Cleantech firm Fenix Energy proves concept – shaves months off building construction

Vancouver based cleantech firm, Fēnix Energy, has pioneered a new approach to installing renewable energy in urban centres that shaves months off new construction timelines. This week’s completed installation of a geo-exchange system at the soon–to-be headquarters of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), set a new precedent in construction methodology.

Deemed to be the first installation of its kind, Fēnix Energy used patent-pending technology to start the drilling process after the building’s first three floors were in place. Unlike a conventional geo-exchange installation, this unique approach allowed for trades such as plumbing, electrical and glazing to be on-site, working in parallel with the drilling process. This approach is in sharp contrast to a conventional installation, where the drilling process begins immediately after the site excavation, extending the project timeline as all trades must wait until after the drill rigs leave the project site. Fēnix Energy’s new approach shortens overall project timelines from two to four months, improving cash flow for the builder and providing a competitive advantage in the green building market.

“We are excited to achieve this significant milestone,” says Fēnix Energy co-founder, President and CEO Edward Smith, P.Eng, LEED® AP. “Geo-exchange is widely recognized as the most energy efficient and environmentally clean heating and cooling system available; however, the additional time required for installation meant that some builders were less inclined to include geo-exchange in their new projects.  By knocking down this barrier, we’ve made geo-exchange more easily accessible.Clients no longer have to choose between maximizing their building’s energy efficiency and containing project timelines – they can do both. We are proud to deliver solutions that drive our cities towards greater sustainability.”

Located in the heart of Toronto, the new ETFO headquarters will have offices, classrooms, and meeting spaces. Designed by one of Canada’s premier architecture firms, Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB) and built by award winning Bird Construction, the new four-story building will be constructed to LEED® Platinum standards with numerous sustainable features, including a geo-exchange field installed within the footprint of the building.

“Working with such forward-thinking firms as KPMB Architects and Bird Construction to establish a new benchmark in sustainable building practices has been a tremendous experience,” says Fēnix Energy co-founder and Senior VP of Engineering, Adrian Ryan, B.Sc Eng, LEED® AP. “This landmark building is a testament to the power of teamwork and innovation.”

With the increasing demand for green buildings, Fēnix Energy’s pioneering approach to installing clean energy is set to become the new standard for those looking to build green without comprising their project schedules.  No doubt, this small cleantech firm will have a big impact on the green construction industry going forward.

About Fēnix Energy
Headquartered in Vancouver, BC, Fēnix Energy specializes in providing sustainable energy solutions to urban centres, for both retrofit and new construction projects. Using a combination of built environment expertise, industry leading technology and an evolutionary approach, Fēnix delivers cost-effective heating and cooling solutions that reduce energy consumption, lower carbon emissions and strengthen the bottom line. Fēnix Energy’s turnkey geo-exchange system simplifies the installation process by offering single-point accountability throughout the entire project, from concept to completion: analysis, engineering design, installation and commissioning.  Please visit our website at

About Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB)

KPMB is one of Canada’s leading architectural firms and the recipient of over 175 awards for design excellence, including 12 Governor General’s Medals. The firm, founded by Bruce Kuwabara, Thomas Payne, Marianne McKenna and Shirley Blumberg, is responsible for widely-acclaimed projects such as the Gardiner Museum, the Toronto International Film Festival Bell Lightbox, Canada’s National Ballet School and the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Through the projects and teaching, KPMB has established a reputation for a diverse portfolio of architecture that is consistently contextual, civil, supportive and characterized by excellence at every level.

Media Contact:
Angela Kirkham, Fēnix Energy,
Tel: 604.684.7241 ext 309

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