Located in Hamilton ON, and built in 2012, Royal Vista Gardens is a 4-storey, 4,636 m2 multi-residential building intended to house the elderly with affordable rental rates while providing a high level of comfort.
At the early stages of planning and evaluation, renewable energy possibilities were explored and discussed as a viable source of income and offset to utility consumption. The tools provided a series of reports that concluded that the benefits of geothermal would outweigh the initial capital cost for the project.
Using a life cycle cost approach, several tiers of technology upgrades were to be examined and geothermal was established as one of the technologies to implement to ensure that the new building demonstrates sustainable and energy efficient design while maintaining financial viability.
Given the nature of the building, the HVAC system requirement was to provide individually controlled temperature for each apartment while providing Lower Operating Cost, Enhanced Comfort, Quiet operation, Reliable, and Environmentally Friendly.
During the early stages of construction, the originally projected gas-fired, electric cooled in-suite HVAC units were replaced by water-to-air heat pumps connected to a ground heat exchanger loop. The in-suite heat pumps use the thermal energy in a circulating water loop as a source for heating and cooling energy for each suite as needed. The circulating water is run through a ground heat exchanger in order to maintain a reasonably constant water temperature.
The pumping system was designed with variable speed pumps which provided twice the efficiency thanks to ECM Technology.
The project took a year to complete, starting from system design, equipment selection, project coordination and implementation, to system commissioning and follow up.
The system start-up and commissioning gave Green Method the opportunity to validate the parameters stablished at the early stages of project evaluation and design. Not only has the system met those parameters, it exceeded them.
The customer concerns on embracing a new technology for heating and cooling was dissipated the minute the system went live.
As Rocco Oliverio, Principal at Royal Vista Gardens simply put it – this system has far exceeded our expectations regarding comfort and savings.
From Rocco Oliverio, Principal at Royal Vista Gardens:
-“Given the opportunity to evaluate the system performance after two years our experience with the system has far exceeded our expectations regarding comfort in heating and cooling and monetary savings.”
-“The Return in investment is definitely something that we will continue to look at for future projects given that the budget has to be there to allow for the initially higher capital cost expense.” http://sbcanada.org/affordable-seniors-housing-project-hamilton-sep-2010/