City of Mississauga
Mississauga’s Civic Centre – Leading by Example in Energy Conservation
“Conservation Heroes” are making a positive difference in Mississauga and one of the most influential members of this impressive group is the City itself.
From its Living Green Master Plan to its 5 Year Energy Conservation Plan, the City of Mississauga has made remarkable strides in finding effective ways to conserve energy and help reduce electricity and fossil fuel related emissions.
Projects such as the largest street lighting conversion in Canada, the installation of solar panels on community centre rooftops and hundreds of other conservation initiatives in City buildings have helped make the City a recognized leader in energy management. With so many projects underway and even more planned in the future, we narrowed our focus to the heart of Mississauga itself – the Civic Centre.
The Power of a Team – Developing a Conservation Culture
In the City’s Facilities and Property Management Division, there is a small but powerful Energy Management Team, responsible for energy conservation and environmentally sustainable initiatives. While the collective energy expertise among the group is remarkable, the team understands that employee engagement is an important factor in determining the success of their work.
“Modern technology plays an important role in achieving improved building performance, but if the human factor is missing from the equation, conservation results can be easily compromised,” said Daniela Paraschiv, Manager of Energy Management for the City of Mississauga.
From grassroots employee-based campaigns to large scale projects, the Energy Management Team has successfully increased conservation awareness and engagement among staff. Initiatives such as ‘Energy Champions,’ ‘e-Learning’ and ‘Run it Smart’ have provided the building’s users and its operators with the tools to better understand how their energy consumption affects the environment.
This information has helped many employees change their everyday habits at work and at home. Some employees have even been recognized with an ’Energenius Award’ for helping to identify new ways to conserve energy in the building.
This level of commitment to creating a culture of conservation is evident the moment you enter the Civic Centre. An electronic dashboard at the elevators greets employees and visitors, providing a snapshot of real-time and historic information on electricity, water and gas usage, along with numerous conservation tips. All Civic Centre employees can access the dashboard from their office computers and the interactive animations are a reminder that actions made today have an immediate impact and will benefit future generations.
A tour of the building further illustrates the collective efforts by employees to reduce energy usage. Lights are turned off in unoccupied rooms, the temperature is consistent throughout the building and signs promoting energy conservation are posted in common areas.
Using Energy Efficient Technology to Conserve
These efforts are supported by several large-scale, innovative projects that improve the building’s efficiency. At the core of this innovation is an automated system that monitors and controls all operations within the building.
Building Automation System
If the Civic Centre is the heart of Mississauga, the building’s automation system could be considered its brain, which continuously monitors the heating, cooling, lighting and ventilation. It records trends, monitors functions and optimizes the building’s systems.
The Civic Centre relies on a hybrid system with one condenser and three mid-efficiency gas-fired boilers. The optimized controls for each boiler ensure that heat is available on demand. To improve efficiency, variable speed drive pumps were installed. These high-efficiency pumps operate at lower speeds, thus using reduced power when less heat is required throughout the building.
The Civic Centre has a state-of-the-art system that uses magnetic levitation technology in its compressors to increase the efficiency of a chilled water system in the building.
Motion-control sensors have been installed throughout the Civic Centre to ensure lights are only turned on when required. During periods of inactivity, lights automatically turn off.
To improve energy efficiency, fans have been retrofitted with variable speed drives, delivering air according to the building’s occupancy and needs. Excess heat from the data room is directed to the parking garage in cooler weather.
Even outside the building, the City has taken steps to ensure energy isn’t wasted. The multi-purpose fountain, which doubles as a skating rink in winter, is equipped with technology to reduce energy consumption, while maintaining water resources. To ensure water isn’t wasted, it is treated and recirculated. A variable speed drive motor combined with wind sensor controls ensures that water passing through the fountain’s spouts isn’t turned into mist due to high winds.
Leading by Example
The energy efficiency at Mississauga’s Civic Centre has other cities taking notice. As an active participant in the nationwide Town Hall Challenge, the City of Mississauga has become an example of best practices in energy management. The Town Hall Challenge encourages all town halls in Canada to reduce their usage to the equivalent of 20 kWh of energy per square foot. For the last three years, the City has met the challenge and has recently gone one step further. In November 2016, Mississauga’s Civic Centre was declared the winner of the challenge and named ‘Most Efficient Town Hall in Canada.’
“Although the Town Hall Challenge is a friendly competition among all cities in Canada, we take it very seriously,” said Raj Sheth, Director of Facilities and Property Management at the City of Mississauga. “The hard work of the Energy Management Team to educate employees and develop a conservation culture is an important step in our broader strategy to create a cleaner, more sustainable environment for future generations.”
Reducing Energy Usage Across the City
Throughout Mississauga, similar efforts are being implemented in each of the City’s buildings.
“Our successes at the Civic Centre show us that working closely with operations and maintenance staff while engaging employees is a very successful method to significantly reduce energy consumption,” added Paraschiv. ”As we combine engagement with more efficient technology at buildings across the City, our conservation achievements will continue to increase.”
Over the last five years, the City has reduced electricity consumption by 10,250,000 kWh. That’s enough electricity to power over 1,100 homes for an entire year. Natural gas and water consumption have both been reduced by 1.3 million cubic meters and 36,600 cubic meters respectively. That’s enough natural gas to heat 530 homes and provide water to 433 people for a year.
For its commitment to energy conservation and environmental sustainability, Enersource applauds the City of Mississauga for being a “Conservation Hero.”
For more information about the City of Mississauga, please visit www.mississauga.ca.
By the numbers
- 10,250,000 kWh = enough electricity to power 1,100 homes for a year.
Natural Gas Reduction
- 1.3 million cubic meters/year = enough natural gas to power over 530 homes for a year.
- 36,600 cubic meters/year = enough water for about 433 people for a year.