Canadian Consulting Engineer

Canadians score technology awards at ASHRAE winter conference

February 28, 2017

A team from Montreal claimed the refrigeration project excellence award for an oil transfer and recycling system for ammonia (R-717) refrigeration installations within local hockey arenas.


Claude Dumas (r) of Montreal, QC, accepts the Milton W. Garland Commemorative Refrigeration Award For Project Excellence from ASHRAE president Tim Wentz. (photo: ASHRAE)

ASHRAE, the organization that advances the arts and sciences of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration, held its 2017 Winter Conference Jan. 28-Feb. 1 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, where it recognized member achievements in multiple categories.

The ASHRAE Technology Awards recognize members who have successfully applied innovative building designs, incorporating ASHRAE standards for effective energy management and indoor air quality and serve to communicate innovative systems design. Among seven first place recipients this year, two were from Canada, including:

  • Julien Allard, Eng., mechanical engineer, project manager and shareholder with Bouthillette Parizeau in Montreal, receiving first place in the new industry facilities or processes category for the Construction du Centre de transport Stinson, Montreal. The building features a green roof of 86,000 square feet, high efficiency condensing boilers, energy recovery ventilation on the HVAC systems and destratification fans in high volume places.
  • Kurt Monteiro, P.Eng., HFDP, HBDP, with Smith + Andersen in Toronto, taking first place in the new health care facilities category for Humber River Hospital in Toronto. The facility achieved many milestones including: being the first fully digital hospital in North America; the largest modular green roof installation in Canada; the largest installation of electrochromic glass in North America; and 100% outside air operation for improved indoor air quality and infection control.

A team of Canadians claimed the Milton W. Garland Commemorative Award for Project Excellence at the ASHRAE Conference for an oil transfer and recycling system for ammonia (R-717) refrigeration installations within hockey arenas in Montreal.

The award, which recognizes a non-comfort cooling refrigeration application that highlights innovation and/or new technologies in a unique manner, was presented to Claude Dumas, P.Eng., City of Montreal, an expert in refrigeration systems in skating rinks, together with Peter Petropoulos, P.Eng., of Petropoulos, Bomis & Associates (PBA) the consulting engineer for the refrigeration system and Costa Labos, City of Montreal, and Victor Santangelo, refrigeration specialist with PBA.


Montreal is actively phasing out HCFC-22 refrigerant and converting 41 indoor skating rinks to the more environmentally-friendly R-717 refrigerant. The team developed its oil transfer and recycling system as replacement to an open procedure used to drain the oil in a 20 L pail, a process that allowed the possibility of large amounts of ammonia vapour to escape into the machine room. Plus, the closed process eliminates the risk of an oil and refrigerant splash potentially injuring the worker.

ASHRAE’s 2016 Student Design Competition focused on a new 2-story municipal government building in Beijing, China. First place in the HVAC Design Calculations category was awarded to the University of British Columbia. Team members included Alexander Brosky, Samarth Joshi, Aubrey McNeill, Silvia Odaya, Cheng Yang and Ziran Yu. Faculty advisors were Nima Atabaki, Ph.D., P.Eng., and Steven Rogak, Ph.D., P.Eng., while the industry advisor was Ali Nazari, P.Eng., BEMP, principal, Integral Group.

And for the Applied Engineering Challenge, winning recipients were from the University of Regina – Bradley E.R. Lulik, Eva Rennie and Brent Yeske. Their faculty advisor is Adisorn Aroonwilas, Ph.D.

At the international conference the ASHRAE Society also elevated 22 members to the grade of Fellow, including two Canadian-based members :

  • Carey J. Simonson, Ph.D., P.E., professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.
  • Michel Bernier, Ph.D., P.E., a professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Polytechnique Montreal.


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