Perimeter Institute Decarbonization Plan

Perimeter Institute Decarbonization Plan

Waterloo, Ontario
The exterior of the Perimeter Institute on a sunny day

We are providing electrical, mechanical, and sustainability consulting engineering services for this research centre in Canada.

Perimeter Institute is a higher education facility for foundational theoretical physics in Waterloo, Ontario, that houses academic research, administration, and event spaces.

The institute engaged our team to complete the initial design phases of a decarbonization scope of work. The primary focus was to find a suitable replacement for the natural draft boilers that needed imminent replacement, as well as:

Associated mechanical upgrades (to lower the temperature of hot water)

  • Four geo-exchange options

  • Air source heat pump review

  • Kitchen heat recovery systems

  • Lighting retrofits

  • Renewable energy generation

  • Electrical service upgrades

We engaged A.W. Hooker Quantity Surveyors as a cost consultant to help with costing various energy-conserving measures. Due to the extensive work done through schematic and detailed design stages, our recommended solution included project management, engineering, installation review, and commissioning, of:

  • Replacement and removal of existing boilers, chiller/cooling tower, and associated pumps and heat exchangers

  • Three new roof-mounted air-source heat pumps

  • Three new high-efficiency condensing boilers.

  • New adiabatic cooling tower to serve existing water-cooled variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system

  • New electric humidifiers

  • Electrical upgrades to serve new electrification of systems.

  • New kitchen heat recovery system

  • Replacement of gas kitchen appliances with new electric induction appliances

  • Control system upgrades

The scope of work included analyzing existing utility bills to understand the current state of play for energy and emissions, as well as understanding the impact of retrofit options on both utility cost and carbon emissions. Our goal was to provide a preliminary design package that would meet the project budget as well as the maximum decarbonization intent achievable.

Currently, the project is seeking board approval to move into working drawings and implementation stages and is also seeking federal grant applications for funding.

Photo credit: geniagoescu/Shutterstock


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