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©2014 This excerpt taken from the article of the same name which appeared in ASHRAE Journal, vol. 56, no. 9, September 2014.

By Tim McGinn, P.Eng., HBDP, Member ASHRAE

About the Author
Tim McGinn, P. Eng., is a principal at DIALOG in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

The Energy Environment Experiential Learning (EEEL) project in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, responds to the necessity for modern, high caliber undergraduate learning environments. The facility, which opened September 2011, is student-centric, providing opportunities for hands-on and experiential learning in both individual and collaborative settings. The 263,700 ft2 (24 500 m2), five-story building provides instructional space for expanded programs in energy and environments, new laboratories for biology and chemistry, as well as space for the ISEEE (Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy) Administrative Center.


Problems to be Solved

The design team's overarching effort was to minimize EEEL's use of energy, water and material resources wherever feasible and maximize indoor environmental quality. A secondary goal of the project was to provide every regularly occupied space within the building access to daylight.


Energy Use

The modeled reduction in energy relative to an ASHRAE Standard 90.1–1999 reference building without inclusion of the university’s district energy system (DES) was 58% savings, when including the campus DES, savings were 68%.

Chilled water use, hot water use, total electrical consumption and lighting electricity use data is continuously monitored (Figure 1). The actual energy use (reporting period between July 2012 and June 2013) measured 6% higher than the predicted energy results with a measured annual energy use intensity of 83.6 kBtu/ft2 versus 78.6 kBtu/ft2 (949 400 kJ/m2 versus 892 600 kJ/m2) predicted. A heating and cooling degree day analysis was completed for the data set, revealing that there were 38% more cooling degree days and 1% fewer heating degree days during the reporting period compared to the simulated weather file.

The energy model does not reflect the final development of the fifth floor shelled space (originally modeled as office space) into intensive research laboratory development. It would follow that the 6% gap between actual energy use and predicted is less, and if the energy model were modified to reflect fifth floor end use, the gap would disappear with the building performing better than predicted.


Water Conservation

Water use strategies are intended to allow EEEL to not only reduce its overall consumption of water resources, but most especially, minimize the use of potable water resources wherever possible. Roof drainage is routed through cyclone trash filters and directed to an underground 28,700 gallon (108 641 L) storm water cistern. Water is delivered through a variable speed pumping system and piping network for reuse in flushing toilets and urinals. When captured rainwater volumes are insufficient to meet demand, cistern water is augmented with campus post processed river water.

The university uses river water for condenser water in the central chiller plant; by regulation, the water cannot be directly returned to the river so is used a second time to augment the storm water cistern and irrigation. The use of water-efficient plumbing fixtures such as infrared controlled dual flush toilets and pint flush urinals stretches the amount of storm water available for flushing purposes. EEEL is able to reduce its potable water consumption by 64%.


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Figure 1