In 2006 when The City of Calgary set to reduce greenhouse gas emission levels by 50 per cent by 2050, it meant that both Calgarians and Calgary companies needed to think a bit harder about how we do things.
The Downtown District Energy Centre, the glass-enclosed building on 9 Avenue and 4 Street SE in Calgary, is an example of how we can help meet those goals and the needs of a growing city.
Centralized boilers in the District Energy Centre deliver hot water through an underground network of pipes to office towers and residential buildings. The hot water is then used to keep residents and workers warm. This cuts down on the need for a heating system in each building, and when added to District Energy’s more environmentally responsible operations helps Calgary get closer to its targets.
Six things you might not know about the Downtown District Energy Centre:
- It’s not a new idea: Romans used a similar process to heat greenhouses and baths.
- Its design is functional: The District Energy Centre produces fewer emissions than conventional heating systems.
- Its design is recognized: Its design was awarded LEED® Silver certification, a program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices.
- It’s a popular idea: Although a first for Calgary, there are approximately 130 district energy plants operating in cities across Canada, most of which are at hospitals or universities.
- It’s a big idea: The District Energy Centre will heat over 10 million square feet of new or existing residential or office space.
- It’s catching on: There are several buildings in downtown Calgary that are connected to the District Energy Centre, including City Hall, the Municipal Building, the Alberta Trade Centre and the Andrew Davison building. And with projects sprouting up in the East Village, several more are expected to be connected soon.
You can read more about the District Energy Centre here.