The Mosaic Centre

Edmonton office goes for triple play of net zero, LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge

The Mosaic ‘Family’ comprises several employee-owned companies whose stated purpose is to create role model organizations that effect positive social change through business. In keeping with their philosophy, this 2,812m2 building provides the Mosaic Family not only with office space but employee amenities including a child-care facility, wellness centre, lounge areas, game rooms, a restaurant and an outdoor terrace.

By Kent McKay

The building also functions as a community hub and as an incubator for start-up businesses. Even those who simply rent a desk in the building have access to meeting rooms as well as the other employee amenities, while the restaurant, wellness centre and childcare are is open to members of the surrounding community.

The project is pursuing both LEED Platinum and Living Building certification. The net zero energy requirement of the Living Building Challenge is a particularly ambitious target given Edmonton’s severe climate. This, and the realization of other performance goals required an integrated design process involving all members of the design and construction team.

Site Context and Concept
The site is located at the edge of a commercial strip, part of a rapidly urbanizing area on the outskirts of the city. With net zero energy being a driver of design, optimal siting of the building was critical. The final location was determined by considering the overshadowing potential of different development scenarios on adjacent sites. In addition, rather than respecting the geometry of the city grid, the building has been oriented on an east-west axis to maximize solar exposure through the day.

This orientation, and the access to daylight it affords to south-facing spaces, also informed the interior organization of the building. Accordingly, the most densely occupied spaces are located on the periphery where they receive the most light.

Energy Conservation Strategies
The optimal solar orientation also enabled the design team to minimize the building’s mechanical and electrical systems. In some areas it was determined that no general lighting was required, task lighting being sufficient to meet occupant needs even on the cloudiest days. Artificial lighting is therefore provided primarily in the path of egress, with motion and daylight sensors used to activate supplementary lighting only when it is needed. These strategies helped to reduce the annual electricity demand for the lighting system to 11.2 kwh/m².

MATERIAL
Fibreglass-frame curtain wall fitted with Fibrerglass Curtain Wall Vent Adaptor units and fibreglass windows by Cascadia Windows and Doors; building envelope integrated photovoltaic cladding panels; geoExchange tied to VRF water/air multi-split; Tempeff RG5400 & RGSP 2700 energy recovery units.
• Read the one-page case study describing how the Cascadia Fibrerglass Curtain Wall Vent Adaptors maintained the thermal performance of the curtain wall: http://www.cascadiawindows.com/about_us/news/articles/203.php
Read the one-page case study describing how the Tempeff energy recovery units continue to operate at peak efficiency in cold weather to contribute to net-zero performance.

PROJECT PERFORMANCE
– Energy intensity [building and process energy] = 240 MJ/m2/year
– Energy intensity reduction relative to reference building under ASHRAE 90.1 = 58%
– Potable water consumption from municipal sources = 1,794 L/occupant/year
– Potable water reduction relative to reference building = 36%
– Reclaimed and recycled material content by value = 16%
– Regional material [800km radius] content by value = 41%

PROJECT CREDITS
Client The Mosaic Family of Companies
Architect Manasc Isaac
Structural Engineer Fast + Epp
Mechanical Engineer Clark Engineering Inc.
Electrical Engineer Manasc Isaac Consulting
Civil Engineer DGE
Landscape Architect PICEA
General contractor Chandos Construction
Photos Cooper + O’Hara, Garth Crump, Josh Kjenner, Ross Auser, Manasc Isaac Architects

Kent McKay is Communications Director at Manasc Isaac Architects, Edmonton. See http://themosaiccentre.ca/documentary.

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