Modern Niagara achieves IREE certification for commercial retrofit project

Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Canada Green Building Council (CAGBC) says in a statement that Modern Niagara has achieved investor ready energy efficiency (IREE) certification for the large-scale commercial retrofit of 945 Princess St. in Kingston. The 220,000 sq. ft. commercial building becomes one of the largest projects in Canada to receive IREE certification.

IREE certification is based on a framework designates compliance with standardized assessments that certifies energy efficiency retrofit projects through third-party verification to investors.

Through its Building Retrofits Initiative, the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) committed $25 million to transform the Kingston commercial space into an energy efficient and sustainable innovation hub. Infrastructure upgrades to the facility target decarbonization with a goal of reducing carbon emissions by more than 80 per cent or approximately 2,000 tonnes annually.

Modern Niagara’s Energy Solutions team engineered a comprehensive energy efficiency plan to convert and improve performance of the 20th-century building by replacing its fossil-fueled heating system with electrified systems that facilitate clean renewable energy sources.

“Decarbonizing our existing buildings is an exciting but daunting objective. Modern Niagara has successfully developed a retrofit plan for a particularly challenging building, demonstrating the art of the possible,” said Mark Hutchinson, vice-president of Green Building Programs and Innovation at CAGBC.

“Achieving IREE certification is a significant milestone that further solidifies Modern Niagara’s position as an innovative leader in energy efficiency solutions. We are committed to contributing to the decarbonization of buildings across Canada as we work towards a net-zero future,” said Kevin Spencer, vice-president of Energy Solutions at Modern Niagara. “IREE certification provides investors with the verified assurance that we’re able to meet the building’s carbon reduction objectives.”

“Our green infrastructure investments are expediting the decarbonization of buildings across Canada. By providing attractive financing options and partnering with the private sector, we can serve as the link to ensure meaningful action is taken to enhance energy efficiency of buildings,” said Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank. “IREE certification is our standard to finance retrofit projects and build positive outcomes for Canadians.”

“Making our buildings more energy-efficient is key to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and reaching net-zero by 2050,” said Mark Gerretsen, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands on behalf of Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities. “Congratulations for Modern Niagara on achieving Investor Ready Energy Efficiency (IREE) certification – this sustainable innovation hub will be a major asset for Kingston.”

The commercial retrofit project which began construction in 2022 is expected to reach substantial completion by 2024.


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