June 24, 2020 Teaching old buildings new tricks

Triovest lowers the operating costs of its Edmonton commercial real estate holdings by being strategic about energy management

Seeking opportunities to improve properties

Energy efficiency solutions have proven their value across sectors as diverse as oil and gas and construction, and commercial and retail building managers like Triovest are also realizing the potential for significant cost savings and operational efficiencies.

Managing a suite of commercial, industrial and retail buildings, Triovest has grown and succeeded over the past 25 years by continually seeking opportunities to improve their properties. This continuous improvement mindset was what led them to participate in the Strategic Energy Management (SEM) program at three of their Edmonton buildings (9925 building, Twin Atria building and ATB Place). The newest of these buildings was built in 1982; the oldest in 1969.

With the expert assistance of an Energy Manager and program support, Triovest undertook such improvements to each building as re-setting parkade and domestic water temperatures, changing supply air temperature, adjusting chiller and chilled water setpoints, and changing scheduling practices. Coupled with helpful behavioural changes, these operational efficiencies became an energy savings strategy ‘toolkit’ that Triovest has been able to incorporate across its portfolio of office buildings.

“All three buildings in the SEM program have seen a great reduction in energy over 2019. As well, the process of finding operational efficiencies has been scaled to the other office buildings Triovest manages. We’re already seeing results throughout our office portfolio in Edmonton.” – Doug Brow, Director, Operations

Better leveraging energy efficiency technologies

New technologies have also contributed to better energy efficiency. By updating their Building Management System, building managers could see and consistently monitor the building data, examine trends and better predict maintenance needs.

At their ATB Place building, Triovest installed a pair of Combined Heat and Power systems (CHP, or co-generation) to efficiently produce power, save money and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This system decreases the building’s GHG emissions by up to 3,000 tonnes per year. The SEM program helped to integrate important learnings from these CHP installations across Triovest’s sites.

All told, in the first year of the SEM program, Triovest reduced energy consumption an average of 7.6 per cent across the three buildings – a total calculated energy cost avoidance of $437,113 for a single year. These significant energy savings are just the beginning and represent an important step change in Triovest’s ongoing process of continuous improvement.

ATB Place's Co-Gen in North Tower 2