Warman Middle Years School

Energy Simulation

Warman Middle Years School is a multi-winged addition to a new recreation facility in Warman, Saskatchewan, with a designed integration of systems between the two facilities creating a commissioning and modeling challenge.

Service completion: Ongoing commissioning, Fall 2012 completion for 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: $24,000,000 construction budget

Building systems: Curtainwall and stone envelope, radiant in-floor heating and ceiling cooling with hot and chilled water from district energy system and demand control ventilation, high efficiency lighting with occupancy and photovoltaic control.

Warman Middle Years School has many space uses: classrooms, woodworking shop, art classroom, home economics classroom, kitchen, library, offices and large stage and theatre. Each space has unique design features, requiring specialized commissioning and modeling.

In addition to the multiple space uses, the nearby recreational facility (including ice arena) supplied all hot water, chilled water and domestic hot water for the school. The high grade hot water was generated by boilers, chilled water generated by the ice plant (incorporating a cooling tower and ice battery), and low grade hot water (for radiant in-floor heating) was recovered from the ice plant. While the commissioning scope was to check that proper water temperatures were being delivered to the school, modeling had to look closely at the arena systems, check operating trends, and calculate energy use and savings in this integration. In the end, the model was reviewed to show performance of 47% better than MNECB with respect to cost, equating to 14 points.

With Enhanced Commissioning, design review of the radiant in-floor heating and cooling lines discovered that there would not be enough space in the walls to run the lines as designed. Also, discrepancies with the size and orientation of duct chases on the Mechanical and Architectural drawings were discovered, which could have led to change orders during construction had the ductwork not been relocated.

While Fundamental Commissioning, major comfort issues were discovered.  In addition to way-too-common cross-wiring of thermostats at manifolds (thermostats connected to wrong zone) and valves installed backwards (“open” on building management system is actually a closed valve), almost all 30 classrooms had reverse hydronic balancing: while the perimeter is supposed to have most hot water flow (and thus highest heating capacity) and interior is supposed to have least hot water flow (and thus least heating capacity), this was balanced in reverse such that the least flow was going to perimeter and way too much flow to the interior…which also houses the thermostat.  The result was a chilly 15degC perimeter in the occupied zone, no matter what the system did.  See thermography images where there is nearly invisible flow at the wall.  All issues were rectified for a much more comfortable classroom!

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