The Frank Hasenfratz Centre for Excellence in Manufacturing
Kiwi Newton Construction worked with Linamar to bring an “Energy and Environmental Design” building forward, beginning by using a day lighting design.
Rather than relying solely on electric lighting during the day, day lighting brings indirec,t natural light into the building; it reduces the need for electric lighting and connects people to the outdoors. When entering the hall there is a magnificent glass curtain wall which is a signature feature of the front exterior of the building. This wall is strategically located on the north exposure which will not attract heat gain from direct sunlight. All lights at the Tech and Training Centre are equipped with an automatic control system and will automatically dim down to low levels during daylight hours to save power when the daylight provides sufficient light. The light bulbs are 95% efficient compared to traditional fluorescent light fixtures, meaning they store or reflect almost all of the light and distribute it only as necessary. The lights throughout all of the office and amenity areas are motion sensor controlled, and will automatically turn off when there is no movement in these areas providing immediate power savings in an unoccupied space. The plant light fixtures are individually controlled with separate switches to provide maximum control of the lights, whereby only the necessary fixtures will be turned on providing large savings in comparison with normal plants that will have one or two switches for the entire plant.
The concrete floors from the previous office and plant were removed, broken up on site and reused as a structural granular base under the parking lot, saving trucks and land filling which is the normal practice. Fans installed at this facility draw air through the wall and then circulate the air through the building. Air drawn through the green living wall is filtered of pollutants by microbes existing in the plants’ root systems. The two living walls constructed for this facility are not only a form of urban gardening, they also function as works of art and beauty. Properly designed natural ventilation significantly reduces the heating and cooling costs and carbon footprint by use of an automated control system. Similar to a retractable greenhouse roof, the skylight and panels in the large glass curtain wall will open and close in collaboration depending on the outdoor temperature and weather. In warm weather the curtain wall panels will open to allow cooler air to enter over a shaded northern exposed pond and natural convection will cause the air to rise and exhaust out through the skylight. Each time the skylight panels open, the cooling system for the technology hall will shut off, saving large amounts of electric energy. In the onset of rain or cooler air temperature the skylight will automatically close and the building will respond with the appropriate function.
Kiwi Newton and Linamar have also addressed another smart solution where the office and training area have been finished with a “white roof”. The white roof gathers less heat than traditional black roofs and therefore reduces the load on cooling systems in the summer resulting in significant reductions in energy requirements. In floor heating has been installed in the concrete floor of the technology hall and around the perimeter of floors beside windows in engineering offices.
This is a very efficient form of heat using a natural gas burner to heat the water and the concrete floor making the concrete a heat sink. The normal alternative to this is the less efficient electric baseboard heating. Kiwi Newton installed $1,700,000 roof top solar photovoltaic 250kW AC units for the Centre.