Geoexchange Case Studies in the Greater Toronto Area


These case studies summarize the experience of a number of geoexchange system owners/operators, and in some cases also provide monitoring data on system performance.  They discuss how and why the project were conducted, design of the system, details on implementation, project costs, and performance data, where available. The case studies are based on the findings from the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) companion reports titled “Closing the Loop: A Survey of Owners, Operators and Suppliers of Urban Geoexchange Systems in the Greater Toronto Area” and “Performance Assessment of Urban Geoexchange Projects in the Greater Toronto Area.”

In general, it was found greenhouse gas emissions reductions associated with heating a building using geoexchange as opposed to conventional fossil-fuel based technologies is on the scale of 1,000 kg eCO2 per ton of installed heating capacity per year. For residential homes, this savings is comparable to that achieved by taking an average car off the road every year.


Case Studies

DelRidge_SiteaDel Ridge Homes is a leading developer of large scale residential and commercial facilities. Through its GreenLife Building Systems, Del Ridge has been on the forefront of the green building movement in the Greater Toronto Area. GreenLife facilities feature innovative technologies such as geoexchange for heating and cooling, grid-tied solar photovoltaics, thermally efficient windows, tight highly-insulated building envelopes and solar street lighting, among others. The company recently constructed one of the first Net Zero Energy condominiums in Canada, Greenlife Condominium in Milton, Ontario.

Site Location

Del Ridge Homes
0.9 MB PDF

EarthRangers_FacilityaThe Earth Rangers Centre for Sustainable Technology is located on Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s (TRCA) Living City Campus in Vaughan, ON. It was constructed in 2004 as the base of operations for Earth Rangers, a children-oriented conservation organization. The building is a showcase for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and water conservation technologies and practices. In 2012, the Centre achieved LEED® Platinum for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (LEED EB) Certification and is presently the highest rated LEED EB certified building in Canada.

Site Location

Earth Rangers Centre
0.9 MB PDF

PressBuilding_by_NealJenningsaThe City of Toronto’s Exhibition Place is Canada’s largest entertainment venue and is visited by over 5.3 million people each year. Located on 192 acres of waterfront parkland, Exhibition Place contains convention, exhibition, and conference venues, as well as sporting facilities, restaurants, and nightclubs. Through its GREENSmart Program, the organization has implemented an array of sustainability initiatives related to energy production and waste management.

Site Location

Exhibition Place Press Building
0.3 MB PDF

Firehall2NorthHall_PearsonInternationalAirport_AndrewHClineaThe Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) operates and manages Toronto Pearson Airport, Canada’s largest and most frequented airport. The airport moved 31.9 million travelers in 2010 and averages 1,175 flights per day (Toronto Pearson, 2014). The North Fire Hall houses the firefighters responsible for Toronto Pearson. It is located off Derry Road at 6658 Vanguard Drive in Toronto, Ontario.

Site Location

Greater Toronto Airports Authority
0.5 MB PDF

goingGreenDiggingaLange Transportation is a transportation and logistical management company based in Toronto, Ontario. Founded in 1986, the company specializes in the tradeshow and special events market. The Lange head office is located at 3965 Nashua Drive in Mississauga, Ontario.

Site Location

Lange Transportation
0.3 MB PDF

RegionOfPeel_Geoexchange_FacilityaThe Region of Peel is the second largest municipality in Ontario, serving more than 1.3 million people in Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon. It is responsible for the delivery of programs and services, such as public health, regional roads, water and wastewater, emergency services and social housing, among others. The Region of Peel geoexchange sites examined in this case study are retrofit systems installed in residential social housing buildings. A holistic design approach was used for each retrofit project, which included: (i) installation of a geoexchange system, (ii) upgrades to distribution and ventilation systems, and (iv) installation of solar hot water heating. Limited work was done to improve the building envelope and other building features so that the project findings will be replicable in other town homes where extensive renovations are not feasible. The distribution system in each home was upgraded from a single zone system to multi-zone systems to reduce hot and cold-spotting.

Site Location – House A

Site Location – House B

Region of Peel
0.8 MB PDF

RS_FacilityaThe Restoration Services Centre (RSC) facility in the City of Vaughan was constructed in 2007 for Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s (TRCA) resource management and environmental restoration projects while also acting as a showcase for sustainable building design. It was the first building in Ontario to achieve LEED® Platinum Certification for new construction by incorporating a number of advanced sustainable design features. These include: rainwater harvesting, composting toilets, recycled building materials, an earth tube, heat recovery ventilators, photovoltaics, high levels of natural daylighting and a geoexchange system, among other attributes.

Site Location

Restoration Services Centre Facility
1.1 MB PDF

Metrus-bldg-GSHPThe Metrus Building in Concord, Ontario, near Toronto, is one of the larger commercial office buildings in the province to use a ground-source heat pump system for heating and cooling. This building has a bank located on the ground floor, along with several other small businesses. The entire second floor is home to the land developer Metrus Properties Limited. After 14 years of operation, the system continues to perform at a level comparable to its first day of operation, enabling Metrus to reap the financial rewards of low operating costs.

Site Location

Metrus Building
1.5 MB PDF