BIoT Canada

‘Seeing Green’ At Telus Garden

July 23, 2015  

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Ottawa – There is a distinctly European flavour to the soon-to-be opened Telus Garden, the 305,000 square meter development in downtown Vancouver that will contain a 24-story LEED Platinum office tower and 53-storey residential tower that is already sold out and is scheduled to be completed in December.  According to Telus, the $750 million, complex will use at least 30% less energy than a standard development of its size.

Sustainability features include a rainwater recycling system for grey water and irrigation, solar panels that capture solar energy to power exterior lighting, triple-glazed windows to help maintain a consistent temperature, sun tracking system that automatically adjusts interior blinds, high-efficiency lighting system on occupancy and motion sensors and a raised floor with a displacement ventilation system that allows for a 100% fresh air supply rather than recycled air.

A Telus fact sheet states that sustainability features will reduce CO2 emissions by more than one million kilograms annually, the equivalent of planting 25,000 trees every year.”

Upwards of 1,000 Telus employees are being assigned to the office tower.

It is a mammoth undertaking and at the recent BICSI Canada Conference , two speakers representing firms involved – Goran Ostojic, partner of the Integral Group, a sustainable building design consultancy firm and Clint Undseth, vice president of innovation with Canem Systems Ltd., an electrical contracting firm – discussed the building’s integrated design and delivery process.

Ostojic talked about the acute differences that exist when it comes to European and North American building design.

In North America, he said, the driving factor more ofen than not is the lowest capital cost and as a result, the “envelope” does not perform well and “everything is on different systems that do not talk to each other.

“There is no shared information. You can have seven different vendors coming into a building and staying there forever.

“If you look at the other side of the ocean, you will see the difference. They look at long-time performance and life cycle analysis is conducted as opposed to the cheapest and fastest way to get it done. Buildings there use less energy and have lower operating costs.”

Other features include a massive envelope and operable windows, an energy performance target, hydronic mechanical systems and integrated technology approach.

The result, said Ostojic, is low energy use and reduced operating cost. That compares to North America, he added, pointing out that 30% of commercial buildings have illness associated with them, and 150 million person-days are lost to absenteeism due to poor indoor quality at an estimated cost of $8.1 billion.

The technology, he said, also tends to be a multiple control network with sub-optimal information and lower performance than Europe.

“We tested all the systems for inter-operability to make sure it is truly open source,” said Undseth. “If you go up from there, you are now on top of the network, which is where you start dealing with lots of data. That is where we learned about eight months into the project, the importance of analytics.

“We integrated everything up through the application layer. What it meant was that we could take all types of data and translate that into meaningful information.”

The end result, he said, was the delivery of actionable information, graphic navigation for all systems, energy charts for analysis and improved executive decision-making through dashboards.