Cadillac Fairview, Fēnix Energy to Undertake World-Leading Geo-exchange Retrofit in Vancouver
Home-grown technology allows for first-ever geo-exchange installation in existing, occupied building at 777 Dunsmuir
Vancouver, BC; April 16, 2014 – The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Ltd. is today announcing a project in partnership with Vancouver-based Fēnix Energy to undertake Canada’s first geo-exchange retrofit of an occupied, mixed-use high-rise complex in a downtown core. The project will take place at Cadillac Fairview’s 777 Dunsmuir property in Vancouver, which includes a 19-storey office tower, as well as the Holt Renfrew and Sport Chek portion of Pacific Centre.
Fēnix Energy will complete the geo-exchange system installation within 777 Dunsmuir’s existing building footprint, drilling 30 boreholes 400 feet into the earth through the building’s underground parkade.
“Cadillac Fairview is always looking for ways to reduce its impact on the environment,” says Ultan Kampff, General Manager, Pacific Centre and HSBC Building. “We’re proud to be working witha local company that is innovating on a global scale. Together with Fēnix, we’re using home-grown technology to find sustainable solutions, increase our efficiency, and lower carbon emissions.”
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.
Fēnix Energy’s system enables the installation of vertical rather than horizontal piping underground. Fēnix has also designed a unique drilling system to facilitate boring in confined spaces such as parkades with low headroom. As a result of these innovations, the project will have minimal disruption on the surrounding area allowing the building to remain occupied.
“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, Managing Director, 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 Cadillac Fairview’s building is expected to reduce carbon emissions from heating energy by 85%, the equivalent of 900 tons of CO2 or taking 190 cars off the road.