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Dedicated To Efficiency

©2016 This excerpt taken from the article of the same name which appeared in ASHRAE Journal, vol. 58, no. 3, March 2016

By Nicolas Lemire, P.E.; Pierre-Luc Baril, P.E.; Roselle O. Fredericks, P.E.; Christelle Proulx, P.E.

About the Author(s)
Nicolas Lemire, P.E., is president and principal, Pierre-Luc Baril, P.E., is an associate, and Roselle O. Fredericks, P.E., and Christelle Proulx, P.E., are project engineers at Pageau Morel and Associates in Montreal.

The Anne-Marie Edward Science Building at John Abbott College in Montreal folds itself around a century-old Ginkgo tree. The new 121,600 ft2 (11 297 m2) building has large glazing surfaces that reflect the surrounding architecture and a large atrium with an imposing staircase designed to emulate the majestic Ginkgo tree.

The contemporary six-story building, located on an historic campus, is dedicated to teaching physics, biology and chemistry. It contains classrooms, teaching laboratories with chemical hoods, faculty offices, student spaces as well as central areas including a spacious entrance foyer and a 12,900 ft2 (1198 m2) atrium.

John Abbott College named the new science building after Anne-Marie Edward, one of the victims of the 1989 shooting at École Polytechnique and a John Abbott science graduate. Edward had been pursuing an engineering degree at Polytechnique, and the John Abbott community felt that through engineering, the new building demonstrated how humans are essential to environmental sustainability using applied knowledge and technology.

Integration of sustainable design principles were key to the success of the project aiming for a LEED Gold certification. Early on, it was decided that geothermal wells, thermal storage, radiant heating and cooling, a primary dedicated outdoor air system and energy recovery on both general and chemical hood exhausts would set the foundations for the building’s energy efficiency, indoor air quality and thermal comfort.

 

Energy Efficiency

A full building energy model was simulated in Canmet ENERGY’s EE4 software, which uses DOE-2.1e. The reference case for EE4 is based on the Canadian Model National Energy Code for Buildings (MNECB – 1997). The simulation predicted that the building was to consume 39% less energy than the baseline case, which, according to LEED Canada NC 2009, is equivalent to a 28% reduction when compared to ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007. These results include an appreciable amount of exhausted laboratory process air: 24 chemical and canopy hoods, extraction arms, solvent and acid cabinets, specialized equipment, etc. The simulation’s energy consumption is much lower than the baseline case due to the extensive use of geothermal energy.
Energy metering data from February 2014 to January 2015 is provided in Figure 1. Actual energy use is 10% lower than the simulation and 45% lower than the baseline case. Site energy intensity is currently 48 kBtu/ft2·yr (545 MJ/m2·yr) whereas the baseline case is 87.2 kBtu/ft·yr (990 MJ/m2·yr).

 

Hydronic Systems

The presence of a geothermal network combined with heat pumps and stratified hot and cold thermal storage tanks enable the distribution network to operate simultaneously in cooling and heating modes. The two 800 gallons (3028 L) thermal storage tanks are connected to five two-stage heat pumps which maintain stratification by feeding hot fluid to the upper part of the hot tank and cold fluid to the lower part of the cold tank. The 45 geothermal wells, each around 400 ft (122 m) deep, are used to reactivate the storage tanks. This system responds to 50% to 70% of the heating and cooling energy demands of the building. Two 150 tons (528 kW) air-cooled rooftop chillers and two 288 kW (983 MBH) electric boilers are used to cover the remaining loads. Variable speed pumps are used on the hot and cold sides of the distribution network to respond to real-time load conditions.

 

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