Ameresco Canada & The Corporation of the City of London: Redevelopment and Energy Renewal Project at the City of London’s Canada Games Aquatic Centre

Constructed in 1991, the Canada Games and Aquatic Centre (CGAC) was faced with aging infrastructure issues. The original mechanical and electrical systems had reach the end of their anticipated life cycle, and were operating inefficiently. With a commitment to maintain its facilities in a safe and sustainable manner, through renovation and facility upgrades, the City of London, Canada, partnered with Ameresco on a $6.3 million redevelopment and energy renewal project.

CGAC interior
Canada Games Aquatic Centre

Ameresco conducted a full building condition assessment, and energy audit of the building in 2011. The detailed assessment of the building’s architectural, mechanical and electrical systems helped inform a comprehensive plan for the energy end-use profile, and the technical and economic feasibility of goals for energy conservation, greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, operational cost reduction and other facility renewal measures. The scope of work for the project was finalized early in 2012, and design for the various measures started in parallel with the public consultation process in 2013. The building was closed to the public during construction, which started on April 7, 2014. The project was completed on budget, and on schedule on October 31, 2014.

The project included local generation measures that provide the facility with some of its own energy requirements through local energy generation systems, larger amounts of backup power, electricity cost reduction tactics, and the offset of ongoing operational costs. Facility renewal measures provide energy cost, GHG and operational savings potential, and keep the facility in good operational condition for users. A major upgrade was the installation of a combined heat and power (CHP) system. The components of the CHP plant generate electricity, generate heat for the pool, general building heat, and in some instances is used to heat domestic hot water for showers and sinks. Additional improvements included replacing the end-of-life mechanical and electrical equipment, serving the pool and spectator area. Upgrades were also made to the (HVAC) system, to allow for proper ventilation and improve indoor air quality. Each measure was applied in terms of maximizing points toward LEED building renewal status. The internationally recognized LEED green building rating system promotes design and construction practices that increase profitability while reducing negative environmental impacts of buildings and improving occupant health and well-being.

Through this project, Ameresco enabled the CGAC to reach its energy conservation goals, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce operational cost, and renew facility infrastructure. Through this project the CGAC is expected to achieve annual energy savings of 5,810 GJ or 38%, annual carbon reductions of 198 metric tons or 32%, water savings of 450 m3 per year, and annual utility cost savings of $113,600 or 42%.

The City of London invested $6.3 million into the project, including a $785,000 contribution from the federal government through the Canadian Gas Tax Fund. This project was carried out with assistance from the Green Municipal Fund, a Fund financed by the Government of Canada and administered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). This support through the FCM consists of a low interest loan of $3,048,000 and a grant of $304,800. Taking into account the effects of utility cost escalation, the project has a payback of under 20 years. The comprehensive project has produced several long-term benefits for facility operations and the residents of London.