May 12, 2016

Laval Youth Center: Model Project Wins Energy Efficiency Award

The Laval Youth Center (Centre jeunesse de Laval) and Ecosystem are proud to have received recognition for excellence in energy efficiency. The project impressed the judges at AQME—Quebec’s association for energy management—who named the project winner of an Énergia award in the category of existing institutional buildings.

The winners were announced on May 10th during the 26th Énergia ceremony. This award recognizes industry-leading energy efficiency projects. This is a fitting description for the project at the Laval Youth Center, which included renewable energy sources (geothermal and aerothermal), efficient systems (heat recovery, new hot water network), a significant reduction in natural gas consumption, and an improved controls system—a combination which led to a model energy efficiency project that went above and beyond the anticipated results.

The energy bill at the Laval Youth Center dropped by 42%. The project surpassed the contractually guaranteed savings of $255,957 per year, reaching 134% of the target. And the project’s environmental results are particularly impressive: greenhouse gas emissions are down by 71%, and the institution received BOMA BESt certification for environmental management, performance, and sustainability.

Deep Retrofits

Optimizing the building’s electromechanical systems involved three main technical upgrades:

  • The heating system was completely redesigned, including a conversion from steam to hot water.
  • A major heat recovery system was installed: three heat pumps work in synergy to maximize heat recovered from within the building and from geothermal and aerothermal sources.
  • Energy management was enhanced through control strategies that are completely adapted to the building’s characteristics and the occupants’ needs.

In addition to improving energy efficiency, these measures have also simplified maintenance and daily operations, and have led to greater comfort for building occupants.

Integrated Delivery: A Collaborative Approach

Like each of Ecosystem’s projects, an integrated approach was used for project delivery. From the outset, a single team of experts worked collaboratively to carry out the project. The client—who knows the building best—was directly integrated in the project team. The Laval Youth Center’s participation went beyond all expectations and contributed to the project’s remarkable success. Ecosystem and the Laval Youth Center worked together to ensure that project implementation went smoothly without interrupting the center’s day-to-day activities. “Ecosystem was able to understand and adapt to our context,” explains Mario Turcotte, Head of Technical Services at the Laval Youth Center. Even after construction, collaboration continued to be a driving force during the optimization phase, where equipment and systems were adjusted to run at peak efficiency without affecting occupant comfort levels in the process.

A Model Worth Spreading

Multiple contractual guarantees (energy savings, construction costs, incentives, return on investment period, systems operability) and an integrated delivery approach make all the difference between a good project and an excellent project—a project that is self-funded, generates long-term economic value, and has positive environmental and social impacts. This contractual model has been adopted as the standard by education and healthcare institutions in the province of Quebec, and deserves to become better known and more widespread in other regions and sectors.

Learn more about the Laval Youth Center project.

Mario Turcotte, Head of Technical Services
at the Laval Youth Center
Jonathan Thibault, Ecosystem Project Designer
who designed measures for the Laval Youth Center
Aermec heat pump on the roof
Heat recovery heat pump which supplies the heating network

Interested in learning more?