Canadian Consulting Engineer

VIDEO: MCW to help decarbonize U of T campus

April 8, 2024

Project Leap

Image courtesy U of T Communications.

The MCW Group of Engineering Companies will help deliver the University of Toronto’s (U of T’s) Project Leap decarbonization initiative.

MCW’s Custom Energy Solutions (CES), specifically, is among the partners for the $138-million project, which will use a performance-based model to help reach ‘climate-positive’ operations for the school’s St. George campus by 2050. U of T is reportedly the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the public sector in Ontario, with the St. George campus accounting for more than 80% of its operational carbon footprint.

The goal of Project Leap (see video below) is to reduce the campus’ annual emissions by more than 50% by 2027—U of T’s bicentennial year—through a combination of heating electrification (i.e. phasing out natural gas in the campus’s central steam plant), active thermal energy recovery and redistribution and deep-energy retrofits to some of the most energy-intense buildings.

The public-private infrastructure project is supported by the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB’s) Building Retrofits Initiative and has received grants from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), as well as financing from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), selected from a field of 11 bidders following a public procurement process.

Project Leap been in development since early last year. A detailed study phase was completed in November, involving the joint efforts of MCW’s Toronto, Winnipeg and Moncton office. Detailed design began in January, the implementation phase has now started and on-site construction is set to begin this summer.


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