Project Owner/Developer: [Owners] Desjardins Financial Security Life, Assurance Company and AIMCo Realty Advisors/ONTARI Holdings Ltd.
LEED Consultant: WSP Canada Inc. (Matthew Hirsch – Team Lead)
Structural Engineer: Stephenson Engineering Ltd
Contractor/Builder: Shipp Corp.
Other: Colliers International (Property Manager)
The Mississauga Executive Centre (MEC) complex is located in the heart of downtown Mississauga and consists of four premier commercial office towers, each comprising of 15 above-ground floors. With its close proximity to major highway arteries and the Toronto Pearson airport, along with a notable walking score of 88/100, MEC retains an impressive occupancy rate of over 95 per cent.
Each of the four individual towers first achieved LEED Gold Certification in June 2012. Earlier this year, the buildings achieved LEED Canada EB: O&M Recertification using the CaGBC’s Application Guide for Multiple Building Projects in LEED Canada EB: O&M.
The following case study was written using responses previously provided for a LEED Spotlight in March 2016.
Key Project Features
The project has had an 11.6 per cent reduction in electricity consumption, and a 43.3 per cent reduction in water consumption since 2011. They also incorporated a comprehensive recycling program on-site, including e-waste collection and the “MEC ReUse Centre” program that sees gently used office materials, supplies and furniture donated or reused, improving the complex’s waste diversion rate.
A big accomplishment was achieved in 2014 when the team implemented an on-site organic waste program that identified MEC as one of the first commercial real estate company's in Canada to introduce a program like this in an office setting. The program sees all organic waste put through a maceration process and transformed into rich, nutritious compost that is returned to the MEC landscaping.
MEC takes part in the local Credit Valley Conservation and Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Greening Corporate Grounds initiative, which commits to enhancing landscaping around the complex. As an additional form of tenant engagement and as a contribution to local conservation efforts, MEC is also a supporting member of The Canadian Peregrine Foundation: in cooperation with the foundation, they host a nesting pair of Peregrine falcons that have annually produced multiple hatchlings for the past 10 years. A live camera feed of the nest is available 24/7 to capture nest activity and can be viewed online.
LEED Recertification played a big part in ongoing sustainable operations
As a major office space provider in the Mississauga City Centre, achieving LEED certification was a way for MEC to exhibit their individuality in the developing GTA West marketplace and position themselves as a key competitor that, regardless of building age, is an innovative and sustainable leader.
Moreover, promoting MEC as LEED Gold Certified has attributed to an improved occupancy rate - from 87.5 per cent in 2012 to 95 per cent in 2013.
The decision to maintain LEED status was driven by the desire to improve operating efficiencies and determine energy savings strategies. These improvement goals are met through annual re-commissioning of building equipment, and monitoring energy use through frequent reviews of lighting and HVAC schedules, which is further detailed below.
Active tenant engagement was also key to drawing awareness to the project’s ongoing sustainability efforts, including a quarterly Tenant Green Team Committee meeting to allow for the dissemination of and contribution to education and awareness strategies for new and existing programs.
HVAC schedules and other strategies have led to big energy savings
When tackling the recertification at MEC, the project team decided to take a number of approaches to improving energy efficiency. This includes:
- Eliminating Saturday operation of the hot deck fan, which has provided a savings of 243,868 kWh / $25,606 p/yr;
- Adjusting the morning start-up incrementally to a later time while trending the space temperature of each floor, simultaneously, the BAS to calculate the average warm-up duration based on OAT and implement the Optimum Start-up feature – providing a savings of 142,901 kWh / $15,052 p/yr;
- Replacing defective lighting relays providing a savings of 21,250 kWh / $2,231;
- BAS System replacement at MEC 1;
- Replacing exterior lights with LED fixtures providing a 56 per cent reduction in energy demand (258 Watts).
- Replacement of Domestic Water Pump providing a savings of 116,621 kWh/$13,995.
- Installing motion sensors in rooms/areas with low foot traffic (i.e.: stairwells) to provide lighting only when required providing a savings of $77,000 p/yr; and
- Upgrading and replacing the retail chiller with York Magnetic Bearing Chiller providing a savings of 143,100 kWh/ $42,000 p/yr.