IDEA and Design Buildings

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IDEA and Design Buildings

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Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia

Client: Dalhousie University

Architect: DSRA Architecture

Certifications: LEED Canada-NC Gold Candidate (Potentially Platinum)

Size: 85,000 sq. ft.

Project Budget: $25M

The Innovation and Design in Engineering and Architecture (IDEA) project involved two new buildings on Dalhousie University’s Engineering Campus. The IDEA Building houses welding, wood, paint and machine shops along with an incubator space. The Design Building includes a 450 seat auditorium, study areas, design studios and meeting spaces.

M&R Engineering was responsible for mechanical design including HVAC, Plumbing and Fire Protection as well as electrical design including Lighting, Power, Communications and Security and Sustainability Consulting (LEED Point Documentation and Energy Modeling).

Key facts:

  • Water-to-water heat pumps provide space heating and cooling and are piped for full heat recovery.

  • A 60 bore hole geo-exchange field provides a heat source and heat sink for this project and other areas of campus.

  • In-floor radiant heating and cooling through the building structure (TABS) reduces energy use while providing a comfortable environment.

  • Ventilation is provided by dedicated outdoor air systems (DOAS) with energy recovery wheels.

  • CO2 and occupancy sensors are tied into the building automation system allowing demand controlled ventilation to reduce energy use

  • AHU fans and circulation pumps are equipped with variable frequency drives reducing energy use when demands are low.

  • Dust collectors are equipped with motorized blast gates allowing collectors to be downsized and saving energy when equipment use is low.

  • The auditorium has a displacement ventilation system served by an underfloor and wall mounted displacement diffusers.

  • A rainwater cistern provides recovered water to low flow toilets and urinals reducing potable water use by 50% compared to a conventional building.

  • 150kW of Solar PV is installed on the buildings over two 75kW arrays.

  • Occupancy and daylight sensors minimize lighting energy use.

  • A 184kWh / 100kW battery energy storage system reduces demand on the electricity grid, lowering energy costs.

  • Energy modeling indicates over 60% energy cost savings against code with over 20% being produced by on-site renewable sources.

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