The Sorel-Tracy School Board undertakes significant work aimed at improving the energy efficiency of its schools.
With the implementation of more than 100 energy-efficient measures in nineteen of its schools, the school board will reduce its energy bill by 40% within the next year, while improving the comfort of its students and employees with better lighting, heating and cooling systems. To carry out this project, the Material, Transportation and Information Services of the Sorel-Tracy School Board extended an invitation to tender in 2014. The selection process, which was spread over several months, led Énergère to design the project and implement its guidelines, based on in-depth evaluations of the school board’s systems.
The Sorel-Tracy School Board has invested $9.6 million in this major project funded by grants, from the measure for Allocation for Building Maintenance of the Ministry of Education, and from a loan contracted by the school board. Energy savings of $706 000 are expected each year, which will allow for a self-financing period of 6,5 years. Once the work is completed, Énergère will offer to follow up on the project until 2022, in order to ensure the School Board benefits from the guaranteed energy saving.
The work started last spring and will be finalized by the end of December 2016. During this period, fourteen boiler rooms will be refurbished, following the replacement of the outdated equipment, and in order to eliminate fossil fuels, heavy fuel oil will be entirely removed from school buildings. The school board plans to expand its automated systems with 853 new control points. The conversion of 13,700 lighting fixtures to LED technology will increase the concentration and comfort levels of the students and the entire staff. Thanks to these measures, unit consumption will go from 0.65 GJ/m2/year to 0.46 GJ/m2/year, making the Sorel-Tracy School Board an energy-performance model in regard to the energy balance of the school boards network (provincial average of 0.65 GJ/m2/year). Furthermore, in order to optimize future energy savings, the Sorel-Tracy School Board partnered up with Énergère to carry out awareness activities for students, their parents and the staff to educate them on the efficient use of energy.
The integration of aerothermal and heat pumping technologies confirms even more the school board’s shift to a more environmentally friendly infrastructure. Indeed, aerothermal technology will be used in five different schools, including Bernard-Gariépy and Fernand-Lefebvre High Schools, and will allow to collect energy through the air. This renewable, and therefore inexhaustible source of energy will be directly transferred through the heating network of the buildings. The heat recovery of the boiler flue gases will ensure the reuse of energies through the systems. In terms of environmental impacts, this energy-efficient project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 19%. Moreover, following the implementation of external inputs for emergency generators, six schools will become shelter areas.
There is no doubt that the Material Resources Department of the school board and Énergère’s team will be directly related to the success of this project, and we cannot thank them enough for their valuable involvement. By adopting several measures to reduce the energy consumption of its schools, the Sorel-Tracy School Board demonstrates its commitment to protect the environment, to improve the comfort of its students and employees and to reduce the maintenance costs of its buildings. This commitment falls within the strategy plan of the Sorel-Tracy School Board, entitled Notre région, nos jeunes… notre avenir.