An exemplary case for energy conservation and achieving cost savings
483 Bay Street, managed by Northam Realty Advisors Limited, has set the bar high in terms of how to optimize and manage building energy performance, earning a BOMA BEST Platinum level upon recertification. This 30+ year old building has a REALPAC Normalized Energy Use Intensity of 15.3 ekWh/ft²/yr, which easily exceeds the 20×15 target, and is better than most of the new office buildings built in recent years. The building has won the CivicAction Race to Reduce award for the Lowest Energy Use in the GTA for three separate years, with a current ENERGY STAR score of 94.
How did we do it?
- The Property Management and Operations teams have a culture of proactive managing their energy performance.
- This includes tracking energy performance in real time using a web-based Utility Tracking platform, and addressing any performance anomalies before they become systemic.
- A tenant engagement program that includes quarterly meetings to discuss and review improvement opportunities. Recent examples include:
- A tenant pilot program which resulted in a 9.6% energy savings on the trial floors;
- Another tenant undertook a floor-by-floor renovation, with a focus on reducing their energy use. Renovated floors have shown electricity savings of 25%.
- Supporting these tenant engagement efforts, Northam meters and measures individual tenant in-suite plug load. This data is used to directly engage tenants to use less energy in their space on a regular basis, and tenants directly pay for the electricity that they use in their space (so they see the direct savings of any initiatives they undertake).
- Building upgrades have included:
- Lighting retrofits.
- Installation of variable speed drives.
- Elevator modernization (reducing elevator energy use by 40%).
- Chiller replacements, reducing energy use by 1,394,500 kWh or $170,000 annually.
- Boiler replacements with condensing boilers (annual savings of natural gas costs were calculated to be $69,309, equivalent to 2.5 ekWh/ft²/yr).
- Greenhouse gas emissions reduced 1,166,106 kg CO2e annually.
- Conscious of their contribution to provincial peak demand, Northam also voluntarily curtails electrical load during the hottest days of the year by shutting of non-essential lighting and reducing space cooling.