Halifax Common Aquatic Facility Targeting Net Zero Energy

The Halifax Common Aquatic Facility has been designed to achieve net zero energy through the use of photovoltaic panels, air-to-water heat pumps and efficient building envelope design. This aligns the project with the goals of the Nova Scotia Climate Change Action Plan (NSCCAP), which aims to reduce contributions to climate change by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

No fossil fuel-burning equipment will be used in the facility. The energy demand will be offset by the installation of 97 solar panels on the roof, which will generate all the power required by the buildings throughout the year.

The water captured from the water plaza / splash pad will be recaptured by the system and used to irrigate the adjacent sports fields.

“An energy offset like this is significant for a public building,” says Marco Project Manager Thiago Chiarelli. “Our team worked hard to achieve a design that was cost effective and energy-efficient and we’re very proud of the result.”

The Pavilion building, a community space that will be used year-round, features a high-performance envelope system. The system will be pressure tested upon substantial completion, to confirm the effectiveness of the air-tightness details. Wall and roof assemblies constructed with additional insulation and high-performance glazing elements with a U rating of 0.286 also contribute to the project’s net-zero status.

This efficient design is enhanced with a nail-laminated timber roof system, which involves minimal waste, is fire resistant and is very carbon-efficient when compared to other roof deck systems. It also requires little maintenance, which should reduce operating costs over time.

This project is an example of the successful outcomes that can be achieved through collaboration. Marco worked with leading Aquatic Designer MJMA, local architects Abbot Brown, and Mechanical & Electrical designers Smith + Anderson to achieve a facility that not only meets the City’s requirements of function, schedule, and budget, but also enhances the surrounding park and incorporates best practices of aquatic facility design.

“This project will be a highlight of the Common when complete,” says Thiago Chiarelli. “Energy efficient construction is very much the way of the future and we are happy to incorporate this approach into this significant facility.”