Montreal Biodome Space for Life

Multiple habitats, holistic solution

  • Improved animal, plant, and visitor welfare
  • Improved O&M
  • Reduced energy use
  • Reduced GHG emissions
  • Energy bill reduction

The Biodome is part of the Montreal Space for Life, the largest natural science museum complex in Canada. It welcomes over 800,000 visitors annually. Its unique 377,000 ft2 building features 4,800 animal and 750 plant species within five distinct habitats. These habitats have a range of climatic needs in terms of temperature, humidity and light.

In alignment with its commitment to protecting the environment and biodiversity, the Montreal Biodome sought to dramatically reduce its GHG emissions while addressing comprehensive asset renewal needs.

Ecosystem specialists collaborated with the Biodome’s staff and zoologists on a creative solution that dramatically cut energy consumption and waste. The tropical environment was heated using an internal heat recovery system that pumped in heat generated from chilling the arctic environment. Ecosystem also uncovered the existence of an underground river and leveraged it to design an efficient, inexpensive geothermal system that satisfied all outstanding building heating needs. The system currently stands as the largest of its type in Canada.

Careful planning with experts such as zoologists and biologists ensured that animal and plant welfare were maintained and the visitor experience preserved throughout implementation. Ecosystem worked closely with the Biodome operations team to design a new controls sequence, which reduced the time and effort to fine-tune building systems to readiness.

  • 2015 AEE International Energy Project of the Year
  • 2013 ASHRAE Technology Award
  • 2012 FCM Sustainable Communities Award
  • 2011 AQME Energia Award

Customized Performance Measures

  • Heat recovery and transfer system
  • Geothermal system
  • Steam to hot water conversion
  • Centralized controls optimization
  • Fan and pump optimization
  • Lighting redesign and conversion