September 23rd, 2020

Retrofits: Beyond Energy Efficiency

Posted in: All News

Canada faces an unprecedented challenge – but also an unprecedented opportunity. We have reached a pivotal point where the transition toward a low-carbon economy must happen. Today’s buildings represent the greatest opportunity for immediate net reductions in carbon emissions. Without tackling existing buildings, Canada cannot reach its emissions reduction goal. Large building retrofits create jobs, spur economic growth, and deliver cost savings to owners.

Throughout their presentation on Thursday, October 13 at the CaGBC’s Building Lasting Change conference, Joanne McCallum and Christina Karney will speak on the topic of sustainable retrofits, recognizing that large building retrofit must be a driving force in Canada’s transformation to a low-carbon economy.

Their session will highlight the process and methods used to retrofit a net zero ready heritage property. Originally constructed in 1917, Westinghouse HQ is located in Hamilton, Ontario. After decades of neglect, Electric City Developments and mcCallumSather’s architectural, heritage, mechanical and interiors team have restored this beautiful example of Classical Revival style. In order to achieve net zero readiness, our integrated team, together with RDH Building Science, conducted an Energy Consumption, Cost and Net Present Value Analysis Report that drove many of the design decisions, resulting in a highly sustainable 70,000 SF of commercial space. A portion of the presentation will focus on the design techniques and technology used by mcCallumSather for their offices which are targeting LEED Platinum and located on the 2nd floor of Westinghouse HQ. Compared with a more traditional office environment, the design of the workspace has resulted in energy savings of over 59% and energy cost savings of 28%.

The design team investigated all applicable heritage, energy efficiency and financial incentives offered by authorities to offset capital costs. Consequently, significant incentives were approved for the project, demonstrating significant ROI for the development team and a commitment to high-performance design. This presentation will also highlight how to work with heritage planning/authorities to develop appropriate tools for the long-term protection of heritage assets. By reducing the environmental footprint through the building’s energy performance analysis, its location, transportation options, indoor air quality, material reuse and water efficiency, Westinghouse HQ has been re-envisioned for a new age becoming a hub for commercial and cultural activities, and a blueprint for urban neighbourhood renewal.

For more information on the conference visit: