Built in 2010, the Barrie store is our fourth in Ontario, and is ideally situated for members on the way to Northern Ontario's outdoor playgrounds.
It uses only 70% of the energy of a conventional retail store of comparable size. And it's equipped with bike parking to encourage staff and members to use bikes for trips to MEC.
The structure is made of concrete, steel, and wood, and is designed to be disassembled when no longer needed. The envelope uses structural insulated panels, the same as those used in Burlington and Longueuil, to provide a very tight envelope and rapid assembly. To reduce material consumption, there is minimal floor and ceiling coverings and all interior paints and adhesives are low- to zero-VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Tthe underside of the roof deck is pre-painted to increase light reflectance into the retail space.
The building envelope reduces energy consumed during operation. The roof is insulated with R-40 insulation and the walls are R-30. This is roughly twice as much thermal insulation as a conventional retail building.
The store incorporates geothermal energy, radiant heating and cooling, and a displacement ventilation system. A geo-exchange system in the concrete slab floor provides radiant heating and cooling. Hot or cold water is piped through the floor (a significant thermal mass) which then gradually releases the stored energy into the building.
Displacement ventilation uses natural convection and prevailing winds to maintain temperature and air quality. Ventilation is supplied under the floor, with registers around the perimeter and centre of the retail floor; in free-cooling mode, air is exhausted through dampers in the sawtooth roof, at other times through a heat recovery ventilator in the basement.
The sawtooth-shaped roof is oriented so that diffuse northern light is directed into the store. More intense southern light hits the longer side of each tooth and is captured by a photovoltaic array. You can see aof the photovoltaic output through our green energy partners, RESCo Energy Inc.
Extensive clerestory windows and reflective surfaces provide natural light for the retail floor. Daylight sensors, occupancy sensors, and dimming ballasts reduce the use of artificial light, and where we do need lighting, we use energy-efficient T5 fluorescent tubes. They require less energy to produce and operate, and have less mercury than conventional lamps.
A solar thermal array on the roof is dedicated to pre-heating water supplied to the kitchens and bathrooms. Heat is also partly recovered from the grey water expelled and directed back to the supply. Rainwater is collected from the roof and stored in an underground cistern that provides water for all non-potable uses.
The combination of low-flow fixtures and grey water usage reduces the store's potable water requirements by half. Stormwater is retained and infiltrated on site and will not discharge water to municipal storm drains except under extraordinary conditions.
The landscaping uses non-invasive species that are drought and salt tolerant and includes plants that encourage bird and insect populations. No irrigation is provided for the landscaped areas.