Manitoba Hydro Place sets lofty standard for energy efficiency
By Anthony Capkun
May 24, 2012 – Manitoba Hydro claims its new head office at 360 Portage Avenue in downtown Winnipeg—Manitoba Hydro Place—is the most energy-efficient office tower in North America, and the only office tower in Canada to achieve LEED Platinum certification from the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC).
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.
“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.”
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.