(Building Sustainability Together) Cadillac Fairview’s Geo-exchange Retrofit

The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Ltd., in partnership with Vancouver-based Fēnix Energy, has commenced work on a project to undertake Canada’s first geo-exchange retrofit of an occupied mixed-use high-rise complex in the downtown core. The project is taking place at 777 Dunsmuir, which includes a 19-storey office tower, as well as the Holt Renfrew and Sport Check portion of Pacific Centre.

Fēnix Energy will complete the geo-exchange system installation within 777 Dunsmuir’s existing building footprint, drilling 34 boreholes 375 feet into the earth through the building’s underground parkade. By harvesting a building’s rejected heat and storing it underground until it is needed, geo-exchange offers a solution for reducing the energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions associated with traditional heating and cooling. However, until now, geo-exchange systems have primarily been installed in new projects or projects where land is readily available adjacent to a building. Projects with small footprints in operating buildings such as the one at 777 Dunsmuir had remained elusive.

Globally, buildings consume around 40% of our total energy, a significant portion of which is for heating and cooling. So the potential to make a difference through geo-exchange is enormous,” says Edward Smith, P.Eng., LEED® AP, Managing Director of Fēnix Energy. “Green is about efficiency and using the energy that’s already there. Geo-exchange does exactly that, and now we have the technology to tackle the large existing buildings which make up our dense downtown cores.

The project is the next step in Cadillac Fairview’s GREEN AT WORK™ program, through which the company looks for innovative ways to reduce its carbon footprint and minimize its impact on the environment. This includes energy conservation and efficiency, with the ultimate objective of net-zero emissions from buildings. The retrofit of 777 Dunsmuir is expected to reduce carbon emissions from heating energy by approximately 85%, the equivalent of 900 tons of CO2 or taking 190 cars off the road.

Article courtesy of Building Sustainability Together

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