Manitoba Hydro Place aims for Gold… and gets Platinum!
May 24, 2012 - At a ceremony today, Manitoba Hydro’s head office at 360 Portage Avenue in downtown Winnipeg was awarded Platinum certification for its adherence to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC). Platinum is the highest certification available under the LEED program, making Manitoba Hydro Place the most energy-efficient office tower in North America, claims the utility, and the only office tower in Canada to achieve this rating.
By Anthony Capkun
Compared to conventional office towers, Manitoba Hydro Place achieves reductions in energy use of over 70%, from over 300 kWh/m2 to under 85 kWh/m2, resulting in estimated energy savings of over $500,000 annually. These savings were achieved thanks to a unique integrated design process that utilized Power Smart technologies and energy-efficient passive and active systems.
These include south-facing winter gardens to capture the maximum amount of solar energy during the winter months, a solar chimney to provide ventilation for the entire structure with minimum energy usage, recovery of waste heat, narrow floor plates with high ceilings and extensive use of glass to allow for natural lighting, and a geothermal system consisting of 280 wells, each 122 metres deep, for heating and cooling.
An advanced computerized building management system ensures the building’s passive and active systems work together for maximum efficiency, resulting in a climatically-adaptive building that responds to—and takes advantage of—the surrounding environment and natural processes.
“The provincial government is very pleased to see Manitoba Hydro recognized for its efforts to promote energy efficiency, and sustainable design and building practices through Manitoba Hydro Place,” said Greg Selinger, Premier of Manitoba and guest speaker at today’s event. “These are values embraced by our government, and to see how a large building such as this can be so efficient while still being an iconic piece of architecture and promoting the vibrancy of downtown Winnipeg is really amazing.”
“This building truly embodies Manitoba Hydro as a utility and as a corporate citizen—a leader in energy efficiency and sustainability,” said Scott Thomson, president and CEO of Manitoba Hydro. “The building’s flexible, modern design meets the needs of our company today, while retaining the flexibility to adapt to new work environments in the future, making it a great investment for Manitoba Hydro. And it does all this while achieving unprecedented reductions in energy use when compared to traditionally-designed buildings of this size.”
The Platinum certification was presented to Manitoba Hydro by CaGBC’s Thomas Mueller, administrator of LEED standards in Canada. A plaque commemorating the certification was unveiled by Selinger, Thomson, Mueller, lead design architect Bruce Kuwabara, and advocate architect Dudley Thompson.
Thomson explained that receiving a Platinum LEED rating marked the completion of a process that started many years ago, when the corporation first committed to move its headquarters into downtown Winnipeg. Although originally designed with the goal of attaining a LEED Gold certification, in operation the building has proven to be even more efficient that its designers had anticipated, resulting in Platinum.
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