our principal tenet

What is District Energy?

District energy is a system of highly insulated underground thermal piping networks that transmit hot and chilled water from central plants to heat and cool buildings, most often seen in schools or corporate campuses. Markham District Energy established its flagship system, the Birchmount Energy Centre, on the western border of our growing Downtown.

The Remington Group inventively installed a second MDE plant in the basement of the community’s heritage site, the Alexander Bradburn Farmhouse, restored and converted into mixed-use space in the community’s first park. Together these plants produce energy services for more than 4 million sq. ft. of building connections and generate 3MW of power for the local grid; sufficient power for 3,000 homes in Markham today. This system is expected to grow to serve 40 million sq. ft. of building connections and power for more than 40,000 residents and 40,000 employees. District energy helps building operators and residents, with precise control over their heating and cooling – right down to in-suite thermal monitoring in every condominium unit. Because thermal energy is delivered directly to each building in usable form, our residents, tenants and commercial partners avoid installing expensive equipment like boilers, chillers and cooling towers that take up valuable space and incur costs for operation and maintenance.

Another critical advantage of Downtown Markham is the vast scale of its master plan. When a district energy network interconnects multiple buildings, it collects a diverse range of heating and cooling profiles, achieving economies of scale that enable deployment of more efficient and resilient local energy resources. The size of this ever-evolving master plan enables integration of cleaner options, offers unmatched reliability and resiliency of services in increasingly unreliable times, and significantly cuts carbon emissions at a rate unachievable in other urban centres operated on a building-by-building basis.

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