How one company achieved its green goalsDecember 11, 2014 REDWIRE is news you can use from leading suppliers. Powered by FRASERS.
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Lange Transportation and Storage says it is the first company in Canada to totally retrofit a 70,000-square-foot office and warehouse with geothermal heating and air conditioning.
It started back in July 2006 when the company purchased a 30-year-old building in Mississauga, Ont. Upon receiving a $3,800 electrical bill for the first month — and they hadn’t even moved in yet — the management team knew something had to be done. They decided the building needed to be more “green”.
In preparing for this huge investment, the following was identified: the need to replace all the windows with double pane windows to reduce heat loss in winter and heat coming in during the summer; and all washrooms and kitchen areas needed to be equipped with motion detectors so that lights went on when entered and off after 10 minutes of no motion.
In addition, light switches, where possible, were changed from operating as many as 20 fluorescent tubes to only operating four or five. Solar tubes were installed to allow natural light to enter individual offices and the middle of the office area.
But this was just the beginning. Through additional research, the team discovered that geothermal heating and air conditioning was a possible method to reduce energy consumption by as much as 80 per cent.
Select Power of Guelph was hired to do a cost study on two main areas:
1. Completely retrofit the 10,000-square-foot office to more energy-efficient lighting.
2. Provide a complete geothermal heating and air-conditioning system for not only the 10,000 square feet of office, but also the 60,000 square feet of warehouse space.
“We requested that the system be engineered so that the office could be a cozy 72 degrees year round, no matter what the outside temperature would be,” the company recalls. “We requested that the warehouse be able to maintain a min of 55 to 60 degrees in the winter, and the summer we requested that we be able to keep it between 75 and 80 degrees.”
The goal was to completely cut off the use of natural gas in the building and to reduce hydro consumption by at least 40 per cent from the previous system.
More that $600,000 was budgeted for the project, with an expected payback of 8.5 years. Select Power of Guelph was hired to oversee the project of the geothermal installation and the new lighting system in the offices. GeoSmart Energy of Cambridge engineered the project, and Main Air Systems of Mississauga was hired to be the Mechanical contractor. As part of the contract, all the old HVAC was removed, and improvements were made to the existing duct work system to allow better airflow through the whole system.
Once the system was operational, the natural gas meter was removed and the service was shut off, resulting in an immediate monthly savings of $5,631 in natural gas alone.
Over the years, Lange has became a leader in environmental initiatives. The total retrofitting of its facility is just one step in a long list that the company has undertaken. Contact Lange to learn more.