CIMA+ Sherbrooke Consulting Office | ZCB-Performance certification
CIMA+, one of Canada’s largest private consulting engineering firms, recently announced that its Sherbrooke office has become the first building in Quebec to achieve the Zero Carbon Building (ZCB) – Performance Certification.
Located on rue King Ouest in Sherbrooke, Quebec, the building was designed by CIMA+’s own engineers to optimize energy performance and reduce carbon emissions. The building’s heating system operates exclusively on electricity.
Given Quebec’s electrical grid is not 100 per cent hydropower, the electricity still generates a slight carbon footprint, CIMA+ needed to compensate for approximately 1.8 tonne of CO2 emissions generated to operate the building. With a zero-carbon objective, CIMA+ purchased green energy certificates to compensate for the remaining emissions at a cost of $136 per year.
This process enabled the building to meet the CaGBC’s definition of zero-carbon building, as it demonstrated high energy-efficiency, and procures or produces carbon-free renewable energy to offset the annual carbon emissions associated with its operation.
To optimize energy efficiency, CIMA+ engineers implemented many strategies. For example, a geothermal system consisting of twelve (12) wells supply the building with air conditioning and heating, as well as to recover energy from the server room. At 10,900 square meters over three floors, CIMA+ Sherbrooke also features an efficient building envelope and lighting systems and controls.
To reduce energy consumption, the heat of the server room is recovered to heat off-road parking spaces which, in addition to the geothermal system, provides radiant heating to the floors of the parking structure. A heat wheel is also installed inside the ventilation system on the roof to recover thermal energy from the exhaust air.
The CaGBC’s ZCB standard is the only one in North America that uses carbon as the key performance metric. As CIMA+ values corporate sustainability, achieving the ZCB standard was an appropriate pursuit.
“Having an energy-efficient office building is aligned with our corporate social responsibility plan which, in part, aims at providing our employees a beautiful and healthy work environment,” said David Murray, Partner and Vice President at CIMA+. “This project was important for us because as a consulting engineering firm, we need to lead by example.”