Earth Rangers™ is a Canadian non-profit organization that promotes the importance of protecting biodiversity and the adoption of more sustainable behavior through community events, online education, and a positive science. Earth Rangers has successfully applied their message and positive science to their 60,000 square foot (5600m²) facility, based outside of Toronto, to make it one of the most energy-efficient buildings on the planet.
A results-oriented partnership
Earth Rangers was looking for partners who could donate equipment and expertise, and in 2009, Schneider Electric™ came onboard as their building automation, metering, security, and lighting controls supplier. The first installation included: Schneider Electric building automation hardware and software, power monitoring and energy management tools, Juno lighting, Pelco cameras, and PowerLink/Clipsal lighting controls. Significant savings and benefits were realized, but true to the organization’s values, Earth Rangers wanted to do even more. After earning LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold for New Construction certification, Earth Rangers decided to further demonstrate their commitment to reducing energy use and CO₂ emissions by pursuing a LEED Platinum for Existing Buildings certification—the highest level of certification offered under LEED.
“The fact that our building is 83% below the national average energy usage of a standard building sets an outstanding example of the mindset we want to encourage in children,” says Peter Kendall, Executive Director, Earth Rangers. Indeed, green building designer professionals from around the world visit the facility to study its energy-efficient design and operation. “But, if we want to set the standard for how to operate a truly energy-efficient, “green” building, it’s vitally important that we continue to reduce our facility’s energy usage.”
Hosted energy management solution delivers tangible benefits quickly
Schneider Electric recommended hosted StruxureWare Energy Operation software, an advanced energy management information system that leverages existing real-time monitoring and control systems with:
- automated tools to identify, analyze, and report on energy savings and sustainability initiatives
- automatic transfer of energy monitoring system data to a public facing display kiosk and corporate website
- verified utility billing data and reports providing insight on power sent back to the grid through on-site generation
- powerful management tools to validate the effectiveness of their energy savings initiatives and investments, helping document the true return on investment in dollars, kWh and CO₂ saved
Utilizing professional design and commissioning from Schneider Electric, the upgraded installation was up and running by July 2011. Anchored by intuitive Energy Operation software, the new solution began providing actionable energy information to help Earth Rangers save time, reduce effort, and improve total facility energy performance. Key energy data was centralized into a single “facility scorecard” view for straightforward energy monitoring, real-time and historical analysis, and reporting. This key performance information enabled staff to evaluate and justify new energy efficiency building improvements, while detecting and correcting poor energy efficiency in building automation, control, and HVAC systems. According to Andy Schonberger, Director, Earth Rangers Centre, “Energy Operation allows us to visualize integrated information from different platforms. At the click of a mouse, up-to-date energy metering and building automation tracking information are brought together into a package that is understandable to a building operator, manager, or the general public.”
Recognition for outstanding green building achievements
What’s more, StruxureWare Energy Operation contributed substantially to Earth Rangers achieving certification to LEED Platinum by helping the organization target multiple credits under LEED Existing Building, namely Energy and Atmosphere Credits 3.2 and 3.3 (system level metering), along with Water Efficiency Credit 1.1 (sub-metering and reporting). Additional benefits include 20% year-over-year reduction in energy consumption and greenhouse gas savings of 444.2 tons of CO₂. Partnering with Schneider Electric was the right move for Earth Rangers. “Upgrading our building from LEED Gold to LEED Platinum required us to continue reducing energy usage. Schneider Electric building automation/energy management solutions helped us achieve this goal and gave us a much better view of where energy is being used in our facility and the intelligence to help us optimize energy usage to the point where we are completely self-sustainable,” says Kendall.