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Fusing Form with Efficiency

©2016 This excerpt taken from the article of the same name which appeared in ASHRAE Journal, vol. 58, no. 4, April 2016

Daniel Robert, Eng., Member ASHRAE; Daniel Bourque, Eng., Member ASHRAE

About the Authors
Daniel Robert, Eng., is vice president of sales and engineering and Daniel Bourque, Eng., is a project manager at Kolostat in Montréal and Toronto.

Born of the fusion of two ideas, the name Altoria combines the concept of height (alto) with its location in Old Montréal’s Square Victoria. Altoria is one of the tallest and most innovative office and residential buildings within the city’s International Quarter.

The Altoria/AIMIA Tower is a 35-story, mixed-use skyscraper located in the Quartier-International district of old Montréal, Quebec, Canada. The 523,000 ft2 (48 588 m2) building offers more than 230,000 ft2 (21 368 m2) premium office space, spread over 10 stories (AIMIA Tower), a 25-story residential condominium (Altoria Tower), and five floors of underground parking.

 

Tower Description

The floor-to-ceiling windows and spacious balconies of the condos offer homeowners panoramic views of Old Montréal, the St. Lawrence River, and Mont Royal. Because of this floor-to-ceiling glazing, the design team had to go beyond standard concepts to recover heat in Montréal’s cold climate with nearly 8,000 heating degree days (°F).

The design team used a method its firm developed where mechanical costs were discussed upfront for every aspect of the developer’s vision while it worked on the design with the associated costs already known. This helped to elminate financial surprises upon completion.
The mechanical concept transfers energy that in most buildings would be wasted, extracts energy from the geothermal wells and then relies on high-efficiency equipment to meet the remaining heating and cooling requirements.

These complex mechanical systems were pulled together easily by the energy management and control system (EMCS). During commissioning and throughout the warranty period, the design team constantly monitors the system’s operation and can tweak settings to increase efficiency.

The building sits on top of the city’s Metro system, as well as Montréal’s underground city, which comprises 20 miles (32 km) of tunnels, and interconnects much of Montréal’s downtown core. This complicated the structure, construction and possible size of the geoexchange system.

 

Project Description

Altoria/AIMIA combines the elegance of a modern glass tower and the energy efficiency of a LEED Gold project.
Most Canadian projects focus on optimizing the heating systems and heat recovery as the heating season is long and energy intensive. On this mixed-use project, the synergies between an exothermic office space and residential spaces operating 24 hours a day were maximized.

Heat recovery is prioritized on heat from toilet, dryer, and general exhausts. The recovered heat is used to heat the following systems:

  • Office perimeter zones;
  • Residential hydronic thermal loop;
  • Preheat domestic hot water;
  • Outdoor swimming pool (used from May through October); and/or
  • Parking garage.
 

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