TORONTO — The historic Fairmont Royal York in Toronto has received the Canada Green Building Council’s (CAGBC) Zero Carbon Building – Performance Standard certification.
The announcement on the decarbonization project was made recently by KingSett Capital and Fairmont Royal York. It represents the largest heritage hotel retrofit of its kind within the Fairmont global brand portfolio.
The $65 million project was completed after almost five years of detailed planning and execution and is anticipated to reduce over 7,000 tonnes of carbon annually or 80 per cent of the hotel’s annual carbon emissions, the equivalent of taking 1,558 cars off the road.
The project was supported by the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s Building Retrofits Initiative, which provided $46.5 million in debt financing.
The project will remove over 165,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from execution in 2023 to 2050. The reduction will generate over 35 per cent of utility savings in the first year.
The building’s CAGBC’s Zero Carbon Building – Performance Standard certification was achieved by:
- Detailed study and analysis of building energy load, seeking to effect meaningful efficiencies;
- converting heating and domestic hot water from steam to electric heat pumps;
- converting cooling from electrical/chillers to deep lake water cooling; and
- significantly improving energy efficiency with a centralized building automation system and smart technologies.
The project has employed over 70,000 hours of labour, creating valuable job opportunities for skilled workers.
“Fairmont Royal York’s decarbonization demonstrates the potential to complete a large and complex project in a way that is environmentally impactful, socially responsible and economically viable,” said Jon Love, founder and CEO of KingSett Capital, in a statement. “It is a compelling example of what can be accomplished through collaboration, innovation and creativity. For KingSett, this investment highlights how decarbonization can strengthen a key asset in our portfolio as part of our sustainability and value enhancement strategy.”