Coquitlam’s Poirier Centre Reduces Greenhouse Gases

Coquitlam Curling Poirier Leisure Centre MVCU from Metro Vancouver on Vimeo.

It’s a green sweep at the Coquitlam Curling Club. We stop in at the Provincial Women’s Curling Championships at the Poirier Leisure Centre in Coquitlam to look below the ice on the facility’s impressive greenhouse gas emissions reduction track record.

It’s late January 2016 and members of the Coquitlam Curling Club are experiencing the excitement of a provincial championship tournament at their home rink. But there’s something equally noteworthy going on behind the scenes. The Club’s home ice is at the Poirier Sport & Leisure Complex, a 190,000 square foot aquatic, ice and fitness recreation complex in Coquitlam, BC.

Significant Carbon Reductions

Poirier RebeccaThe facility is used by other sports teams including hockey, lacrosse, ringette and figure skaters. Rebecca Connop Price is Communications Manager for Curl BC. “A lot of people don’t think that when they’re going out onto a hockey arena or into a curling club it’s actually very expensive and energy intensive to have frozen ice,” she said.

When the building was redeveloped in 2010, the City of Coquitlam decided to invest in a district energy exchange technology. Luisa Mora, the Energy Manager for Environmental Services at the City of Coquitlam explains how it works, “It uses the heat that is extracted from the ice making process and it dumps it back into water and it’s then pumped throughout the building to assist in other processes.”

Poirier Luisa MoraThe resulting hot and warm water is used to heat the entire building including the pool, as well as a nearby civic library.  Luisa Mora is pleased with the process. “It’s been working above expectations so far,” she said. “The system has reduced natural gas consumption 28 per cent annually and the City has avoided 1500 tonnes of CO2 which is equivalent to the emissions of 300 BC households.”

In 2012, the City of Coquitlam committed to take action on climate change by reducing their corporate greenhouse gas emissions 30 per cent by 2015. To date, the City has achieved a reduction of 1137 tonnes of GHG emissions, or 17 per cent of their total carbon footprint.

Flagship Facility Source of Community Pride

Poirier RaulRaul Allueva, General Manager of Coquitlam Parks, Recreation and Culture indicates it’s a very successful project for the City on many fronts. “It does have operating costs that are quite good. From both the energy efficiency design of the building not just the mechanical, heating and cooling plant,” he said. “The City is very proud of that building, the Poirier Leisure Complex is our prime civic facility and it’s really a beautiful facility and our flagship building.”

The Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex was the recipient of awards for its design, construction and innovation, including the BC Recreation and Parks Association 2012 Facility Award.

Poirier EarlineFor members of the Coquitlam Curling Club, it’s been a point of pride as well. Earline Graham, Tournament Host Committee Chair of the Coquitlam Curling Club shares that she was one of the founders of getting the building built.  “I am very proud of it,” she said. “We’re all coming together as a group to make it a green situation where we can make it a better thing for going into the future.”

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