2000 St. Mary’s Rd Apartments

Energy Simulation

2000 St. Mary’s Rd Apartments were seeking financial incentive from Manitoba Hydro’s Power Smart program, and thus had to meet fairly aggressive energy targets (which is especially difficult in a mulit-unit residential project which often has financial budget constraints, with much energy use uncontrollable when left with tenant). With this incentive, there was much emphasis on the energy performance and the submission deadline, requiring much collaboration between owner, engineers, equipment suppliers and modeller.

Service completion: Spring 2012
Scope of services: Energy Simulation for Manitoba Hydro Power Smart Program
Size: $29,000,000 construction budget
Building systems: Combination wood and metal framed envelope with curtainwall, variable refrigerant flow suite heating and cooling with central make-up air units, efficient lighting with occupancy sensor control in parkade

The initial challenge in this model was to find an appropriate way to model the proposed variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system. The VRF system supplier provided EnergyPro software which, even though it was created to model a VRF system, was initially intended for temperate regions…not the freezing winters of Winnipeg. However, Thurston Engineering Services troubleshot the software with the VRF equipment supplier and the programmers in California and, after much back and forth, workarounds were created to model a separate ventilation system required to warm freezing outdoor air (and other design elements not often required in temperate regions), leaving all involved with a thorough understanding of the software.

Finally, the teamwork required to work out the modeling software bugs while providing reliable results to the building owner and consultants was tireless, but worth it. In the end, full incentive was achieved at 35% better than ASHRAE 2007 with respect to energy units.

“You did an awesome job and we’re very happy with your services. When we go to the next phases and if the program is still available, we will of course bring the team back together.” – Owner, 2000 St. Mary’s Rd Apartments

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