The Board of Governors of Exhibition Place needed to replace the existing mechanical systems in the Queen Elizabeth Building at Exhibition Place, Toronto. 

The challenge

The Board also wanted an energy efficient solution so that they could contribute to the Exhibition Place’s goal of energy sustainability, while maintaining the same (or lower) operating and maintenance costs.


The initial design involved replacing the existing equipment in the building with new equipment in a rooftop configuration, as the location and size of the central plant room made it impossible to replace in accordance with the directives of the board’s consultant. 

However, this design did not meet the current budget requirements. Direct Energy, a partner with Exhibition Place, was requested to review the initial design and provide recommendations to achieve the same objectives for the Queen Elizabeth Building using a different approach.

The two options were reviewed in accordance with several specific factors, including the mechanical system, energy performance, and first cost. Direct Energy’s proposal resulted in a less costly mechanical system, lower annual maintenance costs and improved energy efficiency when compared to the initial design proposal.

The solution

The Direct Energy design included a new chiller plant, new boiler plant, new building automation system, and refurbishment and renewal of the air handling systems.

A new 180 ton variable speed, oil-less, compact FatMax SMARDT chiller was installed in the chiller room. Additional space gained in the mechanical room through the use of the compact chiller allowed the installation of new high efficiency hot water boilers.

A state-of-the-art web-based, Invensys building automation system (BAS) was installed to control the cooling plant, heating plant, and air handling units. This system integrates with other BAS technologies in the facility. It is also time efficient, as the system enables building operators to troubleshoot problems more effectively, proactively monitor space conditions, and perform trend logging.


“The solution proposed by Direct Energy was most welcomed by Exhibition Place when we thought there were no options left,” says Dianne Young, CEO of Exhibition Place. “Once again, we were celebrating the very positive partnership that exists between the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place and Direct Energy Services.”


Energy efficiency was maximized through the installation of variable speed technologies (oil-less centrifugal chiller, cooling tower, pumping, and fan control), 85% efficiency gas boilers, and integrated digital control of existing and newly installed systems 

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