A REHAU radiant heating and cooling system was recently installed in one of Canada's most innovative and energy-efficient buildings, the Earth Rangers Centre in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada. The 60,000-square-foot facility, which officially opened in October 2004, functions as a wildlife refuge and hospital and as an education centre for children. The facility houses a world-class veterinarian research and training hospital, interactive educational displays for the public, and will soon include one of Canada's only oil spill response units dedicated to wildlife.

The ecologically conscious building was designed with leading-edge environmental technologies. These technologies, in conjunction with forward-thinking design and engineering, will enable the facility to use approximately 63% less energy than the Canadian standard dictated by the Model National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (MNECB).

To qualify for public funding as a "green"

Combined Heating and Cooling

The Earth Rangers Centre is one of the first buildings in North America with 100% reliance on radiant heating and cooling. "This technology offers a number of advantages over traditional forced air systems,"

Braving the Elements

Cold weather with temperatures down to -13°F posed a challenge during the winter installation of the system. Nonetheless, it was successfully installed with Klimatrol's supervision and tested as leak-free upon start-up.

"The flexible nature of RAUPEX allowed workers to quickly and easily install the pipe in the counterflow spiral loop design specifications provided by Klimatrol,"

Specialized Ventilation System

Because the building also serves as a health care facility, it required 100% outdoor air ventilation with no interior recirculation. To meet this demand, as well as enhance the building's energy efficiency, the ventilation system was designed using a total of nine 66-foot-long concrete "earth tubes"

A Model for the Future

As a complete system, the Earth Rangers Centre is an ideal example of how forward-thinking design can create cost and energy savings for the future. Currently up and running in Woodbridge, Ontario, the centre welcomes public tours during regular operating hours.

"We are certainly enthusiastic about people seeing what the centre does to help animals, as well as how it has been designed with energy efficiency as a top priority,"