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Actions at the Jardin botanique

Installing solar reflection screens makes it possible to minimize heat losses and improve insulation.
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Claude Lafond)
Begoniaceae and Gesneriacea Conservatory.

Bright, inexpensive lighting

In office areas

Here, fluorescent tubes are the rule.

By replacing outmoded equipment with more efficient technology, the Jardin botanique has reduced its energy use by close to 45%, with no effect on lighting quality.

Optimal heating

Uniform heating and maximum savings

The Jardin botanique’s heating system works with hot water. The water used for heating and day-to-day consumption (e.g. faucets) has to come from the boiler room. The boilers there heat the water before pumping it through the heating system in the Administration Building and greenhouses.

So what’s the secret to saving energy?

  • A new electric boiler was also installed, to make it possible to switch back and forth between electric heating and natural gas heating, depending on costs, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • A second very high-efficiency natural gas boiler was installed to heat water for day-to-day uses. It burns fuel more completely, so less heat is lost up the chimney. As a result, the boiler consumes less natural gas to produce the same amount of heat.

Optimal ventilation in the Administration Building

Air quality is essential

The indoor spaces at the Jardin botanique, and especially the Administration Building, need a steady supply of fresh, clean air. Electric motors are used to drive the fans and to distribute air throughout the building’s many ventilation systems and keep things comfortable in all the working areas. To maintain proper air quality, these motors used to have to run full out all the time.

Cleanliness and savings – a winning combination

It was time to take a new look at the Garden’s equipment and aim for greener, more cost-efficient technology.

  • Outmoded motors were replaced with more effective equipment that loses less energy in the form of heat.
  • The amount of fresh air needed depends directly on the number of people in the building at any one time. With new VSD (variable speed drive) technology, the speed of the fans and pumps can be adjusted to match the needs of the building and its occupants. Less air needed = energy savings = lower costs!

This measure also help to control comfort levels in the different parts of the Administration Building more efficiently.

A new tool: solar reflection screens

How much light is too much?

One of the unique features of the Jardin botanique is its many greenhouses and its enormous glass-walled reception complex. All these windows are essential to provide the plants with the abundant light they need, and to create a “natural” environment for employees and visitors. But there is a problem: these vast expanses of glass also lose heat, meaning more demand for energy in colder weather. What’s the solution?

Like a cocoon

Installing solar reflection screens makes it possible to minimize heat losses and improve insulation. They help to reduce the energy used for heating and the greenhouse gases emitted by the boiler room, without reducing lighting levels. The result is better temperature control inside these spaces and substantial savings in heating costs.

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