AME is very pleased to announce that the Oliver Woods Community Centre has been awarded LEED Gold Certification. CEI Architects led the design team with AME`s mechanical design contributing 13 points towards LEED certification and exceeding the Model National Energy code by 54% – equivalent to 123 tons of CO2 reduction. Furthermore, the project was below budget by $400,000. The Oliver Woods Community Centre is a 35,150 sq.ft., two-storey building with four multi-purpose spaces, a double gymnasium, daycare centre, and conference room.
A combination of air and water type heat pumps were chosen to provide maximum energy savings while providing comfort for clients using the facility. To maintain maximum efficiency, water in the heat pump loop is tempered depending on the season. Contact sensors were also placed on each operable window, designed to shut down a room’s heating and cooling unit when a window is open to avoid wasting energy and to provide free cooling using natural ventilation rather than air conditioning.
To heat the domestic water and the heat pump loop of the building, an air cool heat pump was used. An air-cool heat pump is up to three times more efficient than a high efficiency gas boiler. An aircooled heat pump’s efficiency varies with outside temperatures. It ranges from 2.5 to 3.5 in co-efficient of performance (C.O.P). This means while paying for one kilowatt of energy the building can actually utilize up to three kilowatts of energy. Energy efficiency in ventilation was increased by using a heat recovery unit, which recovers heat from exhaust air and transfers it to fresh air coming into the building.
Water savings strategies were also incorporated into the design with water conserving plumbing fixtures such as high/low flush toilets, waterless urinals, sensor faucets and metering showers.