Canada’s most energy efficient city and town halls

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) has revealed the top 15 most energy efficient town/city halls in Canada. A result of the Town Hall Challenge, an offshoot of the Mayors’ Megawatt Challenge and managed since 2003 by TRCA, the challenge calls on municipalities across Canada to submit their town halls’ utility data. 60 municipal buildings participated, with the top 25 per cent being identified and each participating municipality receiving a report on how their town hall ranked, its energy intensity per square foot and how much could be saved if it met a target of 20 ekWh per square foot.

“City and town halls are at the heart of every municipality, and should be their flagships of sustainability,” said Brian Dundas, coordinator of the Mayors’ Megawatt Challenge Program for TRCA. “A growing number of municipalities are leading the effort to lower energy use and cut emissions, however there’s still work to be done with several using as much as three times more energy per square foot than other comparable facilities. If all buildings using over 20 ekWh per square foot were to achieve the target of 20, they would each save on average $118,000 per year in utility costs and associated GHG emissions.”

The 2010 Top 15 Town/City Halls:

  1. City Hall, Town of Ladysmith, B.C. 11.5 ekWh/sq.ft.
  2. Town Hall, Town of Rothesay, NB 14.1 ekWh/sq. ft.
  3. Civic Complex, City of Pickering, ON 15.0 ekWh.sq.ft.
  4. City Hall Annex-Vancity, City of Vancouver, B.C. 17.2 ekWh.sq.ft.
  5. City Hall, City of Fredericton, NB 17.3 ekWh.sq.ft.
  6. City Hall, City of Castlegar, B.C. 18.0 ekWh.sq.ft.
  7. City Hall, City of Hamilton, ON 19.9 ekWh.sq.ft.
  8. Niagara Region Headquarters, Niagara Region, ON 20.9 ekWh.sq.ft.
  9. Metro Hall, City of Toronto, ON 21.2 ekWh.sq.ft.
  10. City Hall, City of St. Catharines, ON 21.3 ekWh.sq.ft.
  11. City Hall, City of Richmond, B.C. 22.5 ekWh.sq.ft.
  12. City Hall, City of Dieppe, NB 23.3 ekWh.sq.ft.
  13. Municipal Hall, Resort Municipality of Whistler, B.C. 24.0 ekWh.sq.ft.
  14. Civic Centre, City of Mississauga, ON 24.2 ekWh.sq.ft.
  15. Administrative Centre, York Region, ON 24.9 ekWh.sq.ft.

The top 15 had an average building energy use 19.7 ekWh per square foot, about half had energy management plans, and most do not have established energy targets, though some are incorporating them into plans, particularly those with FCM’s Partners for Climate Protection. Most have green teams or committees to help with occupant awareness and better behaviour practices, and many work with their local hydro utility companies.

The report also shows that the size of the municipality wasn’t important: some of the largest and smallest municipalities have buildings in the top. When it comes to energy efficiency of a building, its age has little impact on its performance. Of the top 15, only four buildings were built in this century while five were built before the 1970s.

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