Canadian Consulting Engineer

Building to Save C02

December 1, 2000
By Bronwen Ledger

Canada held its second Energy Efficiency Awards in October at the Ottawa Congress Centre. The awards were presented in eight categories: equipment and technology, housing, buildings, industry, transpo...

Canada held its second Energy Efficiency Awards in October at the Ottawa Congress Centre. The awards were presented in eight categories: equipment and technology, housing, buildings, industry, transportation, outreach, media and a student competition. Below are the three winners in the buildings category. The awards are held by the Office of Energy Efficiency, a section of Natural Resources Canada that was established in 1998 to drive Canada’s effort to meet its commitment under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide (C02). See for finalists and other winners.

Category: Retrofit Building – Commercial. Telus William Farrell Building Upgrade, Vancouver. Keen Engineering, mechanical engineers (Kevin Hydes, P.Eng.) and Busby Architects (Peter Busby).

The decision of Telus to recycle a 1940s building on Robson Street in downtown Vancouver saved energy, resources and landfill simply because an existing building was not replaced. In addition, the energy efficient design for the retrofit is projected to save up to 38% compared to a conventional design.

A major part of the renovation was to add a new glass facade over the existing wall to act as an insulating layer. The double-glazed, frameless glazing system has operable windows and is suspended one metre away from the existing building face. Motorized dampers at top and bottom of the plenum, and photovoltaic powered fans at the top assist air movement.

Inside the 11,800-m2 space, the designers took advantage of high floor to ceiling heights and installed access flooring with underfloor air supply and wiring. A new heat recovery system uses waste heat rejected from the refrigerated plant and from the telephone equipment process cooling as the primary heating source.

Category: New Building. Northwood Lodge Long Term Care, Red Lake, Ontario. Corbett Cibinel Architects (Doug Corbett) of Winnipeg and TRAK Engineering (Jeff Maxwell, P.Eng.)

Northwood Lodge is a 22-bed, long-term care facility attached to an existing hospital. Its environmental features include high insulation values (R-30 in the walls, R-40 in the roof) as well as a design that encourages passive solar gain.

The building is heated and cooled by a water and ground source heat pump system using 300-foot vertical ground loops. These exchange energy with the earth as required. Heat is drawn by the same coil as is used for heating, but with naturally chilled water in place of heating water.

Each room has individual thermostat controls, and radiant in-floor heating. There are also comprehensive HVAC energy controls with remote access. Since completion in 1999 and based on hydro bills to date, the lodge will save $23,795 in annual energy costs compared to the most likely other local heat source, propane.

Category: Retrofit Building – Institutional. L’Ecole de technologie suprieure (ETS), Notre Dame campus, Universit du Qubec, Montreal. Gilles Rousseau, director of equipment services, ETS.

The former bottling plant of O’Keefe’s Brewery in the heart of Montreal was transformed into 56,000-m2 of space for engineering and technology students. Some of the original electrical and mechanical systems were re-used, and a district plant half a kilometre away supplies steam for heating purposes. At night the HVAC system is turned off, and supplementary peripheral electrical heating takes over when necessary.

The energy conservation program is based on continual monitoring and management by a Metasys system by Johnson Controls. There are eight independent variable air volume air-handling units for different parts of the building. A 100% fresh air unit with a heat recovery unit serves laboratories on the ground floor. Motion centres in the classrooms, laboratories and corridors not only turn off lights but also act on the HVAC controllers to raise the cooling set points and lower air flows. The building uses 0.6 gigajoules of energy per square metre (for comparison the school’s former campus building used 1.28 gigajoules per square metre).


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