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ASHRAE Technology Awards recognize outstanding building projects – Nov 2011

November 30, 2011 - Designers of systems for a university building, a cancer center, an ice rink and another commercial building have been recognized by ASHRAE for incorporating elements of innovative building design, and ASHRAE standards for effective energy management and indoor air quality, said the association.


November 30, 2011
By Alyssa Dalton

Winning projects are selected from entries earning regional awards.

“Every year, the judging panel looks forward to the reviewing the outstanding projects submitting by our membership,” said Nathan Hart, chair of the judging panel. “I enjoy seeing what fellow ASHRAE members are doing to strive for more energy efficient, well ventilated maintenance friendly building designs.”

“Many of the entries this year incorporated innovations and technologies that took advantage of their specific geographical locations to provide more energy efficient systems—helping to highlight that one size does not fit all and that a more energy efficient design solution may be available when considering the project as a whole,” he continued.

This year’s winning projects in Canada are:

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Mountain Equipment Co-op
Roland Charneux, P.Eng., ASHRAE Fellow, ASHRAE Certified Healthcare Facility Design Professional, Pageau Morel & Associates, Montreal, Que., receives first place in the new commercial buildings category for the Mountain Equipment Co-op store, Longueuil, Que..

The Mountain Equipment Co-op store, a 2,600 sf. single story retail sporting goods outlet, was designed and built to have a minimal impact on the environment, said the company. Traditionally, since artificial lighting contributes to a large part of the total energy consumption in commercial retail stores, it was decided to maximize day lighting through a series of clerestory with a saw tooth shape roof. Light sensors were also implemented to partially or completely shut down the artificial lighting when natural lighting is sufficient. Occupancy sensors were integrated in small spaces to completely shut off lighting when not in use. Optimization of the envelope resulted in an envelope insulated near twice the recommendations of the Model National Energy Code for Buildings, which helped reduce the overall energy needs for the building, it added, with Structural Insulated Panels (SIP) implemented for their efficiency, tightness and minimal construction time. The building also features an active solid thermal energy storage in its concrete slab; an underground cistern to collect rain water and to feed the water closet, as well as waterless urinals; and natural/hybrid ventilation with leeward vents at roof level, to name just a few innovations. Overall, the new store consumes 57% less than the recommendations provided by the Canadian Energy Model Code, it said.

IKEA Brossard Distribution Center
Ken Sonmor, Ecovision Consulting, Montreal, Que., receives first place in the existing commercial buildings category for the IKEA Brossard Distribution Center, Que.

The distribution center (79,750 sq. m.) belonging to one of the largest furniture retailers in the world consists of a warehouse, where goods are received, stored and then shipped, along with adjoining office spaces. On the lighting front, nearly 700 T12 high output (HO) lighting fixtures were replaced with a combination of T8 and T5 HO lights, with an additional 510 high-intensity discharge fixtures replaced with T5 HOs fixtures with custom made reflectors to bring the light where needed, explained the company. Motion sensors were installed throughout the entire facility and luminosity sensors near windows in the office areas turn off lighting when not required thus harvesting daylight. According to IKEA, a 160T geothermal system is now the principal source of heat for the building. To attain the greatest possible efficiency, a dual maglev frictionless compressor heat pump was chosen – helping to provide greater human comfort and cooling in the warehouse with greater than 50% dollar energy savings.

Université de Sherbrooke
René Dansereau, Dessau, Longueuil, Que., receives first place in the educational facilities category for the design of the Université de Sherbrooke—Campus de Longueuil, Que.

With its 16-story glass tower built in the heart of Longueuil’s downtown area, the Université de Sherbrooke’s new campus building is one of the tallest structures on Montreal’s South Shore. The 650,000 sf. campus includes classrooms, offices and labs for nine faculties under a single roof, and its architectural design focuses on open spaces and gathering areas, such as its green roof ‘oasis’. Determined to create an eco-friendly building, Dansereau said he and his firm took a unique approach to engineer the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems: though geothermal energy is rarely used in urban settings, designers connected a chiller to a geothermal system consisting of 37 vertical boreholes, where the 165-tonne screw chiller acts essentially like a heat pump and provides about 25% of the building’s heating and cooling capacity. To enhance energy savings, three enthalpy wheels were installed on new ventilation unit to help recover latent and sensible heat that is usually lost in exhaust air. With an efficiency rate of 76%, the wheels help reduce annual heating, cooling and humidity demands, he continued. Along with several other energy efficient innovations, energy consumption was reduced by 46%, consequently saving over $250,000 a year on energy invoices, he added.

Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre

Paul Marmion, Stantec Consulting, Vancouver, B.C., receives first place in the new health care facilities category for the design of the Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre, B.C. The building is a Public Private Partnership (P3) sponsored and operated by Laing Investments Management Services.

The Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre (ARHCC) is an acute care 63,000 sq. m. hospital with nine operating theatres, pediatric and maternity services, inpatient isolation rooms, medical imaging and radiation cancer treatment facilities. Marmion and his team were responsible for the design of the HVAC, plumbing and fire protection systems of the hospital, helping to successfully complete the fast tracked health care facility on time and on budget, they claimed. The building incorporates several features to conserve energy, one of which is two 900 ton chillers which are piped in a counter-flow configuration with chilled water temperature reset control to optimize energy efficiency, consuming a maximum of .5 Kw/ton of cooling, they added. According to the team, there was no incremental capital cost of adding the courter-flow configuration, resulting in an annual energy saving of $3,400, providing in instant payback. The ARHCC is running 56 percent below the Environmental Protection Agency’s energy benchmark, using just 153 kBtu/ft2 compared to the typical 350 kBtu/ft2 for a similar building, they continued.

Arena Marcel Dutil
Luc Simard, Compressor Systems Control (CSC), Les Coteaux, Que., receives first place in the existing industrial facilities or processes category for the renovation of Arena Marcel-Dutil, St-Gédéon-de-Beauce, Que.

In 2010, the arena was equipped with a 100%-CO2 based refrigeration system, which uses R744 as both a primary and secondary working fluid, a natural, non-toxic, non-corrosive and highly efficient refrigerant listed A1 in the B52 code. Because there is no secondary fluid, the evaporating temperature of the CO2 can be set at -7 C while keeping the ice sheet at -5 C, resulting in an evaporating temperature higher than all other standard ice rink refrigeration systems, he said. The refrigeration system has a 3kW variable speed CO2 pump that reduces the power needed for circulating the cold fluid by 90 percent compared to secondary fluid installations, he explained. The arena was compared to similar projects in the area and was found to have a 25% reduction in total energy costs.