About District Energy

District energy (DE) systems centralize the production of thermal heating or cooling for multiple buildings located within a district, neighborhood, or campus. University campuses, Like SFU, are often ideal candidates for district energy systems.

Centralized thermal plants can efficiently produce hot water, chilled water, and steam from a variety of energy sources, including renewable sources. From these centralized plants, hot and/or chilled water (or steam) is transported through an underground system of insulated pipes to individual buildings, where it’s used for space heating and cooling, and domestic hot water heating.

How District Energy Works

District Energy Infogram
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District Energy for Low-Carbon Cities

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District energy systems are highly flexible and scalable, and they provide significant environmental and economic benefits compared to conventional HVAC systems. You can learn more about their benefits here.

Our BMDEU Thermal Energy Biomass Plant

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Our new biomass plant, located on South Campus Road (map), provides heat and hot water to most of SFU’s Burnaby campus and approximately half of the UniverCity community.

The plant drastically decreases SFU’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by about 80% per year (the equivalent of 900 homes) — giving SFU one of the smallest GHG footprints of any Canadian university. It also allows SFU to achieve 97% of the province’s 2050 greenhouse gas target.

The $33-million high-efficiency plant diverts clean wood waste, once destined for the landfill, into a low carbon energy source. This clean wood waste is made up of wood chips and shavings from harvested log processing, local urban wood waste and construction projects.

To learn more about the BMDEU biomass plant project, please read the full Simon Fraser Press Release.

Watch a Short Video About the Biomass Plant

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Learn More

To learn more about the many benefits of district energy, and Corix's other thermal energy systems, please visit our Thermal Energy Solutions pages.