Whistler Athletes Village

Fri, 08.02.2013 - 9:00

Project Name: Whistler Athletes Village Award Winning Sustainability During the 2010 Winter Olympics, the Whistler Athletes Village DESS provided heating, cooling, and domestic hot water for 2800 athletes and now provides similar services for a community of 400 single family dwellings, condominiums, hotel, and hostel units...

Ninety-five percent of the heating and cooling energy for the Athletes Village was designed to be provided by the clean effluent from the site, however, during the Olympics much of the heating energy was provided by the rejected heat from hostels, hotels, condos and performance centre which were in cooling much of the time.

Key results of the Athletes Village DESS include a 50% reduction in overall energy consumption, a 70% reduction in GHG emissions, and the conversion of 10,000 MWh of rejected energy to usable heat that would have otherwise been thrown away into the Cheakamus River. When the wastewater treatment plant is upgraded to tertiary treatment, the DESS is able to utilize the existing infrastructure to distribute the clean effluent for toilet flushing and irrigation, reducing the potable water demand by up to 40%.

Energy Source

Unit Costs

DESS Unit Energy Cost

(2009 $CDN)

Phase 1:     $11/GJ (4.0¢/kWh)

Phase 2:    $5.9/GJ (2.1¢/kWh)


 The current loaded cost per GJ of DESS energy for the Whistler Village is $11/GJ or about $0.04 per kWh.

As the site expands to the full 1200 units, the projected unit energy cost is expected to drop to approximately $5.9/GJ, since the only additional costs are related to installing the HDPE distribution piping, and an additional heat exchanger and pump in the energy recovery centre.

The capital costs for Village’s DESS were $4.5million. A comparable conventional district heating system was estimated between $25 and $33 million ($20-$25 for insulated steel distribution pipe and $5-$8 million for the energy centre).

Compared to a traditional District System, the DESS, which operates at ambient temperatures, benefits from energy sharing between buildings in heating and cooling, requires less capital and operating costs, and has the opportunity to distribute reclaimed water.


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