The Direct Energy Centre in Toronto, an exhibition hall hosting shows of all types announced a while back that they have planned to turn the centre into a model of environmental sustainability, and at just over 800,000 square feet of exhibition space, that’s no small feat. They’ve earmarked $7 million of their sponsorship funding over the next 10 years for environmental initiatives, and have already made great strides in reducing the building’s footprint.
As you enter the grounds, you cannot miss the wind turbine in the distance, quietly producing over 1 million KW/h each year. In addition to this, 130,000 sq/ft of roof space is slotted to be fitted with solar panels, providing a peak power of nearly 2 megawatts of electricity, making it the largest PV plant in Canada.
They’ve replaced all the streetlights with LED lights which last 5 times longer than conventional bulbs, and reduce energy consumption by 50%, while still producing the same light output. For internal lighting, ballasts were adjusted and bulbs replaced, netting a 2.3 million KW/h savings per year for the entire lighting project (about a $250,000 savings annually).
The centre plans on hitting its goal of being 70% waste free this year and already has a program in place to separate waste materials, like glass, wood, food, etc. for recycling, and even recycles 100% of the paper towels used in the public washrooms. Their programs are truly too numerous to describe, but between their green roof pilot project, urban reforesting program, linen-free meeting rooms, compostable food packaging, and use of Forest Stewardship Council certified products, they seem to be doing a good job.
Another cool thing, like there weren’t enough, is that they have 2 John Deere fuel cell powered vehicles on site for grounds maintenance. Running low on fuel? No problem, they have a hydrogen fuel refill station on site!
written by curt, May 05, 2008
written by Lloyd Alter, May 05, 2008
written by Eric, May 08, 2008
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