SELKIRK REGIONAL HEALTH CENTRE

Design makes access to natural light and the outdoors fundamental to patient health

Like any city that is reaching a new level of livability, Selkirk, Manitoba has grown to need significant health services and facilities for local residents and those living in the region. The new two-storey, state-of-the-art, LEED Gold Selkirk Regional Health Centre (SRHC) is a 184,000 square foot regional healthcare hub,  offering everything from a birthing centre, dialysis,  surgery, cancer care, MRI diagnostics and outpatient programs, serving the Interlake region.

By James Orlikow

The Centre features an interior contemplation courtyard with a light sculpture, three accessible roof terraces; and a green roof that is overlooked from patient bedrooms. The landscape and building connect seamlessly through an active, south-facing, family/staff courtyard with a sun deck and outdoor ‘kitchen’.

With a focus on having as much natural light as possible in the building, glazed curtain walls are located in all public areas, starting at the front entrance and completely surrounding the contemplation courtyard as a ‘light well’ wayfinding feature.

The colours and finishes of the building echo the water, sky and earth of the Interlake region. Shades of aqua and warm terra cotta balance the golden buff Tyndall stone walls. The first and last impression at every threshold on the site.

Selkirk Regional Health Centre is a replacement facility required due to the premature obsolescence of the existing 1980s hospital. Accordingly, SRHC strives for durability, maintainability, and sustainability within a responsible economic framework. The site configuration, building placement, and orientation responds to the program needs; connectivity to the adjacent health campus; future pedestrian linkages; land drainage requirements; and the horizontal loop geothermal system.

Beyond the functional drivers, SHRC’s strategic planning and design aspirations were ‘access to natural light and outdoor spaces’ for all patients, families and staff.

The SRHC campus transforms 12 hectares of vacant commercial lands, of which more than six hectares  have been converted to naturalized parkland and another hectare to xeroscaped plazas and courtyards. In addition, the building has a 250m2 green roof. 

A network of passive stormwater management features such as dry stream beds, bioswales, and seasonal retention areas work in concert with carefully sited buildings, shelterbelts, and low-mow grassland areas. This forms the framework for all of the other opens spaces on site while managing 100% of the stormwater generated by the new development and creating optimum microclimates that extend public use of the grounds to all seasons.  The development re-establishes the pre-existing aspen forest, tall-grass prairie and wetland ecozones of the Interlake on site.

The constant volume air delivery systems comply with CSA Z317.2 ventilation standard for healthcare facilities. Fresh air rates outlined in the CSA standard ensures indoor air quality to enhance patient recovery and the wellness of occupants. Most regularly occupied spaces are located on the perimeter of the building allowing access to daylight and views.

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Owner/Developer  Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority
  • Prime Consultant  LM Architectural Group
  • General Contractor Ellis Don
  • Associate Architect  Stantec Architecture Ltd.
  • Landscape Architect  HTFC Planning & Design
  • Civil Engineer/LEED Advisor  MMM Group WSP
  • Electrical Engineer MCW / AGE Consultants Ltd
  • Mechanical Engineer  SMS Engineering Ltd.
  • Structural Engineer  Crosier, Kilgour & Partners Ltd.
  • Commissioning Agent  Demand Side Energy Consultants
  • Interior Design  Environmental Space Planning
  • Photos  Gerry Kopelow

PROJECT PERFORMANCE

  • Energy intensity (building and process energy) = 361.9KWhr/m²/year
  • Energy intensity reduction relative to reference building under MNECB 1997 = 54%
  • Water consumption from municipal sources = 1,487 litres/occupant/year
  • Reduction in water consumption relative to reference building under LEED = 43%
  • Recycled material content by value = 23.67%
  • Regional materials (800km radius) by value = 10.95%
  • Construction waste diverted from landfill = 63%

James Orlikow, FRAIC, Principal in Charge of the SRHC Project; Senior Advisor at LM Architectural Group, Winnipeg.

  •  
  • SUBSCRIBE TO THE DIGITAL OR PRINT ISSUE OF SABMAGAZINE FOR THE FULL VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE.

ROB AND CHERYL MCEWEN GRADUATE STUDY & RESEARCH BUILDING

Solar chimney marks addition to Schulich School of Business, York University

Architecture and engineering are seamlessly integrated in the Rob and Cheryl McEwen graduate 6,166m²  academic research and classroom building to create a unique, climate responsive, hybrid environmental design  that promotes occupant wellbeing, while reducing energy use intensity to a level significantly below the model national reference standard.

By Barry Sampson

Environmental design strategies include:

  • Optimized building orientation and façade design for effective shading and solar harvesting;
  • A high-performance envelope with window-to-wall ratio carefully calibrated for effective daylighting and maximized insulation;
  • High-efficiency mechanical systems including activated concrete with radiant heating and cooling, high output metal cooling acoustic baffles and dedicated outside air displacement system.
  • A hybrid active/passive bioclimatic system featuring a climate responsive solar chimney that uses stack effect to drive effective building-wide natural ventilation, and contributes to passive pre-heating of the fresh air supply.
  • The project is targeting LEED Gold certification and is also equipped with the energy infrastructure required to achieve net zero energy in the future, pending the addition of onsite photovoltaic panels and geothermal boreholes. Together, the bustling atrium and the landmark solar chimney are physical manifestations of the school’s dual goals: to break down the physical and social barriers to creative thinking, while simultaneously putting into action the School’s commitment to sustainable design.

The unique form and architectural identity of the McEwen Building results from the synthesis of climate- adapted passive system design, program planning, and urban design responses to challenging site constrains.

Folded surfaces are used to transform the building footprint from alignment with the south-east orientation of the campus to optimal solar orientation of the building’s south facade for effective shading and solar energy harvesting, in particular optimizing the solar preheat mode of the solar chimney.  South- and west-facing glazing with Inline Fiberglass windows is shaded in summer by solar awnings and louvered shading devices.

The south-facing wind-sheltered courtyard creates an extension of the building’s social terrain and expands the existing system of interconnected courtyards of the original Schulich complex.

With interior social activities of the atrium visible through the exterior glazed wall and the chimney illuminated above as a landmark at night, these two strategic elements emphasize the social and environmental roles of the building to the campus at large.  Access by public transit is straightforward, facilitating the hosting of a variety of events and conferences. With York University subway station just a three-minute walk away, there was no requirement for additional on-site parking; instead, numerous bike parking rings were installed near the building entrances.

The 28-metre tall solar chimney, situated on top of the central atrium, drives the multi modal hybrid active/passive ventilation and environmental control system. The building automation system monitors the rooftop weather station and controls the switching between three ventilation modes: passive hybrid natural ventilation mode in shoulder seasons, active preheat mode in winter, and active cooling mode in summer.

In active modes, during the summer and winter when windows must be closed to save energy and control humidity, the building uses a Dedicated Outside Air System (programmed to save energy by meeting ventilation requirements only, rather than heating or cooling which are provided by the Klimatrol [Klimatrol (Rehau)- (905) 454-1742 and Artech (Lindner) (905) 454-1742] radiant system), and low-speed displacement ventilation. This delivers a building-wide 1.8 air changes per hour (ACH); however, this is a rare maximum supply since occupancy sensors ensure that ventilation air is delivered only where required.

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Owner/Developer  York University
  • Architect  Baird Sampson Neuert Architects
  • General Contractor  Ellis Don Construction
  • Landscape Architect  PLANT Architect Inc.
  • Civil Engineer  R.V. Anderson Associates Limited
  • Electrical/ Mechanical Engineer  Crosssey Engineering Ltd.
  • Structural Engineer  Blackwell Structural Engineers
  • Commissioning Agent JLL
  • Climate Consultants  Transsolar
  • Code Consultant  Leber Rubes Inc.
  • Building Envelope Consultants  RDH Building Science Inc.
  • Acoustical Consultants  Swallow Acoustic Consultants
  • Cost Consultants  Vermeulens Cost Consultants
  • Elevator Consultant  KJA Consultants Inc.
  • Photos  Steven Evans Photography & Cindy Nguyen

PROJECT PERFORMANCE

  • Energy intensity (building and process energy) = 89.1 KWhr/m²/year
  • Energy intensity reduction relative to reference building under MNECB = 74,2%
  • Water consumption from municipal sources = 2,170 litres/occupant/year
  • Reduction in water consumption relative to reference building under LEED = 47%
  • Recycled material content by value = 20.1%
  • Regional materials (800km radius) by value = 39,2%
  • Construction waste diverted from landfill = 88.5%
  •  
  • SUBSCRIBE TO THE DIGITAL OR PRINT ISSUE OF SABMAGAZINE FOR THE FULL VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE.

THE ROTUNDA

High-performance office building rejuvenates downtown neighbourhood

Occupying a prominent downtown corner across from Victoria’s historic City Hall, this mixed-use commercial complex includes two levels of underground parking, a street level with landscaped boulevards and public plazas flanked by ground floor retail spaces. The six-storey, 10,362 m² west building and 13-storey, 16,299 m² east building house class-A office space above.

By Franc D’Ambrosio, Founding Principal, Erica Sangster, Principal, D’AMBROSIO architecture + urbanism and Andy Chong, Managing Principal, INTEGRAL GROUP.

Urban Design and Architecture

The developer’s aim was to contribute to the resurgence of Victoria’s downtown, provide much needed high-quality office space and set a design benchmark in the regeneration of a moribund city block. The building forms have been sculpted to define street edges and create public spaces that are welcoming, human scaled, and integrated with both the street fabric and the building activity.

The fundamental massing strategy was to divide the site laterally and thereby locate two separate and distinct buildings.  As a complex of two buildings, the project is in scale with the surrounding context. The separation has allowed for gracious public open spaces and also facilitated phased construction.  The two buildings share aspects of form and materials, but differ in their massing and façade composition. Both outwardly express their function, with slender office wings and primary circulation routes clearly articulated in concrete and glass.

The public focus of the project is the Rotunda, a 500m² sky-lit atrium that brings natural light into the centre of the west building and also functions as the return air plenum for the ventilation system. To support the 20-metre diameter skylight, a unique structure comprising six ‘boomerang-shaped’ radially arranged, glue-laminated timber members was designed. The members are connected with steel tension rods, as well as concentric steel tension and compression rings – a solution that is economical in material use and maximizes daylight penetration.

Energy

The project’s  Energy Utilization Intensity (EUI) was reduced by high-performance in three main areas: building envelope; ventilation heat recovery; and building heating and cooling.  Building envelope options were optimized using energy modelling, and include a continuous layer of exterior insulation to achieve R-30 in walls. 

Combined with high-performance double-glazing and a strategic window-to-wall ratio, the building enclosure minimizes both heat loss, and cooling requirements due to solar heat gains.

Heating and cooling for the building is driven by a hybrid air/ground-source heat-recovery chiller plant.  This system can operate in either air-source mode (taking advantage of Victoria’s relatively temperate climate), or in ground-source (maintaining compressor efficiency, while using only a modestly-sized borehole field). Radiant ceiling panels provide heating and cooling to all office spaces, using moderate water temperatures and eliminating the need for fans to distribute space heating and cooling.

Ventilation

The larger east building uses underfloor air distribution and displacement ventilation. Dual core heat recovery technology reverses intake and exhaust pathways every 60 seconds, alternately charging large aluminum cores to achieve more than 80% effective heat recovery; much higher than conventional fixed-plate or wheel-type systems.

Variable speed AHU fans and automatic VAV dampers modulate the supply of dedicated ventilation air (no recirculation) in response to CO2 and humidity levels, maintaining indoor air quality and exhausting latent heat gains, while conserving energy for fans, heating, and dehumidification. All systems are controlled by a comprehensive digital Building Automation System.

PROJECT PERFORMANCE

  • Energy Intensity = 102 kWh/m²-yr
  • Thermal Energy Demand Intensity = 22.9 kWh/m²-yr
  • Energy Consumption Reduction vs. ASHRAE 90.1-2007 (LEED 2009) Baseline = 45%
  • Energy Cost Savings vs. ASHRAE 90.1-2007 (LEED 2009) Baseline = 33%

PROJECT CREDITS

  • Owner/Developer: Jawl Properties
  • Architect: D’Ambrosio Architecture + Urbanism
  • General Contractor / Construction Manager: Campbell Construction   
  • Energy Model: Integral Group
  • Structural Engineer: RJC Engineers
  • Building Envelope: RDH
  • Landscape Architect: Murdoch & de Greeff
  • Electrical Engineer:  AES
  • Mechanical Engineer  Integral Group
  • Structural Engineer:  RJC Engineers
  • LEED Consultant:  Integral Group
  • Photos: Sama Jim Canzian

SUBSCRIBE TO THE DIGITAL OR PRINT ISSUE OF SABMAGAZINE FOR THE FULL VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE.

UBC AQUATIC CENTRE

Advanced sustainable design strategies improve performance in this challenging building type

Completed In 2017, this 8000m² hybrid competition and community aquatic facility replaces an aging indoor and outdoor pool complex, no longer capable of meeting the University of British Columbia’s changing needs. The challenge was to create a facility that would balance the high-performance training requirements of the university successful competitive swim program, with the increased demand for lessons and leisure opportunities from the rapidly expanding residential communities on campus.

By Jim Taggart

The Aquatic Centre is divided north south into four linear program ‘bars’ – lobby and change rooms, community aquatics, competition aquatics, and bleachers. Daylight is used to differentiate between the two aquatic halls. A line of Y-shaped columns supports a continuous six-metre wide skylight that bisects the aquatic hall, delineating competition and leisure areas. A translucent screen creates a luminescent barrier between the two principal spaces, making it possible to control the uses, and have two different activities or events taking place simultaneously.

The architectural composition consists of three distinct elements: a tessellated standing seam metal roof that hovers over an inclined black concrete base, and is separated from it by a continuous ribbon of fritted glazing. The roof rises and falls according to the functional requirements of the spaces below, its slopes and projections providing rain protection, solar shading, and control of daylight penetration as required. The building has become an integral part of the university’s new student hub, adjacent to the bus loop and a few steps from the new student union building.

As a building type, aquatic centres present some major challenges from the sustainability perspective, including water conservation, air quality, energy optimization, light control and acoustic performance.

Water Conservation

Of these, water conservation is the most significant, standard practice being that pools are emptied and the water discarded every time the pool requires maintenance. For the project team, not only did this seem an outdated practice from an environmental point of view, it also seemed incompatible with UBC’s reputation as a leading proponent of sustainable design.

In fact, water conservation has been an important consideration for the UBC Properties Trust for two decades, with new buildings now required to reduce water consumption by 30% relative to the reference standard. This is part of an overall requirement that all new projects are built to LEED Gold standard.

With the university currently conducting research on regenerative neighbourhoods, the project team began looking for ways in which the building could contribute positively to the infrastructure requirements of the community as a whole.

The answer was to create an underground cistern that could not only collect all the pool water during maintenance, but also supply the fire department should the need arise, or accommodate storm surge water for the north campus precinct, so relieving pressure on the existing storm sewer system.

The cistern, which has a capacity of 900,000 litres, is divided into three compartments according to the amount of filtration required prior to reuse. Another of its functions is to collect rainwater from the roof and the adjacent transit plaza, reusing it for toilet flushing, irrigation and poll top up.

  • PROJECT CREDITS
  • Client  UBC Properties Trust
  • Architects  JMA & Acton Ostry Architects
  • Photos  Shai Gil; Ema Peter

SUBSCRIBE TO THE DIGITAL OR PRINT ISSUE OF SABMAGAZINE FOR THE FULL VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE.

 

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.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE DIGITAL OR PRINT ISSUE OF SABMAGAZINE FOR THE FULL VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE.

  • 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.
  • Ōko skin extruded concrete slats by Rieder are made up of glassfibre reinforced concrete, 100% non-combustible, available in a range of colours, requires no maintenance and individual elements can be replaced easily.

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 

SUBSCRIBE TO THE DIGITAL OR PRINT ISSUE OF SABMAGAZINE FOR THE FULL VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE.

  • 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.)
  • All 75 high-performance windows were supplied by ENERsign. 

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.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE DIGITAL OR PRINT ISSUE OF SABMAGAZINE FOR THE FULL VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE.

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%

SUBSCRIBE TO THE DIGITAL OR PRINT ISSUE OF SABMAGAZINE FOR THE FULL VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE.

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%

SUBSCRIBE TO THE DIGITAL OR PRINT ISSUE OF SABMAGAZINE FOR THE FULL VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE.