Pine Grove Provincial Correctional Centre

Energy Simulation

Pine Grove Provincial Correctional Centre is a two-level expansion to the existing facility in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.  The expansion is mainly living quarters, arranged into 4 pods.
Service completion: Winter 2014 commissioning, Fall 2013 energy simulation
Scope of services: Enhanced and Fundamental Commissioning (EAp1, EAc3), Minimum and Optimize Energy Performance Simulation (EAp2, EAc1) for CaGBC LEED: New Construction 2009
Size: $13,400,000 construction budget
Building systems: Insulated metal panel and concrete block envelope, radiant (floor, wall and ceiling) heating and cooling with hot and chilled water, demand control ventilation, high efficiency lighting with some occupancy sensor control

Pine Grove Provincial Correctional Centre’s new living unit has simple geometry but complex design: there are many small zones, many manifolds, a dual chiller and fluid-cooler strategy for generating chilled water, complex controls dealing with both space conditioning needs and a CO2 demand control ventilation strategy utilizing VAV boxes for ventilation but fan-coil units for actual air circulation.  This posed both modeling and commissioning challenges.

The model was made with EE4 energy modeling software.  The radiant systems were sufficiently modeled, but the interaction of the chiller and fluid-cooler was independently assessed from the model’s hourly reports of cooling energy use along with wetbulb and drybulb temperatures.  Further, an occupancy analysis was done to determine an appropriate demand control credit for both outdoor air heating/cooling reduction and fanpower savings.  As members of the CaGBC’s Experienced Modellers List, Thurston Engineering Services modeled this facility to be 41% better than MNECB with respect to all costs, equating to 10 points.

Enhanced commissioning, as in every facility, helped avoid costly change orders in detecting inconsistent and missing elements in design documents: manifolds and tanks occupying the same space, missing fresh air supplies to fan-coils, missing balancing dampers, missing equipment on mechanical schedule, and motor specifications that did not match between mechanical and electrical drawings (causing improper breaker sizing, motor starter sizing, etc.).

In this correctional facility, commissioning activities during construction were invaluable: in such a facility, contractors returning after occupancy to fix issues would come at much cost and headache with moving and secluding inmates and with escorting contractors.  As such, the common air locks in radiant heating/cooling of cells, incorrectly programmed valves (heat command causes cooling and vice versa…most corrected on-site with controls contractor in less than 5 minutes!) and defective fan-coil controller boards signalling false alarms issues being rectified well before occupancy was crucial.

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