Manitoba Hydro first large office tower in Canada to achieve LEED Platinum certification

Manitoba Hydro Place, the deservingly-well-publicized headquarters of the fourth largest energy utility in Canada, has received LEED Platinum certification for sustainability, exceeding its original goal to achieve LEED Gold. This makes it the first and only large office tower in Canada to date to receive the LEED Platinum certification from the CaGBC.

Opened in 2009, the 22-storey building occupying a full city block in Winnipeg’s downtown is the achievement of the Integrated Design Process involving close collaboration between Manitoba Hydro and design architects Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (Toronto), executive architects, Smith Carter Architects and Engineers (Winnipeg) and climate engineers Transsolar (Stuttgart).

Manitoba Hydro  meticulously tracked performance for two years and, compared to the average office tower, Manitoba Hydro Place records reductions of over 70 per cent in energy use. Conventional office towers typically use over 300kW.h. per square metre. Manitoba Hydro’s useage is under 85kW.h — an estimated energy savings of over $500,000 annually.  In fall 2012, Manitoba Hydro is expected to publicly release the full schedule of performance results.

“The building has become a beacon that attracts visitors from around the world,” said Tom Akerstream, Manitoba Hydro’s Energy Advisor and Manager of Head Office Facilities. “We have hosted senators from the United States, Canada and executives from Apple Inc. who have come to study Canada’s successful new model for energy efficient, climatically responsive design.”

“Manitoba Hydro Place has put Winnipeg on the map for innovative building, with its gleaming solar chimney, flight of windows that open and close in response to the weather conditions, six-storey waterfall in the atrium , geothermal system for heating and cooling and green rooftops,” said Scott Stirton of Smith Carter Architects who acted as executive architects. “The signature building has established Winnipeg as an essential destination for architects, engineers and energy specialists from around the globe to view first-hand its cutting-edge integration of design and energy efficient technologies.”

In the past two years, MHP project has been recognized with over ten major awards for innovation, architectural and urban design excellence and green design, including the 2009 Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) Best Tall Building in the Americas award, 2011 RAIC Innovation in Architecture, 2010 AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects Award, 2010 Sustainable Architecture & Building Magazine Award, Project Winner 2010 Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, National Urban Design Award.  Other awards include the 2010 ACEC Canadian Consulting Engineering Award – Buildings, 2009 Canadian Urban Institute Brownie Award, 2008 International Building Skin-tech (IBS) Award, 2006 MIPIM Architectural Review Awards and 2006 Canadian Architect Award of Excellence.

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