Friday, January 11, 2008

Kudo's to Palace Pier for saving on Hydro Costs

Palace Pier lit up for less

The hallways of the lakefront Palace Pier condominium are going green thanks to a $2-million interior renovation that includes conversion to leading-edge LED lighting.
Getting a face-lift are the building's 44 residential hallways, each to be installed with a so-called stretch ceiling giving the illusion of a mirror, highlighted with LEDs that use almost 90 per cent less electricity than the earlier halogens.

The Humber Bay Shores condo is the first in North America to do a retrofit installation of the energy-efficient light-emitting diode technology in its corridors.
The move will save condo owners more than $180,000 in capital, maintenance and electricity costs over the next five years.

"This project will save 350,000 kilowatt hours per year," said Scott Riesebosch, president of CRS Electronics, a Welland-based company that designs and manufactures the four-watt LED lamp used in Palace Pier.

"With LEDs, there are no gases, no mercury. LED products need to be changed less often, have less maintenance costs and less environmental waste (than halogens)."
A relatively new technology, LEDs use computer chips instead of filaments, or mercury in the case of fluorescent bulbs, to convert electricity into light.

Energy conservation is huge. The 1,300 LED-based MR16 (lamps) each require four watts, a savings of 31 watts per bulb over the earlier comparable halogen lamps. Peter Love, Ontario's chief energy conservation officer, lauded the effort. "I'm calling for a conservation culture in Ontario," Love said. "I want people to think about electricity, which is a challenge because it's invisible. I want people to believe they can make a difference. Most importantly, I want people to act, like you've done here."

The up-front cost is high - in Palace Pier's installation $80 per LED. But future savings trump capital costs, said Mark Porter, the general manager of Palace Pier.
Porter said CRS Electronics offered the condo board a three-year warranty on the lamps, adding the building's former halogen lights required annual replacement.

The energy conservation arm of the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, greenTbiz, advised on the project, designed by Toronto design firm, Heather Ann Scott Signature Design.

Palace Pier is leading the city's condos on green initiatives.

The 433-unit preeminent condo on Etobicoke's waterfront was the first residential building in Canada to implement the Variable Speed Drive chiller for their air-conditioning needs, arguably the most efficient in Canada's market.

"We're hopeful other buildings will follow suit," said president of the building's board and the area's community association Jim Lord, about the LED installation.

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