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Case study

Maisons des aînés revolutionize senior housing

The Government of Quebec’s Maison des aînés (MDA) project, announced as “a major transformation in housing for seniors,” aims to create resident-focused living environments for seniors who are losing their independence.

Building on quality of life and environmental sustainability

The main idea of the project is to enable seniors to live “as they would at home” in air-conditioned rooms with private bathrooms, in modern “households” that balance privacy and relationships with other residents.

Each household has 12 rooms, up to a maximum of 192 rooms per MDA.

MDAs must adhere to a well-defined sustainability specifications:

  • Optimize energy efficiency: + 20% compared to standards set out in the 2011 National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings.
  • Reduce GHGs: Meet PACC2020 criteria 2 and 3, that is, a maximum combustible fuel use of 20% for energy requirements representing no more than 15% of total consumption.
  • Obtain LEEDv4 – Healthcare certification: The Energy and Atmosphere credit varies from 10 to 17 points, depending on the buildings.
  • Comply with CSA Standard Z317.2-2015 for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems – healthcare facilities have specific requirements in this area.

Average savings


vs 100% electric boiler usage

Average grant


for a 96-bed MDA

Natural gas for comfort and safety

To meet these stringent criteria, several scenarios were considered, including a 100% electric strategy. But the requirements for boiler redundancy in the event of a power outage led the project team to switch to natural gas boilers and water heaters.

In addition to saving an average of approximately $4 million compared to 100% electric boilers, this solution makes it possible to use natural gas boilers and water heaters to manage the electrical peak. This translates into an average annual savings of $26,000 for a 48-bed MDA, $40,000 for a 72-bed MDA, and $52,000 for a 96-bed MDA.

Valuable technical and financial support

Énergir provided technical support to the project team and helped them maximize available grants.

Their collaboration secured average grants of $70,000 for 96-bed MDAs under the Efficient Construction and Renovation component of Énergir’s energy efficiency program.

Receive up to $5 per m³ of natural gas saved

Subvention jusqu’à 325 000 $

Énergir’s grant for the construction of an energy-efficient building is $5/m3 of natural gas saved.

The maximum amount of funding is $325,000 per account number served by natural gas. In addition, Énergir covers up to 75% of energy simulation costs for your new building up to $15,000.

Grants available for your business

An Énergir expert will guide you through the simple process and help find the grants for which you are eligible

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