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Glass Buildings

Eliminating duct leakage to harvest energy and reduce GHG emissions
Sandalwood Secondary &
Sir Isaac Brock Elementary

Modern City


To maximize ventilation performance and enhance the educational experience for students, teachers, and staff, the Peel District School Board (PDSB) launched a two-building pilot project. This initiative aimed to gain visibility, knowledge, and recommendations on effective solutions to increase airflow, reduce energy consumption, and minimize GHG emissions throughout their portfolio.


The primary objective was to obtain critical ventilation performance data to identify under-ventilated or over-ventilated areas such as classrooms, libraries, and cafeterias.


Comprehensive mechanical audits and air volume testing were conducted for each air handler to evaluate system performance, quantify efficiency, and measure duct leakage. This enabled PDSB’s energy manager to quantify the results before and after ventilation optimization.

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Scope of Work

Conducted pre-sealing audits to assess equipment sizing, operational efficiency, and airflow performance.

Repaired major ductwork deficiencies, addressing crushed or disconnected ductwork.

Sealed ductwork systems from the inside out to eliminate leakage and optimize unit performance.

Installed Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) for constant air volume (CAV) systems or optimized performance of Variable Air Volume (VAV) systems.

Balanced airflow delivery to each diffuser to ensure even distribution.

Conducted a second air audit to measure increased air volume, reduced fan speeds, and quantify energy/GHG savings.


  • Secured significant utility incentives.

  • Achieved annual energy savings of over $100,000.

  • Realized an average 18% return on investment.

  • Reduced GHG emissions by an average of 36%.

  • Energy and GHG savings validated by PDSB’s energy manager and Enbridge.

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Tall Buildings



Judges’ Comments

"The Covid-19 pandemic underscored the importance of ventilation performance in schools. Whether it’s under-performing systems not delivering sufficient airflow to classrooms or over-performing systems consuming unnecessary energy, schools present a significant opportunity to understand, improve, and validate ventilation performance. PDSB has exemplified this by adding internal and external layers of measurement and verification to validate improvements and quantify savings. These strategic and pragmatic efforts are crucial for continuing to drive improvements that enhance the student experience.”

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Honoring customer stories in their quest for energy conservation and decarbonization.

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