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Super-Green Manitoba Hydro Project Making News
October 05, 2010 | KPMB Architects
Massively energy-efficient tower stars at Rotman Speaker Series, N.Y. Green Architecture Innovation conference, Extreme Climates exhibition. Accolades continue with RAIC Urban Architecture Honour Award and AIA COTE Award

TORONTO, ON. October 5, 2010 – One year ago, Manitoba Hydro Place opened in Winnipeg and was immediately named 2009’s ‘Best Tall Building in the Americas.’ by the CTBUH. The 700,000 s.f. tower, designed by the integrated design consortium of KPMB Architects, Smith Carter Architects and Engineers and Transsolar climate engineers, heralds a new era for architecture and innovation. Manitoba Hydro Place is the most energy-efficient, large-scale building designed to date in North America. Interestingly, the super-green project in Canada’s mid-west is still in the limelight, provoking discussion and winning awards.

Tonight at the Rotman School of Management’s Integrative Thinking Experts Speaker Series, Bruce Kuwabara of KPMB, Thomas Auer of Stuttgart-based Transsolar and Thomas Gouldsborough of Gouldsborough Consulting will discuss Using Integrative Thinking in The Design of Manitoba Hydro Headquarters.. The team of architects and engineers took an innovative consultative approach to the project over a two-year period.

“We were exploring new territory to achieve 60% energy savings in Winnipeg’s extreme climate, said Bruce Kuwabara. “Silo thinking, where each discipline acts in isolation can block innovation. Using an integrated design process, where the expertise of each individual is brought to the table simultaneously, is the way of the future.”

During the Rotman lecture Thomas Auer made another persuasive point. “If staff operating costs are 100 times more than energy costs and if you provide a healthy ‘green’ environment with fresh air, natural light and outside views, staff productivity can increase by 1%, and the total energy cost is recovered. Increase productivity by 10%, and you’ve covered the entire building cost. How can companies NOT afford to give their staff a healthy and supportive workplace?”

On October 7th, Kuwabara and Auer will team up again as guest speakers at the Architectural Record/Green Source Innovation conference in New York City. The two-day event focuses on “idea connection”, and building on the genius of others. It features a roster of international speakers.

On October 12th, in Halifax, the RAIC will be presenting Manitoba Hydro Place with 2010 National Urban Design Honours Award. The jury commented Manitoba Hydro Place represents impeccable sustainability credentials in a beautifully sculpted building. The sustainability seems to be well integrated into the design of the buildings. We see this project as an incentive to revitalize the downtown, and to encourage Manitoba Hydro employees to take public transit.”

Another award this year came from the U.S. when the AIA (American Institute of Architects) announced its 2010 COTE Top Ten Green projects awards. Manitoba Hydro was the only Canadian winner in the group.

Torontonians have the opportunity to see an exhibition called Extreme Climates at the Eric Arthur Gallery, in the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, 230 College Street. The U of T exhibition, focusing on Manitoba Hydro Place, includes an atmospheric film by Winnipeg-based Deco Dawson, one of Canada’s top independent filmmakers, and an installation of the air treatment “waterfall” by Dan Euser, who is also consulting on the World Trade Centre Memorial and Tower. The exhibition continues until November 27, 2010.

“Manitoba Hydro Place was designed for the corporation’s most valuable asset, its employees, and as a visible testament to its commitment to energy reduction, sustainable development and to the revitalization of the city of Winnipeg”, said former project manager Tom Gouldsborough. “Manitoba Hydro Place proves that beauty, energy efficiency and the bottom line can be successfully integrated. It offers a new model for a sustainable future, one which takes into consideration the comfort and well being of the human experience.”

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