thermal energy, identifying the sensors or meters and algorithms required.
- Supported creation of open standard specifications for building, thermal grid and power grid controls integration. Worked hand in glove across the relevant teams.
- Determined timeline and approach for issuing RFP for design-build / own-operate partner.
Within 6 months, you have…
- Made selections for the thermal grid design and building HVAC and defined the demarcation for each MEP infrastructure system, i.e. ownership between thermal grid, power grid and building .
- Built strong relationships with 3rd party controlled energy sources and potential thermal grid partners in Toronto.
- Developed a close relationship with the City’s community energy team and planning department in control of the Toronto Green Standard.
- Scheduled or published RFP’s for thermal grid components.
- Overseen the completion of a thermal grid energy and model that establishes the foundation of grid control, and optimization with the utility grid.
What We Expect
Our Associate Directors typically have deep and relevant experience and have proven that they can accomplish great things through their leadership. For this role, we care most about the following:
- MEP/Energy System Engineering expertise: You need to be an engineer (P.E. license not required) with building MEP and/or district energy system design expertise. In particular, we look for the following technical expertise:
- Familiarity with central plant-sized equipment; building radiant heating and cooling ceiling panels, residential hybrid heat pumps, and room/equipment thermostatic control options. Facility with electrical and plumbing systems at the district and building scale.
- Familiarity with the controls technology, sequence of operations, construction trades, commissioning requirements, and labor requirements (operations and maintenance) for district energy systems.
- Demonstrated interest in technology advancement, closed loop control (automation without operation instruction) and system-wide economic and energy optimization using data inputs (e.g. economic dispatch based upon utility rates and system wide optimization)
- Curious, comprehensive problem-solver: Curious and driven to answer the questions and concerns that arise in their head. Looks at the whole problem, and anticipates issues that may occur in delivering the product.
- Project Leadership & Stakeholder Engagement: We look for you to have demonstrated comfort and experience with external-facing public presentations, business negotiations, broad strategy development and validation, and stakeholder engagement.
- Team player: develops strong relationships, trustworthy, honest, intellectually honest, highly principled, modest. Finds purpose in delivering the project, not advancing oneself.
The community of the future is a place for everyone, and Sidewalk Labs is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We encourage individuals from underrepresented groups to apply. All employment is based on merit and business need.