Ottawa cityscape showing the Cliff Street Central Heating and Cooling Plant (foreground, with chimney) that serves over 50 buildings, including the Supreme Court of Canada Building and Parliament Buildings (left).
By Tomasz Smetny-Sowa, Senior Director, Energy Services Acquisition Program, Public Services and Procurement Canada, Government of Canada
The challenge of implementing a low temperature hot water system (LTHW) solution for existing buildings is significant. Heating plants and distribution systems need to be changed, and more significantly, the steam systems in existing buildings need to be converted. Now consider the limitations inherent when working on heritage buildings, each with their own special protection, and you have the challenge that is being faced by the Government of Canada.
HISTORY During the First World War, a fire destroyed most of Canada’s main Parliament Building. The reconstruction incorporated a district energy system that would grow across the National Capital Region and become one of the largest in the country. After a century of expansion, this district energy system is due for major upgrades. At the same time, it offers an opportunity to contribute to meeting the Government of Canada's environmental commitments and to lead by example by greening its own operations. This includes smart and sustainable buildings that use less energy and opens the way to using renewable energy sources.
The district energy system that provides heating and cooling to Canada’s Parliament Buildings services over 80 government and private buildings across the capital through five central heating and cooling plants. The Energy Services Acquisition Program (ESAP) will modernize this system by implementing newer, more efficient technologies, which will build a bridge to expansion of the network and use of carbon neutral energy sources. ESAP will convert the heating system from steam and high temperature hot water to low temperature hot water (LTHW), switch the cooling system from steam-driven to electric chillers and implement the Smart Buildings data analysis project to pinpoint opportunities for efficiencies within individual buildings. Overall, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will be reduced by an estimated 63% as compared to our 2005 baseline and it will save $750 million over the next 40 years.
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