To date, Durham College (DC) has undertaken several initiatives to improve energy efficiency. This includes the installation of an extensive energy monitoring system, replacement of existing windows with high efficiency models, installation of variable speed drives, and the use of lighting occupancy sensors. These measures have resulted in immediate and long-lasting energy efficiency upgrades in all aspects of operation.
We currently have an energy intensity (EUI) of 1.54 GJ/m2 (per year). This EUI is above the benchmark average for colleges in Ontario, indicating that better energy performance is attainable at the site. A goal of reducing facility energy consumption by 10 per cent and achieving an EUI of 1.40 GJ/m2 has been set, with energy savings being targeted in the following areas:
- Pneumatic conversions/direct digital controls (DDC) upgrades
- Advanced lighting controls
- Building commissioning
- Equipment renewal and reconfiguration
The Conservation and Demand Management plan is intended to build upon DC’s sustainability platform, Living Green, and act as our Energy Conservation and Demand Management Report submission, meeting the Ontario Ministry of Energy’s requirements under the Green Energy Act 2009 (Ontario Regulation 397/11). This report highlights our current energy consumption patterns, provides targets for energy reduction and identifies key areas of focus to drive energy savings. DC is committed to meeting the targets identified within this CDM and we will continue to be proactive with energy conservation.
Solar panels: DC expanded the Whitby campus in 2009 to build capacity. The 20,000-square-foot expansion allowed for 350 solar panels to be installed. The photovoltaic cells provide clean energy back to the grid with a combined capacity of 72 kilowatts of electricity.
Wind turbines: Six Cleanfield Energy V3.5 vertical axis wind turbines are installed on the roof of the main building along the southern wall of our Whitby campus. The turbines begin spinning and generating energy at a minimum wind speed of 16.2 km/h. Minimal speeds are capable of generating 3.5 kW of power each and 18 kW at speeds of approximately 52.2 km/h. The turbines are utilized as a learning tool for students in the Renewable Energy Technician program. The energy generated is captured and sold back to the grid at a premium rate offered by the Ontario PowerAuthority’s Feed-in-Tariff.
White roofs: The Whitby campus expansion also features a white roof that reflects sunlight rather than absorbing it. With the white roof, the building uses less air conditioning in summer, making it more cost-efficient.
Geothermal: The Whitby campus expansion incorporated a new ground source heat pump (GSHP) system to provide adequate and energy-efficient heating and cooling to the expansion. The GSHP system uses 70 tonnes of refrigeration cooling-load pumped through 32 U-shaped pipes installed approximately 150 m underground. Depending on the season, the system circulates to transfer hot or cool air into the building.
Building Automation and Energy Management System: DC has a building automation system which regulates temperatures and allows setbacks while rooms are not occupied. About 95 per cent of the building space at the Whitby and Oshawa campuses has timers for temperature controls. DC uses a centralized energy management system that allows us to track energy consumption and performance in multiple buildings in a central location. The college chose the Siemens Apogee system, which monitors more than 60,000 building automation points across close to 95 per cent of the college’s building space.