DEC is an innovative Canadian engineering corporation working at the forefront of sustainable systems design and construction. Embracing the concept of energy conservation and sustainability, DEC fields a uniquely gifted team of bright, experienced engineers, technologists and designers dedicated to the optimal use of recoverable and renewable energy for the heating and cooling of buildings, from single structures to entire communities.
From its two offices on the west coast of British Columbia, DEC undertakes design, construction and consultation projects for governments, corporations, developers, and architects across Canada and around the world. DEC’s knowledge and expertise, particularly in the emerging field of thermal energy sharing, is world-class, and the firm is fast being recognized for its leading-edge District Energy Sharing System (DESS), and for the revolutionary economic model that attends it.
Innovative in approach and international in scope, DESS effects energy savings of 50%, reduces potable water demand by 50%, and significantly lowers design, construction and operating costs.
For over 30 years, DEC has provided planners, developers and builders with multi-disciplinary, mechanical engineering leadership and excellence. DEC engineers are actively involved at the society and board levels of industry professional and governing organizations, including APEG, ASHRAE, ASPE, CEBC, and Green Building Council. Recently, the company’s innovative work has been recognized by the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies of Canada with its Award of Excellence, by the Community Energy Association with its Energy Action Award, by the Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of B.C., APEG, with its 2010 Peak of Excellence Award, and by ASHRAE with three 2010 Regional Technology Awards.
Sustainability By Design
Sustainability begins at the beginning.
Not an add-on, not a contingent benefit, sustainability – energy conservation, low environmental impact, high efficiency, minimum waste, affordability – must be a fundamental factor in every design decision.
At DEC, we design sustainability into every system we engineer; we consider it a fundamental, a first principle. As a result of our research, expertise and experience, engineered sustainability benefits not just the environment but our customers, too. Projects designed by DEC for environmental sustainability are invariably economically sustainable as well, cost effective to build, operate and maintain. They reduce energy requirements by 50%, and reduce non-potable water requirements by 50%.
Whether to support a single building or an entire community, heating, cooling and water distribution are best provided not by segregated services but by an integrated, closed-loop system, one that naturally recovers energy and water, and reuses it when and where needed. These are the fundamental principles of every DESS by DEC: energy surpluses balance energy deficits; wasted water is reused; infrastructure costs are dramatically reduced.
Within a community lies a wealth of “hidden” energy sources waiting to be tapped. Ice rinks, data centres, refrigeration plants, waste treatment facilities – all produce substantial amounts of thermal energy that is simply thrown away. Capturing this energy and using it systematically can provide as much as 50% of an energy budget. And in the case of waste treatment facilities, the clean effluent itself, treated water usually just discarded in rivers, lakes and oceans, can be distributed for reuse – irrigation, toilet flushing, laundry – reducing demand for high-cost potable water by 50%.
The Fundamentals Of Sustainability
The fundamental breakthough behind DEC’s District Energy Sharing System, the key idea that leads to energy savings of up to 50%, is the concept of moving thermal energy around the community at low temperature. By means of a dual-pipe architecture, a warm pipe and a cool pipe, thermal energy can be absorbed at a node requiring cooling, then radiated at a node needing heating. The DESS concept is based on balance – balance across the whole system. Even though buildings on the system will exhibit varying degrees of efficiency, energy surpluses in one location are used to balance energy deficits in another. Only if the system as a whole is in deficit is supplementary energy required. That new energy can be sourced from the most economical and ecological source available – waste-heat, geo-thermal, solar, wind.
A low temperature system is cost effective. Using a DESS with a Combined Heat and Power project can reduce the CHP capital costs by 50%, doubling the project’s feasibility. In a low temperature system, no specialized and expensive piping and insulation is required. The earth itself around standard High Density Polyethelene (HDPE) pipe, shallow-buried, is insulation enough.
The Technolgy Of Sustainability
In DEC’s District Energy Sharing System, sustainability is less about the components themselves than the relationship among the components. Proven, low cost, reliable elements – heat pumps, heat exchangers, pumps, PVC and HDPE pipe – ensure an economical, low-maintenance, stable mechanical system, while computers and sophisticated software operates, controls and balances the system for maximum efficiency.
Recognizing the need to streamline the adoption and implementation of a District Energy Sharing System into both existing and expanding communities, DEC has authored a suite of software tools designed to enable the standardization of district energy and water recovery technologies. These tools enable municipalities, utilities, and developers to shorten lead times, reduce costs and increase quality.
The Energy To Change the World.
Sustainability, in human terms, is the refusal to accept the status quo.
It starts with the desire to effect change, change for the better. Sustainability is driven by the energy of smart, committed people – visionaries eager to create, and willing to embrace new ideas and try new methods.
At DEC, it’s our people that energize the quest for the most efficient, most economical, most ecologically-friendly solutions to the challenges of environmental sustainability. Our people – committed, curious, dedicated – supply the force that drives DEC forward to lead the world in the pursuit of net-zero systems. Theirs is the ultimate sustainable energy.
Dale Carter is president and founder of DEC. He has extensive experience as a design technician and cost estimator for plumbing, fire protection, heating and ventilating systems. As CEO and Managing Partner, Dale is responsible for project development and coordination, client liaison, contract management and operations.
In addition to being a dedicated professional, Dale is a strong leader. He believes in the team concept, and DEC’s employee longevity and low staff turnover are tributes to his organizational skills and his sincere commitment to fairness and understanding.
Dale is an active member of ASHRAE, in which organization he has held several executive positions, including Chapter President, Vice-President and Treasurer. He is the recipient of numerous awards, among them the ASHRAE 2005 Distinguished Service Award.
In more than three decades under Dale Carter’s stewardship, DEC has earned a national reputation for engineering excellence, and today he is guiding the company confidently into the international arena, championing the adoption of its environmentally-friendly DESS technology.
Ryan Carter is a principal and Vice President of DEC. Ryan is responsible for Business Planning and Development and Communication. He has more than 20 years experience in the communications industry, in a broad range of disciplines, including strategic planning, administration, marketing, project coordination and project management.
Ryan’s background as a founder and partner in Living System and Gator Information Technologies has honed his considerable skills in marketing communication, writing and design. He has extensive knowledge and experience in both traditional and new media applications. Like his father, Ryan is a strong believer in the team concept and enjoys the process of team building to meet the needs of a dramatically-growing demand for alternative solutions to energy and water conservation. Ryan understands that Engineering Sustainability is much more than a catch-phrase; it is a global necessity and an achievable goal.
Richard P. Perry
Richard P. Perry must surely be considered one of the most influential and innovative mechanical engineering practitioners in British Columbia in the last 50 years. In that time, he has designed and supervised the construction of literally hundreds of major commercial, residential, institutional and industrial projects, including Vancouver International Airport, the downtown Vancouver central heat facility, and some 25 arenas in Canada, the US, Argentina and Australia. He pioneered the use in British Columbia of computer-aided drafting for engineering, and was one of the earliest adopters of engineering applications running on personal computers.
In the mid-1980’s, Dick became interested in green building technology, and undertook a building energy-conservation study for the Canadian Department of Energy, Mines and Resources that resulted in major energy savings across the province. He helped develop the ‘LEED’ Green Building Rating System for the US Green Building Council, of which he is a member.
As DEC’s Senior Engineer Emeritus, Richard Perry brings to all DEC clients and projects an unparalleled wealth of knowledge and experience, particularly in the emerging fields of energy conservation and environmentally sustainable heating and cooling technologies.