THUNDER BAY — Planned water conservation by Intercity Shopping Centre is expected to benefit the environment and the mall’s tenants by optimizing water use and reducing water costs.
Intercity Shopping Centre has been chosen along with New Sudbury Centre in Sudbury and Northgate Shopping Centre in North Bay to have a Smart Valve installed which aims to save water use by 10-25 per cent. Most water metres measure by volume, which means that any air volume gets billed as water. The device measures water usage more accurately and reduces over-delivery of water, essentially improving sustainable performance.
Stacey Ball, general manager of the Intercity Shopping Centre, explained how the three malls were chosen for the initiative.
All three shopping centres are owned by Health Care of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP), which has initiated their 10th annual Leadership in Environmental Advancement Program (LEAP) awards that recognizes sustainability achievements and leadership of management teams and tenants. Intercity Shopping Centre has been a HOOPP property since 2013.
“All HOOPP properties forward their own initiatives for greenhouse gas reduction and emission reductions and basically anything that’s environmentally friendly,” says Ball. “All the properties can submit applications on their initiative (to be considered for LEAP award funding.”
She said the three properties got together and thought of water conservation as a good way to make a positive environmental impact.
“We collaborated and sourced the Smart Valve, put in an application for it as a LEAP award and got selected as a finalist and ended up winning the LEAP Forward award,”she said.
HOOPP will now pay for the Smart Valves and their installation in all three properties. Each mall will follow up with analysis on the how efficiently the valves work and how much water is saved.
The valves are currently being installed at the Intercity mall just slightly upstream from the city water meter.
“This is an initiative that we undertook during lockdown and it has been an ongoing process for a number of months,” said Bell. “If everything goes as planned and as expected, then we are going to conserve water and ultimately the tenants will potentially see their costs going down. Using less water and conserving water is a benefit in itself and our costs can go down, then we do our best to pass that along to our tenants.”
Water is predominately used in all of the common-area washrooms, the food court, the upper office galleria, hair salons, dental offices and restaurants inside the shopping centre.
Ball says HOOPP is very conscience of the carbon footprint they leave in the environment and really encourage all of their properties to find ways to do better, whether it’s with water, energy or building wellness.
Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal