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Southwest One: Mixed Use Complex


©2015 This excerpt taken from the article of the same name which appeared in ASHRAE Journal, vol. 57, no. 4, April 2015

By Daniel Robert, Eng. Member ASHRAE; Stan Katz, Associate Member ASHRAE

About the Authors
Daniel Robert, Eng., is vice-president of sales & engineering at Kolostat Inc. in Montreal. Stan Katz is general manager of the energy piping and plumbing division at Kolostat Inc. in Montreal. They are members of ASHRAE’s Montreal chapter.

Complex Southwest One (SW1) is a mixed real estate project near Montreal, consisting of 662 units of residential rental housing totaling 750,000 ft2 (70 000 m2) and incorporating a commercial center of 150,000 ft2 (14 000 m2) and a medical center of 100,000 ft2 (9300 m2). Complex Southwest One combined its domestic water network retrofit and construction of a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) clinic in one project to maximize energy savings, cut first costs of the MRI clinic and preserve the living environment in the complex. This article demonstrates the benefits of combining the two projects and presents the main benefits of the domestic water retrofit project.


Complex Description

Built in the late 1960s, this pioneering project offers its customers a diverse range of accommodation including 103 townhouses and four residential towers of 10 floors each. Some roof terraces span buildings, and there is indoor and outdoor parking, as well as pools and beautifully landscaped areas. All facilities of the complex are connected by a network of passages and underground parking.

The domestic hot and cold water of the complex is supplied via a centralized district system, distributing water to all buildings through centralized constant volume pumping stations. The complex is powered via a single electric meter and a single gas meter.


Domestic Water Network

Domestic hot water was distributed through constant volume pumping stations that pump the water from two underground concrete tanks of 15,000 gallons (56 800 L) each to the different facilities.

The domestic hot water network was an open system where makeup water filled the concrete storage tanks. The stored water was mainly heated via three atmospheric boilers of 1,000 MBH each and two electrical heater tanks of 500 kW controlled via a power demand control system. Both the control system and the boilers exceeded their useful average life. Because of heat dissipation through the concrete tanks, water temperature couldn't be maintained at 140°F (60°C) during winter. In addition to heat dissipation across the concrete tanks, hot water recirculation was oversized causing additional heat loss. SW1 was looking into a major retrofit to its domestic water network to renew the main mechanical system, ensure code compliance, and reduce the energy cost related to domestic water heating. The daily domestic hot water consumption of the complex was measured to 26,500 gallons (100 313 L) in a typical day.


Radiology Clinic

In 2011, SW1 was looking to integrate a new radiology clinic within its medical center. The new clinic was intended to include an MRI section and some medical offices along with the seating and common areas of a clinic. The design of the new clinic was carried out with high energy efficiency and sustainable development standards including efficient envelope, mechanical and electrical systems.

One of the major challenges that the design team faced was to reduce the impact of the implementation of the new clinic on the residential complex during and post construction. Medical spaces necessitate a major cooling demand and need cooling availability year-round. The design team originally adopted the installation of a water-cooled chiller with a cooling tower.


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