Photographs by Gerry Kopelow
That's what the CTBUH (Council for Tall Buildings) calls Manitoba Hydro Place, designed by Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, with Architect of Record Smith Carter Architects. They have long been among the best architects in the country, and with this building become one of the greenest.
Winnipeg is really cold, (hence the nickname Winterpeg) with a long heating season, but they have filled the building with impressive energy saving features and project an energy use of a quarter of that of a typical office tower, relying extensively on "passive free energy."
The building has a 377 foot tall "solar chimney" that draws air out of the building during the "shoulder" seasons and summer via the stack effect. In winter, fans draw exhaust air down and use it to preheat incoming cold air and warm the parking garage.
Depending on the season, a 24 metre tall waterfall feature in each of the atria humidifies or dehumidifies the incoming air. During colder temperatures, recovered heat from exhaust air, and passive solar radiant energy are used to warm the fresh air. The conditioned air is drawn through the raised floors into the office spaces through under floor fan units. Building occupants, computers and other sources of heat cause the air to rise, which is then drawn north and exhausted by the solar chimney. In the shoulder seasons, the building relies solely on outdoor fresh air through the use of automatic and manually operated windows.
click image to enlarge
The building has a closed loop geoexchange system with 280 boreholes 400 feet deep; this cools or heats water which is piped through the thermal mass of the concrete floors, heating or cooling the space.
The list goes on:
In both the north and south atria, interconnecting stairs promote physical activity, reduce reliance on elevators and provide opportunities for interaction between divisions. The podium rooftops feature deep soil intensive green roofs and accessible terraces, creating a lush landscaped outdoor amenity for employees, while also reducing stormwater runoff and providing additional thermal insulation. A reflective coating on the tower rooftops reduces the summer season cooling load and the urban heat island effect.