York Region District School Board - Child Care Centre Upgrades


MAT 4Site Engineers was retained to be the prime consultant on various projects with York Region District School Board (YRDSB), to upgrade their child care centers. Originally built, the child care centers were constructed almost as a separate entity to the schools. The centers, although existing within same walls, had their HVAC systems, perimeter heating and domestic hot water heating systems separate from the rest of the school. As well, these systems were all electric. Our client saw great value in improving the energy efficiency of these child care centers, and our team implemented tactical means to reach their goal.

Generally, the child care centers had rooftop units (with electric heat), and electric baseboard heaters for perimeter. The rooftop units were replaced with new, and two options were presented and investigated: unit with gas-fired heating section or cooling only unit with new hot water coil installed separately in the supply ductwork. If gas service was easily available, the units would be specified so. However, most cases showed the installation of a new duct mounted heating coil was the more cost effective solution.

Electric perimeter heating was disconnected and removed, and new hot water units were explored. As the design is for a child care center, exposed radiant heaters (wall mounted, semi enclosed in wall cavity etc.) was avoided to negate any risk of injury. Ceiling radiant tiles were installed for the perimeter heating, as has shown to be an effective application
The new equipment was sized off of new heat loss/gain calculation. A new hot water supply and return branch was run from the main boiler room to the child care center, and balanced accordingly. If needed, the heating pumps were upgraded.

The electric domestic hot water tanks were disconnected and removed from the centers. The existing DCW pipe to the tank was closed and capped, while the DHW pipe was tied into the school’s domestic hot water distribution. Generally, the school’s main domestic hot water heaters (gas fired) were upgraded to more efficient models, along with new combustion air intake and exhaust venting completed per code.

With most school projects, construction activities are scheduled when school is out of session (summer, winter break etc.). With unoccupied work areas, contractors do not have any special restraints. The child care centers of YRDSB operate all year round. As such, careful consideration and planning of construction activities was required, in order to minimize any service shutdowns and interruptions or disturbances to the occupants or the center’s program.


Project services included feasibility planning, conceptual design, detailed design & engineering, contract administration and close-out.