Ecole Secondaire de Barrie is a school of firsts. It is Barrie’s first French language public school, it is the area’s first school using geoexchange to heat and cool the school and it is the first school in Canada to apply for the LEED Gold certification.
After two years of construction, the 75,000 square foot school opened in September 2009 with 85 students, with anticipated growth to reach the capacity of 500 students. The school was built with energy efficiency in mind, and has applied for LEED Gold certification. To qualify for the LEED Gold standard, there are many environmentally friendly features of the school including: geothermal heating and cooling, a membrane on the roof which collects rain water that runs to eight tanks used for grey water purposes such as the in-floor heating and restricted flow toilets, bike racks to encourage cycling to school, a parking lot designed around car pooling and motion sensors to automatically shut off lights or dim them when there is ample outdoor light coming in.
During the summer of 2008, CleanEnergy installed the horizontal slinky ground loop designed by Enermodal Engineering underneath the school’s large playing field. 60 tons of CleanEnergy’s geoexchange equipment is housed inside the mechanical room at the school. A 30 ton water-to-water heat pump provides in-floor heating for the school, and 27 tons worth of two-stage forced air units heat and cool the classrooms and hallways. Using geoexchange heating and cooling allows the mechanical room to be much smaller than a conventional mechanical room, freeing up more space for classrooms.
Heating in the winter is one of the main uses of energy for a school. Using geoexchange, this heating load can be met in part through in-floor heating. One main advantage to in-floor heating is that the warm floors dry more quickly after snow is tracked in.