Infrastructure Renewal Projects

Providing patients with the best experience requires well-designed spaces to support their comfort, care and recovery. Unity Health Toronto is continually innovating and modernizing our infrastructure, which allows us to implement new and emerging technologies along with models of integrated and specialized care. 

The projects highlighted on this website are made possible through the contributions of numerous people and departments across the network. It is our network’s ongoing commitment and strategic priority to invest in our future by increasing our environmental stewardship and modernizing our spaces to support exceptional patient care and experience. 

Construction projects, both minor and major, are taking place across Unity Health Toronto at all times in an effort to modernize our facilities and create healing environments that meet the needs of our patients. 

Network Wide Lighting Retrofit (2020)

Across the network, CFL bulbs were used to continuously light up hallways. A lighting retrofit project was undertaken to retrofit the inefficient CFL bulbs with energy efficient LED bulbs. As a result, more than 16,000 bulbs have been replaced network wide and has resulted in thousands of dollars in energy savings.

Greening impact:

  • 5 Million kWh of energy saved per year
  • Annual savings: $330,000 per year
  • Reduction of 1,953 tons of CO2 emissions

Barnicke AHU retrofit phase 1 (May 2021)

The air handling units at St. Joseph’s required a massive overhaul to stay up to date to meet the demands of the hospital. For phase 1 of the project, select AHU’s were retrofitted with VFDs and various sensors for enhanced energy savings and monitoring.

Greening impact:

  • 420,000 kWh of energy saved per year
  • Annual savings: $55,000 per year
  • Reduction of 328 tons of CO2 emissions

Glycol pump replacement (May 2021)

The older glycol pump was replaced due to aging and an inefficient design. A newer efficient pump was installed with a VFD to control the speed of the motor to meet the required demand.

Greening impact:

    • 167,000 kWh of energy saved per year
    • Annual savings: $22,000 per year
    • Reduction of 130 tons of CO2 emissions

St. Joseph’s boiler heat recovery (December 2019)

A new heat exchanger was installed in the boiler system to recover the heat from blow-down water and preheat the cold makeup water. The addition of this heat exchanger effectively reduces both heat loss and water consumption. The new system is designed to operate with minimal maintenance.

Greening impact:

  • 40,000 m3 of gas & 2,900 m3 of water savings per year
  • Annual savings: $21,000 per year
  • Reduction of 9 tons of CO2 emissions

Barnicke cooling plant upgrade (September 2019)

Two new 600-ton chillers were installed to replace the older 400-ton chillers. The new chillers work together with an existing 1,200-ton chiller. By having three chillers, we can effectively choose which ones to run based on need. If less cooled air were needed, only one of the smaller chillers would run. If more is needed, we have several options. Either the 1,200-ton chiller runs by itself, the 1,200-ton chiller and one of the 600-ton chillers can run together, or all three chillers would operate at the same time. At this time, a performance study is in progress to determine how to further improve cooling efficiency.

Greening impact:

  • 358,473 kWh of energy saved per year
  • Annual savings: $46,000 per year
  • Reduction of 280 tons of CO2 emissions

Installation of new and efficient kitchen fan at St. Joseph’s kitchen (March 2020)

The main kitchen exhaust fan (10 HP) at St. Joseph’s was running at a constant speed while operating 24-7. A variable frequency drive (VFD) was installed in order to adjust the fan’s speed to meet the exhaust demand, resulting in reduced energy consumption. The new system runs at a reduced speed of 40 per cent and is scheduled to only operate during the peak hours of the day which are from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Greening Impact:

  • 63,959 kWh of energy saved per year
  • Estimated incentives from SaveOnEnergy: $5,750, evaluation in progress

LED bulb retrofit – chapel backlighting (August 2019)

A total of 150 fluorescent backlights for the chapel window were replaced with energy efficient LED bulbs. LEDs are more efficient and generally last longer than fluorescent light bulbs. LED bulbs generate less heat and emit light in a specific direction which will reduce the need for reflectors and diffusers.

Greening Impact:

  • Approximately 12,352 kWh of energy saved per year
  • Incentive received from SaveONenergy

OLM parking garage lighting modification (July 2019)

A total of 168 metal halide lamps in the parking garage were replaced with energy efficient LED lamps. Lamps in the parking garage are on 24/7. The savings are significant both in reduced electricity consumption and in reduced maintenance requirements. LED lamps also provide stronger and brighter lighting.

Greening Impact:

  • Approximately 225,658 kWh of energy saved per year
  • Incentive received from SaveONenergy

St. Joseph’s T8 light bulb lighting retrofit 2019

Electricians at St. Joseph’s have begun the replacement of compact fluorescent (CFL) lamps in the hospital’s hallways with LED lamps. During the first round, 500 lamps were retrofitted. LED lamps last five times longer than compact fluorescent lamps, and use 60 per cent less energy. Because lamps in hallways operate 24/7, the annual savings are significant. This project is ongoing, and remaining CFL lamps are continuously being replaced with LED lamps inside the hospital.

Greening Impact:

  • Estimated energy savings: approximately 70,080 kWh per year
  • Incentive received from SaveONenergy

Barnicke cooling plant upgrade (September 2019)

Two new 600-ton chillers were installed to replace the older 400-ton chillers. The new chillers work together with an existing 1,200-ton chiller. By having three chillers, we can effectively choose which ones to run based on need. If less cooled air were needed, only one of the smaller chillers would run. If more is needed, we have several options. Either the 1,200-ton chiller runs by itself, the 1,200-ton chiller and one of the 600-ton chillers can run together, or all three chillers would operate at the same time. At this time, a performance study is in progress to determine how to further improve cooling efficiency.

Greening Impact:

  • Energy saved: approximately 358,473 kWh per year
  • Incentive received from SaveONenergy

Booster pumps (July 2021)

Replaced fixed speed booster pumps used in the domestic hot water and domestic cold water systems at St. Michael’s Hospital with energy efficient units. Variable speed booster pumps were selected to adjust the speed to meet the demand on the system instead of running them at 100 per cent.

Left: DHW booster pumps. Right: DCW booster pumps

Greening impact:

  • 158,000 kWh of energy saved per year
  • Annual Savings: $21,000 per year
  • Reduction of 123 Tons of CO2 Emissions

Accessibility upgrades – tactile indicator installation (Nov. 30, 2018)

To improve the accessibility of the Queen St. Entrance to St. Michael’s Hospital, yellow tactile indicator tiles were installed along the sidewalk and driveway. The textured and brightly coloured tiles improve safety for individuals with vision loss by providing a clear distinction of where the sidewalk is ending and the driveway is beginning. St. Michael’s Hospital is committed to improving the safety and accessibility of our facility.

DHW tankless system (November 2021)

Providence had four old storage tank-type domestic water heater systems that were leaking and needed frequent maintenance. This was an ideal opportunity to retrofit this system with three new instantaneous domestic water heater systems. The system is designed to operate at low steam pressures resulting in zero flash steam loss.

Greening impact:

  • 75,000 lbs of steam saved per year
  • Annual savings: $15,000 per year

Reducing and preventing water waste (August 2020)

Graph showing the water usage of providence healthcare

In early 2019, the Unity Health Toronto Energy Team shared water data showing an abnormal increase in water use at Providence Healthcare. The Building Services team promptly took action; they investigated the entire facility and implemented effective correctional measures. Because of these efforts and the great work done by all of the teams involved, the water use at Providence decreased significantly in September 2019 to match previous years’ water consumption trends. See the graph above to see this trend.

Greening Impact:

  • Prevented 14,800 m3 of water waste per year<

Providence LED lighting retrofit (March 2020)

Providence had its first LED retrofit of 1,200 fluorescent lights in various corridors of the hospital. LEDs not only have a longer lifespan, but they also consume less energy while providing stronger lighting. This project is an important milestone towards sustainability at Providence.

 Greening Impact:

  • 136,656 kWh of energy saved per year
  • Estimated incentives from SaveOnEnergy: $6,833, evaluation in progress

New chiller installed in the A-Wing (July 2018)

A new and highly efficient magnetic bearing chiller was installed to replace the existing A-Wing chiller. The new chiller uses less energy since it can operate without oil, which reduces the energy loss from friction and increases the heat transfer efficiency. The chiller provides cooling for the air handling units which provide 24/7 ventilation and cooling to all five floors in the A-Wing.

Greening Impact:

  • Energy saved: approximately 65,000 kWh per year
  • Incentive applied from SaveONenergy program, evaluation in progress

Last updated December 03, 2021