Call Us 1-888-688-6283
Case study

Buchanan Lodge


  • replacement and retrofit of both its boilers and HVAC system


Payback period

  • projected a five-year simple financial payback on their investment, strictly from natural gas savings


Overall Impact

  • natural gas savings of 22%
  • reduction of 148 tonnes CO2e, equivalent to 30 cars taken off the road


New initiatives

  • lighting retrofit
  • Styrofoam and milk carton recycling
  • battery and electronics recycling
  • smart boards in meeting rooms to reduce paper use



Buchanan Lodge, operated by the Salvation Army, is a 108-room home in New Westminster that provides care and services to adults whose needs meet the criteria of “complex care” as established by the Fraser Health Authority. Buchanan Lodge provides holistic care, with spiritual care being the “heart and soul” of the mission and is a long-standing member of the New Westminster community. Buchanan began working with Climate Smart at the end of 2012, and made very significant gains in order to reduce its emissions from the Lodge’s greatest source of emissions – natural gas powering the Lodge’s boilers and HVAC system.

Replacement, retrofit and a rebate from FortisBC

Over the course of 2012, natural gas usage accounted for 88% of the Buchanan Lodge’s greenhouse gas emissions (669 tonnes CO2e). Staff and management at the Lodge acted quickly in order to address these emissions. Buchanan Lodge comprehensively evaluated the use of natural gas in their systems, as well as other important factors, such as the maintenance time and costs the existing system required.

Ultimately, the Lodge decided to go forward with the replacement and retrofit of both its boilers and HVAC system. The project cost for the Lodge was approximately $775,000, with the vast majority of that expense associated with the HVAC system retrofit. The boiler replacement represented about $125,000 of the project cost, 10% of which was covered by FortisBC efficiency rebates. The retrofit also included the installation of variable frequency drives and upgrading the controls and software interface system.

When the company measured their GHG emissions for 2015, they recorded a 22% reduction in natural gas use. This reduction is equivalent to 30 cars taken off the road! Even without incorporating aspects such as reduced maintenance and labour costs, the Lodge has projected a five-year simple financial payback on their investment, strictly from natural gas savings.

Building on past successes

More recently, in 2016, Buchanan lodge completed a lighting retrofit with a quick projected payback of 2.4 years. Over the lifetime of the project, it will save the Lodge $517,000 in energy bills. Buchanan Lodge also completed a Commercial Energy Assessment with FortisBC, and started recycling Styrofoam and milk cartons, as well as implemented battery recycling through Call2Recycle. Computers and smart boards in meeting rooms are now being used to replace the printouts.

Going forward, Buchanan Lodge plans to take advantage of the Fortis BC commercial kitchen incentives, promote carpooling among the staff, program their thermostats to reduce the temperature down at night, and set up a green team to keep the momentum going.

“In the Healthcare Industry, our main purpose is to build partnership of care to our patients and their families and to demonstrate commitment to wellness. By extending the caring attitude to the health of the environment where we work and live in, can have a positive impact beyond the people we look after – this is our Ultimate Goal at the Salvation Army Buchanan Lodge,” said Famella Altejos, Executive Director at Buchanan.

Have questions about this case study and how it might apply to your business?
Call us at 1-888-688-6283 and we'll be happy to answer your questions.