Sustainable educational spaces

A three-time Savings by Design participant, Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) was recently named one of Ontario’s Top Energy Performing Boards by Sustainable Schools, ranking third out of 72 boards.


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    A three-time Savings by Design participant, Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) and named one of Ontario’s Top Energy Performing Boards by Sustainable Schools.

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    During the Savings by Design workshops, the costs and energy-saving potential of innovative technologies to reduce energy use and create energy-smart schools.


$30+ million
in avoided energy costs since 2004

average annual electricity savings**

average annual natural gas savings

**Projected savings based on energy modelling simulations from the Savings by Design Integrated Design Process workshop.

Participating in Savings by Design has been a key part of OCSB’s long-term energy-management strategy. The three schools that have completed the program are now a model for the board’s other new construction projects, setting a green standard in line with OCSB’s sustainability vision.

Energy-smart schools

Each school is a single-storey, 50,000 square foot building with a gymnasium that is used by the community in the evenings.

As builder, developer and fiscally responsible board, OCSB is in a unique position: their design decisions are directly correlated to their annual operating budgets.

Introducing innovative technologies

During the Savings by Design workshops, the costs and energy-saving potential of different HVAC systems, exterior wall and roof insulation options, windows, lighting, demand control ventilation and more technologies were compared.

“The Savings by Design program provided a risk-free environment for exploring sustainability innovation as well as an opportunity to test concepts through energy modelling,” said Gerry Sancartier, Property and Operations Officer, OCSB.

Key energy-saving enhancements

  • Improved boiler thermal efficiency to 85%.
  • Enhanced wall and roof insulation.
  • Replaced the windows with a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient of 0.54 and a U-value of 0.30.
  • Upgraded rooftop unit furnace from staged to modulating burner.

“The best part of Savings by Design is that the money saved through energy efficiencies can be spent on school resources and, ultimately, directed back to the classroom.”

Gerry Sancartier,
Property and Operations Officer, OCSB

Start designing sustainable buildings with expert help

Savings by Design gives your project team free access to industry experts, technical tools and financial incentives to help you build high-performance, resilient and sustainable buildings.

How the program works

Number one

Visioning session

Session duration: 1 – 2 hours
We’ll meet with your project lead, sustainability manager and a design team member to help define your project requirements and sustainability priorities.

Number three

Get rewarded for building above code

Earn incentives that reward you for building 20 percent above code:

$15,000 As-designed energy performance incentive
Earn incentives when you complete a pre-construction certified energy model that shows your building will be 20 percent above current code.

$15,000 As-built energy performance incentive
Earn additional incentives by confirming your building is 20 percent above code with a post-construction certified energy model, performed by a professional modeller.

Number two

Integrated design process workshop

No cost ($30,000 value*)
Workshop duration: 1 day Your team will strategize with energy modellers and sustainable design experts to maximize your project’s energy and environmental performance at a full-day workshop facilitated by Sustainable Buildings Canada.

An energy model will be developed as well as a final report summarizing the options discussed and recommendations.

Apply today to get the most out of your next project

Mary Sye

Energy Solutions Advisor, Savings by Design, Commercial & Multi-Residential

*This has no cash value. To qualify for the program, your project must be located in the Enbridge Gas Inc. service area. City of Toronto projects will be required to achieve higher energy performance targets. If a participant doesn’t complete construction of a new commercial property in the Enbridge Gas service area that exceeds 20 percent of the OBC’s energy performance requirement within five years of completing the integrated design process workshop, they’re not eligible for performance incentives. In order to receive incentive payments, you must agree to all program terms and conditions, fully participate in all stages of the program and meet all program requirements. HST is not applicable and will not be added to incentive payments.