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New hydro building competing for prestigious award
July 10, 2009 | Winnipeg Free Press

"WINNIPEG — Manitoba Hydro Place has been named the best tall building in the Americas for 2009 by the prestigious Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

It is now in the running with buildings in Beijing, London and Doha for the rights to be called 2009's best tall building in the world at an event in Chicago in October.

The just completed 22-storey 64,103-square-metre head office for Manitoba Hydro was designed by Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects with the Winnipeg firm Smith Carter Architects and Engineers Incorporated.

The award committee called the sustainable energy efficient design "an unparalleled approach to traditional sustainable design."

Tom Gouldsborough, Manitoba Hydro's project manager for the building, said, "We are very excited about this. We knew we were on to something for a while now."

He said all the technology that is used is "off the shelf" but the design integration is what makes the building special.

All elements of Manitoba Hydro Place are integrated to achieve an unprecedented 60 per cent energy savings over a typical large office tower.

The design uses a "living building" concept that interprets and reacts to its physical environment rather than the traditional method of achieving energy savings by isolation from the elements through highly insulated and sealed construction.

Manitoba Hydro Place uses geothermal energy storage which produces all the energy required to cool the building and 60 per cent of the energy needed to heat it.

Because of its positioning and other design features it also makes great use of passive solar energy.

Gouldsborough said the success of the building will encourage more clients to deploy similar techniques."

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