Zibi to become National Capital Region’s first carbon-neutral community thanks to innovative partnership with Hydro Ottawa and Kruger Products

October 6, 2020

Ottawa - A new partnership between Zibi, Hydro Ottawa and Kruger Products will put the National Capital Region on the map as a leader in combating climate change through the substantial reduction of carbon emissions using district energy for heating and cooling in the Zibi community. Zibi is being developed by Dream Unlimited Corp (TSX:DRM), Dream Hard Asset Alternatives Trust (TSX:DRA.UN), and Theia Partners.

The Zibi Community Utility is a District Energy System relying on energy recovery from effluents from Kruger Products’ Gatineau Plant for heating, and the Ottawa River for cooling. The system, developed by Zibi, will provide zero carbon heating and cooling for all Zibi tenants and residents in the 34-acre waterfront city. Zibi residents and tenants will be able to take pride in living and working in one of Canada’s most sustainable communities, and realize energy savings by using a temperature controlling application on their mobile devices.

This innovative system - the first in North America to use post-industrial waste heat recovery in a master-planned community - will make Zibi the region's first zero-carbon-emission community.

How the system works

When completed, all 4 million square feet of residential and commercial buildings at Zibi will be interconnected through a hydronic loop that will deliver heating and cooling energy. A first in North America, low-grade heat from effluents will be recovered from the end of the tissue-making process from the neighbouring Kruger Products’ Gatineau tissue plant and injected into the new central energy plant. In the summer, heat will be rejected through chillers into the Ottawa River to efficiently produce chilled water to cool the buildings.

When it first comes online in 2021, the Zibi Community Utility plant, located on the lower level of a residential building on the Gatineau side, will be accessible to residents and visitors to allow them see the operations and learn about the innovative technology.

Zibi, a model of innovation

In addition to introducing district energy, a creative partnership with telecom company Beanfield will use the energy system pipe corridors to lay infrastructure for their fibre-optic network and offer 1Gbps symmetrical upload and download speeds delivered over a dedicated fibre connection. Through this partnership, reliable and affordable Internet, Phone, and TV services will be provided to all Zibi residents and businesses, as well as free wifi in public spaces, making Zibi one of Canada’s most technologically advanced communities.

A partnership that works for all

The Zibi, Hydro Ottawa and Kruger Products partnership is a first in the region, creating a model for zero-carbon district energy, and helping both the City of Ottawa and la Ville de Gatineau meet their climate goals.

Through this partnership, Hydro Ottawa provides more than 100 years of trusted utility experience and will work to integrate innovative clean energy solutions into the Zibi project in support of the group’s One Planet Action Plan, which focuses on zero-carbon and zero-waste development, among other sustainable benefits.



ZCU website

B-roll, logos, aerial views, renderings, maps and still images (Dropbox)

Zibi One Planet Action Plan



“The Zibi Community Utility district energy system is a cornerstone in our plans to meet our One Planet sustainability goals. We are grateful to our partners at Hydro Ottawa and Kruger Products for helping us develop an innovative solution that not only enables us to meet our zero-carbon goals but puts Ottawa and Gatineau on the map as leaders in combating climate change.” – Jeff Westeinde, President, Zibi

“Zibi's district energy system is a testament to the power of connection - through partnership, innovation, and a desire to create a future far more sustainable than the past. At Hydro Ottawa, we believe it’s our responsibility to be the change-makers necessary to help build a smart energy future for the Nation’s Capital. By adopting a futurist perspective, we’ve elevated our business lines, products and strategies to meet our community’s environmental expectations and energy needs.” – Bryce Conrad, President and CEO, Hydro Ottawa.

“Kruger Products’ involvement with the Zibi Community Utility, through the effluent energy recovery process from our Gatineau Plant, is yet another example of our commitment to our community, our employees, our suppliers and our customers to always look for innovative ways to reduce our environmental footprint and to make our operations more sustainable. As Canada’s leading manufacturer and distributor of quality tissue products for household, industrial and commercial use, sustainability is at the core of what we do and as such, we are proud to partner with Zibi and Hydro Ottawa in this promising project, which will have a positive impact in the National Capital Region.“ – Stéphane Lamoureux, Vice President, Operations – Special Projects, Kruger Products.


About Zibi

Zibi is a 13.7-hectare (34-acre) waterfront community carefully designed by Dream Unlimited Corp and Theia Partners. It is a borderless neighbourhood, connecting the cities of Gatineau and Ottawa, where more than 5,000 people will live and 6,000 people will work, and containing three hectares (eight acres) of riverside parks and public squares, and more than one million square feet of commercial space. It is one of the most sustainable communities in the world, and the first in Canada to receive One Planet Living certification, a global framework developed by Bioregional and the World Wildlife Fund. www.zibi.ca

About Dream Unlimited Corp.

Dream (TSX:DRM) is one of Canada’s leading real estate companies with approximately $8 billion of assets under management in North America and Europe. The scope of the business includes residential land development, housing and condominium development, retail and commercial development, asset management for three TSX-listed trusts; including Dream Hard Asset Alternatives Trust (TSX:DRA.UN) and commercial property ownership. Dream has an established track record for being innovative and for its ability to source, structure and execute on compelling investment opportunities. For more information please visit: www.dream.ca.

About Theia Partners

Theia Partners is a development agency that has health, wellness and sustainability at the very core of its DNA. They are passionate about creating communities in which living your happiest and healthiest life is hard-wired. Where you get the chance to know your neighbours through smart design and where sustainability is carefully woven into the urban fabric.  THEIA and its partners have been instrumental in developing several of Canada’s first LEED Platinum buildings across Canada. theiapartners.com

About Hydro Ottawa Holding Inc.

Hydro Ottawa Holding Inc. (Hydro Ottawa) is a private company 100 per cent owned by the City of Ottawa and whose core businesses are electricity distribution, renewable energy generation, and energy and utility services. Hydro Ottawa owns and operates three primary subsidiary companies: Hydro Ottawa Limited – delivering electricity to more than 340,000 customers in the City of Ottawa and the Village of Casselman; Portage Power – the largest Ontario-based municipally-owned producer of green power that has over 128 megawatts of installed green generation capacity – enough to power 107,000 homes; and Envari – an energy solutions company offering products and services that help reduce energy consumption and costs for municipalities, industrial and commercial clients, and various local distribution companies. hydroottawa.com

About Kruger Products L.P.

Kruger Products L.P. has approximately 2,500 employees, including 400 workers at the Gatineau Plant, and operates eight FSC® (FSC®-C104904) certified plants in North America. In 2020, Kruger Products ranked 25th among Corporate Knights’ 2020 Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada. It also made the 2020 Canada’s Best Managed Companies list and appeared on Forbes Canada’s Best Employers list. www.krugerproducts.ca

About Beanfield Metroconnect

Beanfield is a telecommunications company unlike the rest. We recognize the importance of connecting communities and the people within them, and we do this without sacrificing outstanding customer support and superior services. At Beanfield, it’s about building communities, not just networks.

Beanfield builds, owns and operates the largest independent fibre-optic network in Toronto and Montreal, connecting over 2,800 commercial and residential buildings, with recent expansion into Ottawa. All of our construction, installation, and customer experience teams are in-house, giving you the most efficient and streamlined experience possible, because we believe that’s How it Should Be. www.beanfield.com


For information and interviews:

Annie Boucher

[email protected]


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