Timely upgrades help a Nova Scotia community centre meet its energy efficiency targets

Timely upgrades help a Nova Scotia community centre meet its energy efficiency targets

Pictou County Wellness Centre

The Pictou County Wellness Centre was initially conceived as one of the most energy-efficient complexes of its kind in Canada—but incompatible systems and aging equipment presented barriers to that vision. Through support of the CBR initiative, the facility is getting the much-needed upgrades it needs to finally achieve that goal.

Built in 2012, the 155,000 square foot facility features two arenas, a large aquatics centre, a fitness centre and a variety of community meeting spaces. At the time of construction, some of the original equipment was not fully compatible with the building’s operations systems, resulting in high operating costs and unsustainable energy consumption. As some of the equipment and systems are nearing the end of their useful life, now is the ideal time to upgrade and replace them so that the facility can live up to its full potential.

The building authority conducted a CBR-supported GHG Reduction Pathway Feasibility Study leveraging a $36,000 grant from GMF and the Government of Canada to identify the equipment upgrades and conservation measured required to achieve its energy efficiency targets and GHG emissions reduction objectives. Those upgrades include swimming pool heating that uses wasteheat capture from the building’s arenas, on-site energy generation and storage for peak energy shaving; and dynamic ventilation, temperature and equipment control based on facility usage. Once completed, the project is expected to deliver a 34 percent reduction in energy usage and GHG emissions, along with more than $5 million in operating cost savings over 15 years—with average annual savings estimated at $356,000.

By sharing guidance, start-up instruction documents and hosting site tours, the Pictou County Wellness Centre project will pass their lessons learned onto other municipalities across Canada that also have large multiplex facilities with significant heating and cooling requirements in need of retrofits and upgrades.


  • 34% GHG emissions reduction
  • 34% energy use reduction
  • $5 million in cost savings over 15 years