What is a District Energy Sharing System (DESS)?
The DESS is a high efficiency energy delivery system that replaces traditional furnaces, air conditioners and boilers in homes and buildings. This centralized system distributes and shares heating and cooling energy between buildings throughout the entire neighbourhood.
The first stage of the District Energy Sharing System uses a geoexchange field as its main renewable energy source. Geoexchange harnesses the shallow geothermal energy below the earth’s surface. In the winter, a geoexchange system draws heat from the ground for heating, and in the summer, it uses the ground to reject excess heat to provide cooling.
The DESS is a highly flexible system, capable of incorporating the latest innovations in renewable energy technology.
District energy systems are operated all over the world, including right in our own backyard! In Edmonton, the University of Alberta owns and operates a district energy system to serve their greater campus area. In Canada, a number of other cities, towns and neighbourhoods are using district energy sharing systems, including Whistler, Vancouver, Richmond, Langford and Surrey in British Columbia, as well as Toronto, Ontario. If we look even further to Europe, cities like Copenhagen have historically built systems where over 90% of the buildings are connected to a district energy system.
Blatchford homes will be some of the greenest in Canada. Right from the very start builders will be required to have a comprehensive recycling program during building construction to reduce the amount of materials going to the landfill.
To decrease the amount of energy needed to run a home, builders will be required to build energy-efficient homes that exceed the current building code. Homes will have features like increased insulation, smart room thermostats, energy- and water-efficient appliances, low-flow fixtures, high-quality windows, and a tighter building envelope to reduce heat loss.
For homeowners, this means less energy and water usage, healthier indoor air quality, more durable construction, and contributing to more life across our planet.