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low carbon heating and cooling
January 27, 2020

Construction project in Toronto incorporates low carbon heating and cooling

The company that made an international splash by air conditioning downtown Toronto without air conditioners has more energy-saving innovations in the works.

With the help of a gigantic purpose-built thermal reservoir, Enwave Energy will add an entire new neighbourhood to its underground low-carbon heating and cooling network with the project called The Well on the site that used to be headquarters for the Globe and Mail.

Not only will the seven-building retail, residential and office complex in the city’s business centre be added to Enwave’s lake-water cooling system, but the company is in the process of incorporating a series of revolutionary energy and carbon-saving techniques to keep residents and workers at The Well comfortable.

Even for construction-mad Toronto, the site is large, with more than a million square feet of office space, nearly 2,000 residences and more than 400,000 square feet of retail. The project’s backers estimate that it will serve about 11,000 people daily.

“It’ll be 100 per cent heated and cooled by Enwave,” said Carson Gemmill, the company’s engineering lead for Toronto.

The project’s name has a double meaning, as its northern access is onto Wellington Street. But at the core of the project is the well itself, a multimillion-litre underground hole that extends into the bedrock from below the lowest parking level to a few metres above sea level. 

The solution stored in the well — it is not just water — will act as a giant thermal battery, said Gemming, cold in the summer for air conditioning and hot in the winter for heating.

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