Valleyview town hall

New municipal building aims for Passive House Plus

By Oscar Flechas

The new Valleyview Town Hall is an 800 m2 two-storey plus basement building located in Valleyview, 350Km north of Edmonton in the heart of Alberta’s oil country. Despite the large seasonal fluctuations in temperature and sunlight levels at this latitude, Valleyview Town Hall is aiming to be the first Passive House certified commercial building in Alberta and the first Passive House Plus in North America. This means that on-site renewables meet 100% of the building’s energy demand on an annual basis, a giant leap forward for a town with fewer than 2,000 residents.

The building reuses the footprint of a previous structure, minimizing site disturbance, preserving adjacent community park space and capitalizing on solar orientation. With the latter being a vital strategy in this extreme climate, the program is organized with high-traffic working areas towards the long, naturally-lit south side to ensure energy balancing. In the warmer months, heat gains are controlled with fixed shades that cut out the high angle sun.

In addition to its aggressive energy targets, the Passive House Standard requires excellent indoor air quality through carefully calibrated mechanical ventilation and air recirculation systems. To maintain steady temperatures over all three levels of the building, ventilation specifications included a mix of outdoor variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system for cooling and heating, and a high-efficiency energy recovery ventilator.

To further enhance indoor environmental quality, all interior finishes, paints, adhesives, flooring and composite wood products are specified to contain low amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and be free of other toxins. Beyond the physiological health of its employees, however, the municipality is also concerned for their psychological wellbeing. Accordingly, all workspaces and other frequently used areas are adjacent to operable windows that connect visually to the park, while a balcony and designated outdoor sitting area ensure that the connection with nature is not only visual but also physical.

Another Passive House requirement is for durability of materials and assemblies. The materials chosen, including glass fibre reinforced concrete (GRC), and high pressure laminate siding and metal siding which are both resilient and long lasting. The highly energy efficient envelope includes Passive House certified windows within  a rainscreen system that promotes drying of any moisture that gets behind the cladding. Together with the airtight and vapour open construction this ensures there is no unwanted condensation within the wall assembly and extends the life of the envelope components.

In anticipation of changing needs over the life of the building, an area for future physical expansion is included within the existing Passive House envelope. Accommodating future expansion and reconfiguration meant that the size and spacing of the windows had to be carefully considered to accommodate potential changes to the functional layout.

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Owner/Developer  Town of Valleyview
  • Architect  Flechas Architecture Inc.
  • Indicative Design  Kobayashi + Zedda Architects Ltd., ReNu Building Science and Williams Engineering
  • General Contractor  Scott Builders Inc.
  • Landscape Architect  Kinnikinnick Studio Inc.
  • Civil Engineer  HELiX Engineering Ltd.
  • Electrical/Mechanical Engineer  Integral Group
  • Structural Engineer  Laviolette Engineering Ltd.
  • Commissioning Agent  Bair Balancing
  • Energy Modelling  Marken Design+Consult
  • Photos  Flechas Architecture Inc.

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  • The highly energy efficient envelope uses Euroline 4700 Series THERMOPLUS™ PHC Tilt & Turn windows in a rainscreen system that allows drying of any moisture that gets behind the cladding. Tech-Crete CFI® pre-finished exterior insulating wall panels are used on the foundation.
  • The building reuses the footprint of a previous structure, minimizing site disturbance, preserving adjacent community park space and capitalizing on solar orientation. The foundation of Quad-Lock® Insulated Concrete Forms was supplied by Airfoam Insulation products which offers Insulation Boards, Insulated Metal Panels, Geofoam and Void-Fill for wall, roof and below-grade applications. www.airfoam.com
  • The hallway leading to workspaces which have operable windows that connect visually to the park. The project uses a Tempeff North America ERV system with Dual-Core technology to recover both heat and humidity in winter for continuous fresh air supply and a frost-free operation in extremely cold conditions.
  • All interior finishes, paints, adhesives, flooring and composite wood products are specified to contain low amounts of volatile organic compounds. To maintain steady temperatures over all three levels of the building, ventilation specifications included an outdoor variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system by Mitsubishi Electric Heating & Cooling for cooling and heating, and a high-efficiency energy recovery ventilator.

Living Libations headquarters

Passive House in the realms of human wellbeing and ecological responsibility

By Jim Taggart

Set on a south-facing slope amid the forested hills of Haliburton, Ontario, the design of the new Living Libations Headquarters reflects a corporate philosophy that places the highest value on nature, beauty and being. In building terms, this philosophy naturally led to the choice of a highly durable, low-energy form of construction, with a strong emphasis on indoor environmental quality and attractive common spaces that would have the minimum environmental impact over an extended life cycle. These criteria led in turn to the choice of a Passive House structure.

A manufacturer of organic beauty care products, Living Libations has a staff of 50 who, on completion of this project, now work in a production laboratory building with an exposed heavy timber structure and natural finishes that create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The interior hardwood plywood finish is  bonded with a food-grade soy-based adhesive, rather than urea formaldehyde (UF), which  does not emit toxic air contaminants.

The other program spaces include (on the uppermost floor), a professional kitchen, a south-facing dining room that opens onto a 450m² outdoor terrace, a yoga room with adjoining meditation, and a light therapy solarium which opens onto a large rooftop terrace that has a panoramic view of the surrounding forest and beautiful sunsets.

The design approach was to let the geography of the site shape and locate all built form in order to minimize the ecological impact on the site. Compasses and a solar pathfinder were used to ensure the building was oriented for maximum cold season solar heat gains. The steep south-facing slope made it possible to capture solar heat by locating the majority of windows on the south side while the concrete construction of the ground floor, earth-sheltered by the slope, created a thermal flywheel to modulate diurnal temperature fluctuations.

In combination with an unbroken R50 thermal separation, this strategy perfectly offsets peak heating and cooling demand. Wall and roof system designs were modelled for possible interior dew points in “U-WERT” software that proved the benefit of using a smart air-vapour control layer inside the building. “THERM” software was used to guide the design of thermally efficient structural connections.

The design team optimized the building layout, equipment selection, and operation schedule to minimize energy demand. Six air-to-air heat-pumps easily maintain comfortable conditions through -30C winter nights and +30C summer days. Evacuated solar tubes on the roof provide domestic hot water in the spring, summer, and fall, and even pre-warmed water in winter months. A propane back-up boiler system for make-up heat was required by the authority having jurisdiction, but to date it has not been needed.

Jim Taggart, FRAIC is the editor of SABMag.

PROJECT PERFORMANCE

  • Energy intensity (building and process energy) = 59.7kwhr/m²/year
  • Water consumption from municipal sources = 0 litres/occupant/year
  • Recycled material content by value = 5%
  • Regional materials (800km radius) by value = 54%
  • Construction waste diverted from landfill = 20%
  •  

PRJECT CREDITS

  • OWNER/DEVELOPER: Nadine & Ron Artemis / Living Libations
  • BUILDING DESIGN: G West Building Services in
  • collaboration with Steenhof Building Services Group & CHORNY Associates Architect Inc.
  • PROJECT MANAGEMENT: G West Building Services
  • CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTOR: CDH Carpentry in
  • collaboration with many other trades.
  • LANDSCAPE: Kevin Forbes
  • CIVIL ENGINEER: Greenview Environmental
  • ELECTRICAL AND STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Steenhof Building Services Group
  • MECHANICAL ENGINEER: Brumar Engineering Services Ltd.
  • PASSIVE HOUSE DESIGN CONSULTANT: Peel Passive House Consulting
  • INTERIOR DESIGN & FURNISHINGS:  Nadine Artemis & Jamie Lee Mason
  • PHOTOS: Greg West., John Lehmann Photography 

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  • Innovative and customizable Boxx panels from Element5 efficiently span long distances between supporting structural members and are well suited for floor and roof applications in multi-storey buildings. The interior hardwood plywood finish is bonded with a food-grade soy-based adhesive, rather than urea formaldehyde, which does not emit toxic air contaminants.
  • Six Tempeff North America RGSP Series Dual-Core energy recovery ventilators recover both heat and humidity in winter allowing for continuous fresh air supply and a frost-free operation in extremely cold conditions without need for preheat or defrost.
  • Six Air-to-Air heat pumps by Mitsubishi Electric Heating & Cooling, which can work efficiently below -25C°, provide cooling and heating.
  • The Katana™ by Moso® bamboo decking is a sustainable, long lasting, class A fire rated natural alternative to other decking products, and very stable in all weather conditions.
  • Aluminum railing profiles by Dekrail are designed for both optimal strength and visual aesthetics.
  • Steenhof Building Services Group was proud to be the prime consultants for all disciplines of Engineering including Mechanical, Electrical & Architectural (Chorny Associates Architects Inc.)

New (Temporary) Home of the House of Commons

Hidden solution controls a glaring problem

Any long-term renovation project comes with issues, and the recent conversion of the West Block courtyard in Ottawa to the new home of the House of Commons for the next 10 years, is no exception. In this case, a hidden solution was found to one of the most glaring problems.

By Terry Coffey

To convert the exterior courtyard to an indoor space, architects AFGM designed a multilayer roof structure comprising a supporting steel structure, outer glazing, an access catwalk, and an inner laylight. This plan would create an impressive space, full of light.

Impressive but problematic.

As the proceedings of the House of Commons are televised, control of light through the roof structure is critical to prevent glare. Draper, a U.S.-based manufacturer of custom solar control solutions, was tasked to provide a way to maximize the diffuse daylight in the space without permitting direct sunlight to strike any part of the debating chamber at any time during the day.

Given the complex geometry of the roof and the need to block direct sunlight, it wasn’t possible to use an “off the shelf” solution. As a result, Draper worked closely with facade engineers, Front Inc.; climate engineers, Transsolar Inc; and skylight contractor, Seele; to develop a custom motorized louver system.

There were three big challenges to address:

• Motorized louvers rarely rotate more than 90°, but this project required a drive mechanism that could rotate the louvers through 180°, allowing them to track the sun continuously throughout the day.

• The louver system needed to cope with the irregular shaped skylight elements.

• The system needed to allow adjustment to run on a number of different slopes.

The final design comprises a drive bar with sections of rack mounted at each louver location. These racks engage toothed wheels mounted on the louver shafts. Consequently, as the actuator drives forward and back, the louvers are rotated.

The louvers slowly rotate 180° every day during daylight hours, then retract to their original position overnight. Adjusting the actuator stroke allows the amount of louver rotation to be increased or decreased as required.

Using 3-D printers, prototypes of components were produced to check their integration with the structure.

Due to the precision required, two mock-up systems were built and reviewed by the design team and modifications made to address issues that were highlighted. Noise measurements resulted in the original actuator being replaced by one which achieved significantly quieter operation.

The mock-up also allowed consideration of maintenance issues, including louver or actuator replacement and, in an emergency, the ability to close a bank of louvers if an actuator failed.

In addition to the prototyping and approval process, each segment of the louver system was completely built and tested in the factory before shipment to Ottawa.

In the end, the custom louver system, while critical to the successful operation of the debating chamber, is almost invisible both from the interior and the exterior because of its position in the middle of the multi-layer roof structure.

Terry Coffey, ISF is with Draper, Inc.; www.draperinc.com. Drawings and photos supplied by Draper, Inc., unless otherwise noted.

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Bank of Canada Renewal, Ottawa, ON

Existing Building Upgrade Award | Perkins+Will

Jury comments: This major rehabilitation and revitalization project, driven by quantitative issues of obsolete infrastructure, poor energy performance and related carbon impacts, and an outdated working environment, has been addressed with aesthetic sensitivity and restraint. Innovative structural upgrades enabled the restoration of the integrity of this 1970s office tower by Arthur Erickson,  while the 1930s centre building and its immediate surroundings  have been transformed into valuable new public amenities.

Located just west of Parliament Hill in Downtown Ottawa, the Bank of Canada Head Office complex comprises 79,500m² of offices and operation spaces. The original Centre Building was built in the 1930s; the twin office towers and connecting atrium being added in the 1970s. Completed in 2017, this project included the comprehensive renewal of the existing complex, including some reconfigurations and additions to the program.

A new museum invites and educates the community about the Bank’s role in the Canadian economy. The pyramidal glass entrance pavilion and the enhanced public realm that surrounds it form an abstraction of the Canadian landscape and functions as an accessible, multi-faceted public realm throughout the year.

Major drivers for renewal were the performance and infrastructure deficits of the facility, energy upgrades and carbon reductions, and modernization of the workplace. Within the towers, floor plates and waffle slab ceilings were restored to their original open plan concept.

The renovated towers were designed to be modular, allowing for a diverse range of uses so that each contains a combination of private and collaborative spaces.

The Centre Building accommodates both offices and conference facilities, while the atrium provides a variety of social spaces.

The design looked to maintain as much of the existing building infrastructure as possible, to lower both costs and negative environmental impact. Passive design strategies include revealing floorplates, allowing for deeper daylight penetration and greater access to views to the exterior and atrium.

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Client:  Bank of Canada
  • Architecture/Interior Team: Perkins + Will
  • Civil Engineer: Novatech Engineering Consultants
  • Electrical/Mechanical Engineer: BPA Engineering Consultants
  • Structural Engineer:  Adjeleian Allen Rubeli Limited
  • Project Manager:  CBRE Limited/Project Management Canada
  • General Contractor:  PCL Constructors Canada Inc.
  • Landscape Architect:  DTAH
  • Food Service/Commissioning Agent:  WSP
  • Heritage ConsultantEvoq Architecture
  • Building Envelope:  ZEC Consulting
  • Building ScienceCLEB
  • Sustainability Consulting Team:  Perkins + Will
  • Security:  LEA
  • A/V:  Engineering Harmonics
  • Acoustic:  HGC
  • Cost Consultant:  Turner & Townsend
  • Lighting:  Gabriel MacKinnon/Perkins + Will
  • Code & Life Safety:  Morrison Hershfield
  • Photos:  Younes Bounhar

PROJECT PERFORMANCE

  • Energy intensity = 183 kWh/m² /year
  • Energy savings relative to reference building = 44%
  • Water consumption = 4,645L/occupant/year (based on 250 days operation)
  • Water savings relative to reference building = 35%

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Evolv1, Waterloo, ON

Commercial/Industrial [Large] Award | Stantec

Evolv1 is a commercial office building targeting net positive energy and net zero carbon. In order to achieve this standard, the building must produce 105% of its own energy requirements. The 10,000m2, Class AAA building is located in the David Johnston Research + Technology Park, within Waterloo’s Idea Quarter.’ The goal of the project was to inspire development of regenerative buildings by producing an economically-viable prototype that works within the real market. The building is targeting LEED platinum certification and has been certified by the Canada Green Building Council as the first Zero Carbon Building in Canada.

A multipronged low energy design approach was used to meet the client’s environmental goals, including a ground source open loop geo-exchange system, that significantly reduces the heating and cooling loads, and photovoltaic panels installed by VCT Group to produce more energy than the building was going to consume.

The team used an Integrated Design Process (IDP), taking advantage of collaboration between different disciplines, considering the advantages and trade-offs between performance, user comfort and costs from an early stage.

The design team knew what was achievable technically, but had to find ways to make it feasible in the marketplace in order to ensure widespread impact. The team used a proprietary parametric modelling tool that enabled them to analyze thousands of design scenarios simultaneously.

The choice of site was also important; being on the University of Waterloo campus and thus able to leverage the university’s culture of innovation and attract young, tech-savvy tenants. Proximity to the new LRT station was also an advantage. 

PROJECT PERFORMANCE

  • Energy intensity (base building) = 44.5KWhr/m²/year
  • Energy intensity (process) = 33.5 KWhr/m²/year
  • Energy intensity reduction relative to reference building under ASHRAE 90.1 2007 = 105%
  • Water consumption from municipal sources = 1,748 litres/occupant/year
  • Reduction in water consumption relative to reference building under LEED = 69%
  • Recycled material content by value = 28%
  • Regional materials (800km radius) by value = 49%
  • Construction waste diverted from landfill = 82.5%

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Client:  Cora Group
  • Architect/Landscape Architect:  Stantec Architecture Ltd.
  • Civil/Elec/Mech/Structural Engineer: Stantec Consulting Ltd.
  • General Contractor  Melloul-Blamey
  • Commissioning Agent  CFMS West Consulting Inc
  • Photos  Jesse Milns

A large PV array installed by VCT Group on the roof and in the parking lot helps the building to produce 105% of its own energy requirements.

Part of the cladding is slat wall panels made of öko skin from Sound Solutions and consists of glassfibre reinforced concrete that can be mounted horizontally or vertically on a substructure in a rainscreen system.

The geo-exchange system: Water, at a fairly constant at 10°C, is taken from the aquifer 160m below ground, filtered, and sent to a heat exchanger to provide heating and cooling to the building all year round.

Passive strategies were used to reduce energy consumption, followed by active strategies and efficient equipment such as Mitsubishi Electric AC units and fan coils

Sechelt Water Resource Centre, Sechelt, BC

Commercial/Industrial [Small] Award   |  Public Architecture + Communication

Jury comments: We hope this project marks the beginning of a new era in which the invisible infrastructure that has long-supported urban life is brought out into the daylight. Only through making infrastructure visible can we fully grasp and understand the implications of our linear systems of production, consumption, treatment and disposal. Alongside the learning opportunities provided by this facility, the volume of waste discharged into the ocean has been reduced by 90% compared to its predecessor and the bio-nutrient by-products can be used for industry and agriculture.

The Sechelt Water Resource Centre (SWRC) rethinks traditional municipal wastewater treatment. Instead of sequestering this essential service behind a locked chain-link fence, the transparent suburban facility reveals the mechanical and biological systems that clean wastewater, replacing the traditional ‘flush and forget about it’ systems with one that encourages the public to consider their role in the hydrological cycle.

In comparison to the facility it replaced, the SWRC discharges ten times fewer waste solids into the sea, boasts double the treatment capacity and nearly half the operational costs; and, captures resources (biosolids, heat, and water) for industry, parks, and agriculture. A sewage treatment plant, botanical garden and teaching facility in turn, the centre also provides a more humane work environment where employee duties include harvesting tomatoes and pruning roses.

Wastewater is treated and reused at its source instead of being pumped back and forth from an energy intensive pipe network, effectively closing the water loop. The SWRC replaces an existing packaged extended aeration plant with the first North American installation of the Organica Fed Batch Reactor System.

This system is set apart by the inclusion of microorganisms, which live among the roots of plants grown in a greenhouse above the reactors. The plant roots create a complex environment which fosters a biologically diverse community of insects and bacteria that consume the organic matter.

What is remarkable about this system is the elimination of noise pollution and odours associated with conventional treatment as well as its reduced footprint. The entire process is housed in a single building, which integrates with the surrounding neighbourhood and nearby Sechelt Marsh Park.

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Owner/Developer: District Municipality of Sechelt
  • Architect:  Public Architecture + Communication
  • General Contractor:  Maple Reinders Group Inc.
  • Landscape Architect: Urban Systems
  • Civil Engineer:  Urban Systems
  • Electrical Engineer:  IITS Ltd.
  • Mechanical Engineer:  HPF engineering Ltd.
  • Structural Engineer:  CWMM Consulting Engineers Ltd.
  • Commissioning Agent:  CES Group 
  • Photos:  Martin Tessler

PROJECT PERFORMANE

  • Energy intensity (process) = 584 KWhr/m²/year
  • Energy intensity reduction relative to reference building under ASHRAE 90.1 2007 = 22%
  • Water consumption from municipal sources = 12,597 litres/occupant/year
  • Reduction in water consumption relative to reference building under LEED = 69%
  • Recycled material content by value = 17%
  • Regional materials (800km radius) by value = 26%
  • Construction waste diverted from landfill = 96%

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Okanagan College Trades Renewal and Expansion Project – Kelowna, BC

Institutional [Large] Award  |  Diamond Schmitt Architects  

The primary objective of the Okanagan College Trades Renewal and Expansion project was to enlarge and unify disparate elements of the Trades training program on the Kelowna, BC campus and to provide an exemplar of highly sustainable building design for students and future generations of trades workers.

The project comprises two distinct but integrated components: the renovation of 4,180 m² of existing trades workshops and the construction of a 5,574 m² addition. The three-storey addition frames a new courtyard, preserves a mature copper beech tree and positions the Trades Complex much closer to the main road, creating a new public face for the college.

The new building accommodates classrooms, group offices, labs, trade shops, a café, as well as student social and study space for the campus as a whole. The ambitious sustainable design targets were a driving force for the project. They include achieving Living Building Challenge petal certification including Net Zero Energy, LEED Platinum for the new addition, and LEED Gold for Existing Buildings Certification (LEED EB:O&M) for the renovation.

The application of bioclimatic design principles was critical to achieving the ambitious energy targets. These principles informed the orientation, footprint and massing of the building and maximized the potential for capturing solar energy and minimizing the need for conventional mechanical and electrical systems.

PROJECT PERFORMANCE

  • Energy intensity (base building) = 17.7KWhr/m²/year
  • Energy intensity (process) = 19.3KWhr/m²/year
  • Energy intensity reduction relative to reference building under MNECB = 51%
  • Water consumption from municipal sources = 2,935litres/occupant/year
  • Reduction in water consumption relative to reference building under LEED = 35%
  • Recycled material content by value = 25%
  • Regional materials (800km radius) by value = 32%
  • Construction waste diverted from landfill = 81%

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Client  Okanagan College
  • Architect  Diamond Schmitt Architects
  • Associate Architect  David Nairne + Associates
  • Civil Engineer  True Consulting
  • Electrical Engineer  Applied Engineering Solutions
  • Mechanical Engineer  AME Group
  • Structural Engineer  Fast+Epp
  • Commissioning Agent  I Design
  • Sustainability  Integral Group
  • Envelope Consultants  RJC Engineers
  • General Contractor  PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc
  • Landscape Architect  Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg
  • Building Code  LMDG Consultants
  • Cost Consultant  Quantity Surveyors Ltd.
  • Photos  Ed White Photographics

Exterior sunshades were provided by McGill Architectural Products.

The south main entry. Steel cladding 7/8-in. corrugated profile supplied by Vicwest.

The central three-storey atrium brings daylight into the core and assists with natural ventilation. Alumicor supplied the operable windows 5000 Series Phantom Vents, 2300 Series skylights, and 2600 Series curtain walls.

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Building Blocks on Balmoral at Great West Life – Winnipeg, MB

Institutional [Small] Award | Prairie Architects Inc.

Jury comments: This project comprehensively and creatively addresses multiple aspects of sustainability simultaneously. The adaptive re-use of a heritage house as the centrepiece of a new and much needed daycare facility not only achieves LEED Platinum environmental performance, but also acts as a powerful catalyst in the revitalization of the fabric of Winnipeg’s West Broadway neighbourhood through the addition of this community amenity.

Building Blocks on Balmoral at Great-West Life comprises  the adaptive re-use of the 110-year old Grade II listed Milner House and two new structures, which together provide 100 licensed childcare spots to Great-West Life employees and the West Broadway community.

In addition to upgrading and extending the useful life of a heritage structure, the new facility has achieved LEED Platinum certification with the integration of sustainable features that include: a geothermal ground source heat-pump with in-floor radiant heating and chilled beams for cooling; displacement ventilation that requires lower fan power than ducted systems; significant use of salvaged, refurbished and re-used materials; substantial water use reduction (a particular priority in the Prairies); abundant daylight and views and use of low-emitting materials.

In order to create a sense of “home” for children, the facility was deliberately divided into two smaller additions on either side of the existing Milner House: one for toddlers and infants and one for preschool aged children. Each addition has direct connection to accessible exterior play yards, designed with naturalized landscapes and an age-appropriate focus.

The need to replace the deteriorating foundation of the Milner House provided an opportunity to make the ground floor of the facility fully accessible.

In order to keep the entire main floor on one level without introducing ramps and stairs, the original structure was lowered approximately 610mm onto a new foundation, and the north end of the site was built up 1,220mm to provide an accessible outdoor play area  for the children.

This also enabled the implementation of two site planning moves that facilitate on-site stormwater management: the elimination of an impervious lane connecting Balmoral Street to the Great- West Life parking lot; and the creation of a retention area for stormwater run-off at the north end of the site.

With a particular concern for indoor environmental quality, the project has been designed with 100% fresh air displacement ventilation. The system, which introduces low velocity fresh air at low level, was selected not only because of the significant energy savings it offered, but also because it was the most effective way to deliver fresh air close to the floor in spaces occupied by small children and crawling infants.

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Owner/Developer:  Great West Life Assurance Company
  • Architect:  Prairie Architects Inc.
  • General Contractor:  Manshield Construction
  • Landscape Architect:  Nadi Design & Development Inc.
  • Civil Engineer:  WSP
  • Electrical/ Mechanical Engineer:  KGS Group 
  • Structural Engineer:  Wolfrom Engineering Ltd.
  • Commissioning Agent:  Pinchin
  • Energy Modelling:  Stantec
  • Photos: Lindsay Reid

PROJECT PERFORMANCE

  • Energy intensity (building and process energy) =  145.5KWhr/m²/year
  • Energy intensity reduction relative to reference building under MNECB 1997 = 56%
  • Water consumption from municipal sources = 2,993 litres/occupant/year
  • Reduction in water consumption relative to reference building under LEED = 50%
  • Recycled material content by value = 14%
  • Regional materials (800km radius) by value = 36%
  • Construction waste diverted from landfill = 89.5%
  • The chilled beam around the perimeter. Daikin contributed fan coils and its Enfinity water-source heat pumps to the HVAC system. Each of the four new buildings use an Uponor manifold and in-floor radiant system to provide  even heating across the floors. 
  • The project uses an ERV system by Winnipeg-based Tempeff North America. The Dual-Core technology recovers both heat and humidity in winter allowing for continuous fresh air supply and a frost-free operation in extremely cold conditions. This ERV simplifies system design and does not require preheat or any form of defrost strategy.
  • East-facing childcare space where large windows admit natural light. DUXTON Windows & Doors supplied the fiberglass fenestration, in FiberWall™ Series 328 and 458, high performance triple glazing. The windows came complete with a 350 Panning exterior extension, providing a seamless, prefinished flashing detail for easy installation.

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PROJECT NEXTUS

Architectural firm’s own office demonstrates sustainability on a smaller scale

Located in Saskatoon, one of the  youngest and fastest growing cities  in Canada, our new workplace had  to embody a fresh identity and a  progressive environmental agenda.

By Bertrand Bartake

In a province where sustainable design is not yet the norm, we wanted to lead by example. Project Nextus is in line to become the first LEED Platinum certified project in Saskatchewan. Located in a main floor storefront space, it puts active design principles on public display.

We established ambitious sustainability goals with an emphasis on staff health and comfort. We met those goals by planning and intelligent design first, and then by including technology if necessary. It was important for us to create an environment of choice for staff while inspiring creativity.

One of the main elements of the design solution is a locally fabricated parametric perforated steel ribbon that acts as a wayfinding element and connects the two levels of the workplace by framing the central circulation. The ribbon acts as an acoustic absorber and screens the main mechanical distribution before morphing into a magnetic and writable surface for the meeting areas. The collective efforts toward smart planning, functionality and ingenuity resulted in a workplace that is a manifestation of our core principles of context, collaboration and sustainability.

Large north-facing windows on the storefront provide abundant daylighting to the front of house spaces without the detrimental effects of glare. On the south side, a deep overhang enabled the design team to expand the area of glazing originally proposed for the base building, greatly increasing the daylight reaching the space. The use of 100% LED fixtures resulted in a power density improvement of more than 35% over the ASHRAE benchmark. Occupancy sensors throughout, including on task lights, further reduce the power consumption within the space.

Materials, finishes and furnishings were meticulously selected to reduce harmful airborne contaminants in the office. Over 30% of the furniture is reused. Radiant heating and cooling panels are combined with a dedicated outdoor air delivery system that provides 100% fresh air to the workplace. The collective strategies resulted in outstanding air quality in the project.

Active design principles played a key role in generating the layout of the workplace, with the social and amenity spaces in the centre and studio spaces around the periphery. The kitchen, print area and “living room” act as social condensers where staff working in different studios interact. A generously proportioned, open stair provides both vertical connection and an informal meeting place.

Bertrand Bartake, Architect SAA, is with Kindrachuk Agrey Architecture in Saskatoon.

The base building uses Alumicor ThermaWall 2600 curtain wall, FlushGlaze 800 storefront and RainBlade 1970 triple-glazed low E windows, and is designed to achieve LEED Gold certification.

Energy-efficient and quiet-operating fan coils by Daikin are used in the meeting rooms. 

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Client/Architect  Kindrachuk Agrey Architecture
  • Structural Engineer  Robb Kullman Eng. Ltd.
  • Electrical Engineer  PWA Engineering Ltd.
  • Mechanical Engineer  Daniels Wingerak Engineering Ltd.
  • General Contractor  PCL
  • Commissioning Agent  Thurston Engineering
  • LEED Consultant Kane Consulting
  • Photos  Patricia Holdsworth, Karee Davidson

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Sustainable Energy and Engineering Building

Insulated precast concrete façade contributes to energy savings in landmark building

Simon Fraser University’s new, five-storey Sustainable Energy and Engineering Building (SE3P) in Surrey, BC represents the University’s first major step in expanding beyond its Central City campus to become a distinct academic precinct within Surrey’s growing and revitalized City Centre neighbourhood.

By: Venelin Kokalov

Funded in part by the Federal Government’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF), this distinctive 16,000 square metre (173,000 square feet, excluding single-level underground parkade) facility is purpose-built to house the new Sustainable Energy and Engineering (SEE) program which offers an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to energy engineering education to support the clean tech, renewable and sustainable energy sector.

With a building program organized around a light-filled central atrium and sweeping staircase punctuated with trees at varying levels, SE3P comprises teaching and research labs; collaboration and study spaces; faculty, graduate and administrative offices; recreational rooms; undergraduate and graduate lounges, student services, and plant maintenance facilities. When fully operational, approximately 515 students and 60 faculty and staff will use the building. Its 400-seat lecture hall, situated on the southwestern portion of the ground floor, will serve the full SFU Surrey campus as well as the broader Surrey community.

The project’s fast-track delivery method necessitated a significant overlap in the design and construction phases. Utilizing prefabricated precast concrete elements for the façade became a key consideration, not only for ensuring long-term durability and reduced maintenance, but because it also enabled the building to be closed in quickly to meet the tight construction schedule.

As a result, SE3P’s compelling architectural expression is a unique façade composed primarily of framed alternating strips of energy-efficient, undulating precast concrete double wythe insulated panels and reflective glazing. Drawing inspiration from the geometric pattern of electrical circuit boards, the precast concrete panels also symbolize the technological subject matter that will be taught within the building.

By fabricating the exterior finish, thermal and moisture protection, and interior finish off-site as a single pre-assembled system, the project’s schedule, performance and energy-saving goals were maintained while mitigating on-site construction noise and debris. The heavier precast concrete elements with reflective glazing help to animate the façade and are juxtaposed with the transparent glazing at the building’s ground plane which extends the outdoor public realm into the interior public space, engaging the local community.

Venelin Kokalov is Design Principal at Revery Architecture Inc.

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Owner Simon Fraser University (SFU)
  • Architect  Revery Architecture Inc.
  • Structural Engineer  WSP
  • Mechanical Engineer  The AME Consulting Group Ltd. (AME Group)
  • Electrical Engineer  AES Engineering Ltd. (AES)
  • Building envelope  Morrison Hershfield Ltd.
  • Precast Concrete Engineer  Kassian Dyck & Associates
  • Contractor  Bird Construction
  • Precast Concrete Supplier and Installation SureClad a subsidiary of Surespan Structures, a member of the Surespan Group
  • Photos  Courtesy of Revery Architecture. Construction photos by Surespan Construction Ltd.

Variable air volume (VAV) units, diffusers, registers and grilles were provided by E.H. Price (Price Industries). Other HVAC equipment, namely split air conditioning units, fan coil units, and chillers were provided by Daikin.

The building uses CES light sensors, manufactured by PLC Multipoint, Inc. of Everett, Washington.  The sensors measure the amount of daylight in each space so that the building’s Energy Management System can minimize the use of artificial lighting, saving energy and money while creating optimal work environments. 

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