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TRIM-ming Energy Costs

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A retrofit of The Residence in Mission’s heating and cooling systems finds savings and efficiencies.

As the world continues to grapple with the challenges of climate change, it’s more important than ever to find ways to reduce carbon emissions and increase efficiency in building operations while ensuring the comfort of those providing and receiving care in our facilities.

In 2021, Building Energy Solutions, a mechanical and electrical engineering consultancy, conducted an energy audit of the heating and cooling systems at The Residence in Mission (TRIM), a long term care facility which was built in 2014 behind Mission Memorial Hospital.

“TRIM’s energy use for typical heating and cooling demands was consistently higher than comparable Fraser Health facilities,” explains Jeson Mak, Energy Manager for Fraser Health. “We needed to get to the root of the problem to determine the best solution.”

During the review several inefficiencies were uncovered, including piping installation problems that made it impossible for all the building’s heat pumps to operate properly and caused the boilers to short cycle and operate inefficiently.

A proposal was put forward to re-pipe the heat pumps and boiler circuits. Initial calculations showed the work would be low cost and result in significant energy reduction, which turned out to be true.


Photo 1: Re-piping of the heat pumps and boiler circuits                   Photo 2: Insulated piping

The performance exceeded initial expectations,” says Jeson. “Energy consumption from the heating and cooling systems has been reduced by about a third in 2022.”

Costs from the retrofit are expected to be fully recovered through the utilities cost savings in about two-and-a-half years. The retrofitted system will also save the Facilities Maintenance and Operations team time.

“2022 was the first year Facilities did not need to dump ice blocks into the cooling tower to try and increase cooling to the building,” says Steve Arnold, project consultant, Building Energy Solutions.

This project highlights the importance of continuous building performance monitoring and proper HVAC system design and commissioning, as well as the potential for retrofitting to improve system efficiency, reduce environmental footprint and save on energy costs.

Thank you to our Energy and Environmental Sustainability team who worked in collaboration with Fraser Health’s Facilities Maintenance and Operations team and Building Energy Solutions to complete this important work.