Location | Vancouver, British Columbia
Sector | Property
Market | Residential, Commercial
Project Delivery Method: Mechanical & Electrical Systems Design
Discipline | Mechanical & Electrical
Photo Credit | Rendering Courtesy of Rositch Hemphill Architects
Williams Engineering Canada (WEC) provided mechanical and electrical design and energy modelling for this new residential tower and townhome development located on the University Endowment Lands at UBC. The project consists of an 18-storey, 153,000 ft2 residential tower, twelve city townhomes in two separate blocks, built over a common underground parkade. The development includes 4000 ft2 of multi-purpose amenity space and fitness area. The project is seeking LEED® Gold certification.
Boasting a low-temperature District Energy (DE) connection as an energy source, this fully air-conditioned concrete high-rise building utilizes vertical and/or horizontal hydronic heat pumps to provide individually controlled heating and cooling for each suite. This system permits the use of an economic hydronic piping system; operating temperatures are controlled via direct digital control (DDC) to ensure loop temperatures do not exceed the operating range of the hydronic heat pump units. Hydronic heat pumps are utilized to capture heat from the transformer room and inject heat into the hydronic piping system. Water-to-water heat pumps scavenge energy off the hydronic loop to pre-heat domestic water. A fluid cooler, located on the roof, rejects excess heat after all heat recovery/reuse measures are exhausted. Hydronic boilers provide the additional heating capacity to the hydronic loop during peak heat load conditions; they are also utilized to provide “top-up” or “back-up” energy to the domestic water system. Direct contact, double-walled, plate-and-frame heat exchangers separate the hydronic and domestic piping systems. Domestic hot water storage tanks are utilized to address peak loading conditions, permitting the heat pumps and heat exchangers to be more economically sized for most of the load. Domestic water booster pumps, and the fire pump, ensure there is adequate operating pressure in their respective systems to serve all portions of the buildings. Fresh air ventilation requirements are achieved by an insulated outdoor air duct connected directly to each heat pump’s return inlet, coupled with a continuously operating system fan to circulate air to all regularly occupied space. Specialized fan systems provide the necessary stairwell and corridor ventilation and meet other below-grade ventilation requirements.
The electrical team provided schematic design, design development, complete electrical permit and construction drawings, and specifications. The building’s electrical systems include a dual voltage unit substation with generator emergency power for life-safety and stand by loads. Distribution is split to account for house loads, individual suite loads, amenity loads, electric vehicles, and townhome loads. Electric Vehicle Level 2 outlets were provided throughout the parkade in various locations to facilitate charging for tenants and visitors. The future installation of a load management system was considered to ensure a cost-effective design that provided many stalls throughout the parkade. The parkade was also prepared for the future installation of Wi-Fi repeaters to ensure wireless signal for any future EV charging equipment. Security rough-in requirements were provided in consultation with the client. Security and access control devices were shown on the Electrical Engineered drawings for coordination with other trades. Parkade and common area lighting were designed in compliance with ASHRAE code to balance patron safety and energy efficiency. LED lighting was installed throughout, and automatic controls, such as occupancy and vacancy sensors, were used. Exterior lighting for façade and patron comfort was designed by using IESNA recommended practices and lighting calculations. Power, data and lighting in the suites were design with the end-users’ comfort in mind. TV and data rough-ins were provided in bedrooms, living rooms and dens. Master bedroom receptacles were supplied in a convenience switch near the door for convenience. Power provided for high-end appliances such as wall oven and cooktops. Suite designs were coordinated with the owner group as well as the interior designer for the location and selection of fixtures. Special consideration was given for life safety systems specific to high rises, including a CACF, fire alarm speakers, and firefighter handsets at each stairwell door.