Built in 1992, the Robert Cooke residential complex includes a thirteen-storey tower. By 2012, many of the building systems were close to the end of their service life and a variety of energy and water saving opportunities were not being realized due to capital constraints. Through an Energy Savings Performance Agreement (ESPA), high efficiency domestic hot water boilers and a condensing space heating boiler were installed along with new lighting and low flow fixtures. Find out how this building achieved 30% GHG emission savings and 20% reduction in overall utility costs.
There was a lot to do at 15 Kensington Road in 2005. The building’s managers identified a huge amount of opportunities for improved energy efficiency, from replacing the boilers and toilets to integrating the air handling unit with the boiler and chiller systems. By staging the retrofit in such a way that utility savings actually paid for the cost of later improvements, they were able to reduce their natural gas use by 28% and cut the chiller’s electricity demand in half while reducing the building’s greenhouse gas emissions by over 300 tonnes a year.
Despite being a relatively new building, the condo board discovered that 2 Aberfoyle had many opportunities to improve energy performance. The board undertook an ambitious three-year energy retrofit plan, which included adding new high-efficiency condensing boilers, as well as the use of carbon monoxide monitors and a variable speed drive to improve the ventilation system’s efficiency. While the project did face a number of challenges, this retrofit shows that even relatively new buildings can improve their energy efficiency to save money and reduce carbon emissions.
This Toronto Community Housing–managed, 44-year-old, 19-storey apartment complex with ground-level retail operations was in serious need of a retrofit. The building had an aging diesel-fuelled emergency power system, and TCH seized the opportunity to make the system cleaner and more robust, with help from provincial programs. The TCH outfitted the building with a natural gas–fired combined heat and power (CHP) system to provide both emergency power and domestic electricity and hot water. While the CHP system is performing well, its cost effectiveness is limited by high maintenance costs and inconsistent hot water demand. The lessons learned from this pilot site should allow future CHP projects to achieve stronger economic and environmental benefits.
When Rainbow Group purchased 24 Manor Road, they seized the opportunity to make the building more energy efficient in a number of ways. Since the roof was in desperate need of replacement, they fitted the building with a new, more insulated roof that could also support a solar water-heating system. They also retrofitted the windows and balcony doors to improve thermal performance and reduce air leakage. The result was a reduction in natural gas use of 21%, a 157 tonne per year reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and an estimated $1 million increase in building value. And this is just the beginning: Rainbow Group is planning even more retrofits.
Not only did developer Del Ridge Homes build Appleby Woods to be energy efficient, they saved money while doing so. The 101-suite condo uses only 10 equivalent kilowatt hours per square foot per year, which is 50% less energy and greenhouse gas emissions than a typical new building built to code. Units in Appleby Woods cost 25% less per square foot than comparable buildings and have 60% lower condo fees. Del Ridge’s savings came from using pre-fabricated materials as well as an R45 insulated concrete form (ICF) system. They also reduced energy demand by using motion sensors, high-efficiency lighting, and geo-exchange heating and cooling systems. This case study proves that by taking an integrated design approach in new buildings it is possible to deliver exceptional energy performance at no additional cost.