District of North Vancouver Municipal Hall

Client: The District of North Vancouver

Product: Reliable Controls

Project Type: Controls Retrofit

Project Overview: Controls retrofit for a stylistically modern building with high energy usage.

Pain Points:

Occupant comfort was a consistent issue within the building. This was due in part to its wide variety of uses (atrium, offices, meeting rooms, council chambers, etc). The existing building control system did not allow for spaces to be controlled appropriately for their designated usage.

Energy use was high in the building, although the DNV had taken several steps to make manual adjustments to moderate energy consumption. Equipment in the building was known to be running more than necessary.

A need for data collection was also highlighted as there was no current method of tracking the data required to plan for mechanical equipment upgrades.

Project Goals:

  1. Improve comfort controls
  2. Reduce energy consumption
  3. Implement methods data collection for:
  4. Planning capital equipment upgrades
  5. Implementing further energy reduction strategies

Our Solutions:

  1. Retrofitted the existing outdated system with a Reliable Controls web-enabled building automation system.
  2. Added temperature sensors throughout the building to collect the data necessary for implementing controls strategies and capital equipment upgrades.
  3. Used several occupancy sensors in order to minimize the heating and cooling of spaces that may be empty or not currently in use in order to maximize energy savings.
  4. Implemented a complex scheduling strategy to meet all the different needs of the building.
  5. Implemented a Heating Hot Water Setpoint strategy. This ensures that the boiler water temperature is always running at the lowest possible setting while still maintaining comfort.
  6. Identified issues with existing equipment to see where improvements could be made. We discovered that units were over-sized for the space. As a result, they couldn’t operate at a low enough speed to meet air quality requirements (CO2).

Client Satisfaction:

All three objectives were achieved & the project was a resounding success. 

The client reported significant improvement in comfort and energy savings, stating:

“There was very minimal disruption to the occupants – they saw technicians on ladders for a couple of weeks and new thermostats appeared on the walls, but no other visible change. With the significant improvement in comfort and energy savings it is amazing that it was done without changing any of the equipment or doing any renovations or changing the physical space.” – Monica Samuda, P.Eng., CEM

It was also noted that the building operator was more able to engage with the building operation on a daily basis due to the availability of data.

Lesson learned:  

“Working in cooperation with the mechanical consultants and the district’s energy manager- exchanging ideas and strategies- was the reason that this project was such a success. Additional projects to improve the system even further are coming up in the near future and I look forward to being involved in the consulting, design, installation and implementation of the upcoming improvements.”

–Chad Nichol, Operations Manager, Kerr Controls Inc.

Energy savings (Baseline year 2011, Comparison year 2019):

It should be noted that it was not possible to accurately estimate the expected energy savings for the upgrade project, because there was no data available from the original control system. The district team knew that the savings would be significant, but were still surprised by the results.

Natural gas consumption: Decreased by 40% 

Electricity consumption: Decreased by 31%




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