Mundys Bay Public School

Mundy’s Bay Secures Top Spot in Study of Energy Performance

April 27, 2013
Mundys Bay Public Atrium

We’re pleased to announce that Mundy’s Bay Public School, designed by Ted Handy & Associates, has been named the most energy efficient school in North America in an assessment of the energy performance of over 500 schools. The assessment was done by Sustainable Schools, whose mission is to provide benchmarking, performance monitoring and best practices training to assist school boards in setting and keeping energy conservation goals. Mundy’s Bay, which opened in Midland in 2008, has a total energy consumption of $0.53 per square foot or 32 KBTU per square foot/year. It achieved LEED Gold certification in 2009 and was one of the first sustainable education projects in Canada.

Some of the energy-efficient aspects of this project are as follows:

  • Solar orientation and wind patterns were reviewed and the academic wing of the school was rotated to take maximum advantage of natural ventilation and the midday sun, which is easiest to control.
  • Detailed daylight studies for anticipated year-round conditions confirmed that supplemental lighting would be required only rarely during normal school hours. Lighting controls are intended to minimize the energy consumption and create an advantageous learning environment, which balance the use of artificial light with available daylight.
  • An innovative mechanical system, which uses the precast panels of the floors and roof to deliver the conditioned air, also acts as a gigantic heat sink that provides a flywheel effect. Durable materials, such as concrete walls, floors and roof panels, all contribute to the effect.
  • Simple details and natural durable materials were selected throughout. A clay brick was chosen to compliment the historical brick that was reused on the interior. All interior woodwork, interior doors and maple were “FSC” certified wood to blend with the maple used from the existing trees. As many existing wood doors as possible were removed from the original school and refinished for use within the new school along with screens, fireplace mantles and bookshelves.
  • A spray applied air/vapour barrier and soy based spray foam insulation were used to ensure a continuous high-quality exterior seal for the entire building with an insulation “R” value of “R30.” Special attention was given to typical areas of thermal bridging points of transition of materials and foundation/floor transitions. Solarban 60 glazing with low “E” film on the second surface was selected because of its excellent performance characteristics. A warm edge seal and curtain wall framing with thermal breaks were also selected.
  • Rainwater is collected from the roof in a cistern to provide for “greywater” use within the building. Low use water fixtures are used with dual flush water closets, and a number of the urinals are waterless. The distribution of hot water was limited to certain areas to avoid unnecessary long lines of inefficient hot water recirculation loops. 
  • An experimental “green roof” was installed to demonstrate its effectiveness and hopefully lead to larger installations on future projects.