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FEATURE – Hybrid heating and cooling strategy at Evergreen Brick Works

August 26, 2013 - With its opening in September 2010, the historic Evergreen Brick Works facility has been deemed a “cultural beacon” in Toronto, Ont. This multi-functional building is built on the grounds of the Don Valley Brick Works which, in its previous life, operated as one of Canada’s preeminent brick manufacturing buildings for homes and buildings throughout the country, including Massey Hall and Old City Hall.


August 26, 2013
August 26, 2013
By Jaga Climate Systems

Because sustainability is a focus for the centre’s activity, it is also a primary focus for much of the building’s design and operations. At the heart of the property’s operations is the Centre for Green Cities, a five-storey Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certified office building. Robert Plitt, senior manager of sustainability for the Evergreen Brick Works, was charged with managing the building’s design and construction process to ensure that the products and systems used fell within its rigid building envelope guidelines.

“We wanted the building to be a premiere showcase for adaptive reuse and green building,” said Plitt. “With so much of the existing structure in place, we utilized existing elements of the building while also incorporating new technology to make the facility a flagship model of sustainable design. It’s definitely been a challenge balancing the old with the new, but we’ve reused approximately 95% of the original structure and systems.”

Energy and heat at the Brick Works
The Centre for Green Cities building currently showcases a building automation system that controls all of the facility’s heating, cooling and ventilation needs. The building employs multiple strategies for managing heating and cooling; however, healthy hydronic heat provides the primary heat source for the facility. All “lost” energy is recovered through a heat recovery system that recycles heat back through the building during cold months in Ontario. Of the three boilers located at the top floor of the building, one condensing boiler supplies the low-temperature heating used throughout the remaining four stories. Energy for the hydronic system is primarily pulled from renewable resources, such as solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity.

It selected Jaga’s heating solutions to help transform the old facility into an “icon of sustainability”.

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“We needed a solution that would fit into a hybrid heating and cooling strategy,” said Plitt. “With Jaga, we were able to incorporate the right blend of products that has not only complemented the system we have in place, but it also help us meet our long-term energy saving goals.”

Forty-five Jaga mini canal and built-in trench radiators were installed alongside peripheral walls in meeting areas throughout the facility. These in-floor solutions were placed in trenches at the outside of concrete floors to maximize space and provide an unobstructed heat source. On the ground floor of the Centre, the radiators complement a modular in-floor radiant heating solution, allowing the interior space to heat more quickly when temperatures drop outside. Jaga mini canals were also placed alongside floor to ceiling windows to help circulate air and prevent condensation from accumulating.

A total of 69 Strada radiators were used on the second and third floors of the building, which are primarily used as classrooms, meeting rooms and office spaces. On the third floor, home to the Evergreen office, Strada radiators were installed alongside the exterior wall. Westside facing sunlight provides much of the room’s natural heat in afternoon hours. As a result, Evergreen workers appreciate the quick reaction time of the Jaga units, as it keeps the room at comfortable temperatures so occupants do not overheat, said the facility.

Contractors installed 44 Tempo radiators throughout the building’s fourth floor offices to help provide optimal heating control with nominal input. On the fifth floor, mini canal units equipped with long legs were installed to accommodate the raised floor and supply heat. The modular, hollow core concrete plank flooring system on this floor utilized covers which improved ventilation throughout the building.

“We’ve been impressed with the output of the Jaga units,” said Plitt. “These systems have helped us heat relatively large spaces with less energy.”

The results
According to Brick Works, the Jaga units have enabled the building to stay warm in its first winter with limited energy consumption. Further, they have worked effectively in conjunction with some of the other heating systems used throughout the various spaces in the building, it added.

“We’re continually measuring our energy performance,” said Plitt. “This enables us to accurately gauge the success of the systems we have in place, such as night cooling and low-temperature heating. We’ve been encouraged by the results we’ve seen so far.”

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This is an editted article, originally posted on Jaga.