When officials at the non-profit Greater Sudbury Housing Corporation (GSHC), Sudbury Ontario, Canada, wanted to reduce energy consumption at their largest building, they charged Richard Munn, manager of technical services, with determining the best course of action.
The building in question, located on Bruce Street, was constructed in 1972. It’s 17 stories tall and has 251 units. Though Munn had many options to choose from—some of which would have been extremely expensive in a retrofit situation—he eventually settled on SolarWall® technology as low-cost, high-value option for reducing on-site energy consumption and improving the building’s ventilation. There was little question as to whether SolarWall would perform as billed. The technology had been employed successfully on a number of Sudbury city buildings already.
Conserval Engineering of Toronto custom designed a SolarWall® system for the GSHC project. It is comprised of multiple columns of perforated SolarWall metal wall panels running up the face of the building. Heated air is drawn through the holes in the panel faces and then ducted into the building’s ventilation system through two existing fresh air intakes on the roof. The total system consists of 6,128 sq. ft. (569 square meters) of SolarWall panels panels divided into eight separate sections that are each approximately 115'-10" (35.9m) high by 6'-8" (1.98m) wide.
The SolarWall system is projected to displace approximately 2,162GJ of energy a year, and reduce 186 tons of CO2 emissions annually. Displaced heating cost savings were estimated at over $23,200 per year at 2007 energy prices.
The Sudbury Housing SolarWall® system qualified for a number of incentives, including a 25% ecoENERGY grant from the Canadian government. Afterwards, the SolarWall system ended up qualifying for an additional 50% funding. Half came from the Ontario Solar Thermal Heating Incentive (OSTHI) and the other half was provided through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation. Both are Provincial Programs of the Ontario Government.
Thanks to the project’s success, the GSHC is evaluating additional buildings for SolarWall installations.