Architecture Canada n°3 2nd semestre 2007
Architecture Canada n°3 2nd semestre 2007
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  • Parution : n°3 de 2nd semestre 2007

  • Périodicité : semestriel

  • Editeur : Naylor Canada

  • Format : (213 x 276) mm

  • Nombre de pages : 56

  • Taille du fichier PDF : 5,2 Mo

  • Dans ce numéro : des écoles novatrices.

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22 23 Innovative Design Located in Saint-Constant, a town just south of Montreal, the two-storey, 2,788-square-metre alternative, year-round educational institution for about 220 16-to-18-year-old students who previously dropped out of high school, does not generate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It is also the most energy-efficient school in the province — and one of the most energy-efficient buildings in Canada. The GHG target was the goal of the school board, the Commission Scolaire des Grandes- Seigneuries. But nobody, including lead architect Vincent Leclerc, MIRAC, expected the now four-year-old school to performso well on an energy-efficiency scale. He explains that initially the engineers from the consulting firmDessau-Soprin, who worked on the project, expected the school to be 65 per cent more efficient than a similar school built according to the National Research Council’s Model National Energy Code for Buildings (MNECB). 22 ■ THE ROYAL ARCHITECTURAL INSTITUTE OF CANADA/L’INSTITUT ROYAL D’ARCHITECTURE DU CANADA 292208_Leica.indd 1 10/11/06 10:22:40 AM But after two years of daily monitoring by Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan’s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Hydro-Québec, it turned out that École du Tournant was using nearly 80 per cent (79.4 per cent) less energy than a typical school built according to MNECB. The May 2006 issue of ASHRAE Journal, published by the Atlanta-based American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Inc. highlights Tournant’s achievements in an article titled, « Head of the Class For No GHG-School. » It refers to the school’s « high quality » building envelope in which materials used in the composition of the roof and the exterior walls make them more resistant to heat transfer than required under the MNECB, and most of the windows use double-pane, low-energy glazing filled with argon. « The composition of the envelope significantly contributes to minimizing heat loss and keeping the heat inside. » Lighting is also optimized in rooms through motion sensors that turn off after 30 seconds when the room is unoccupied and through daylight detectors, which adjust artificial light levels according to the amount of natural light entering the room. Energy consumption is further reduced through the use of about 25 geothermal heat pumps and a solar-wall makeup air system for heating and cooling, and bringing in fresh air. For instance on a cold winter’s day, when the outside temperature is -18ºC, air coming in and passing through the solar wall immediately raises the temperature to 4ºC, explains Leclerc, principal of the Montreal-based firmVincent Leclerc + Associés Architectes. « When you get the air inside the wall, the temperature can goup to 35ºC on a sunny day even though it’s -20ºC outside. » The patented technology involves walls made of thin, dark brown steel that are perforated by tiny holes leading to an air space between the steel and the building wall. The metal heats the air drawn through the holes before it rises to the top of the walland gets sucked into the school’s ductwork. A thermal wheel eliminates the carbon dioxide and humidity, and mixes the existing indoor air with the new fresh air, further raising the temperature by several degrees in the process.
So, as in the previous example, the 4ºC temperature would go to 10ºC or 12ºC, significantly reducing the need to heat the air to a comfortable room temperature, Leclerc says. « Instead of taking cold air at -18ºC and bringing it to 22ºC, the only demand would be to heat the air by 10 or 12 degrees. » Meanwhile, the ground-source heat pumps attached to a ground loop heat exchanger, consisting of 18 wells sunk 130 metres into the ground, use the earth as a source of heat during the winter, and, in the summer, as a sink for heat removed, which is stored for later use. As the ASHRAE Journal points out, Tournant’s low-energy heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in each room are also programmedso they can be turned off for any unoccupied hour and when the motion sensors detect no one inside. The amount of required fresh air is adjusted with the amount of CO2 detected by the sensors. In addition, the control system enables the choice between two solar walls — or solar collectors — located on different parts of the building to optimize the temperature of the outdoor air brought inside based on sunlight conditions. Furthermore, each of the pipes going into the ground and back into the building have a shut-off and control valve on the supply and return lines through which the amount of heat going into or out of the school can be controlled. If a pipe is flawed, the entire system is also not threatened. Leclerc says the sustainable-design portion of the project cost the school board an additional $310,000, though that amount was reduced by $110,000 through grants from NRCan and Hydro-Québec. The Commission Scolaire des Grandes- Seigneuries obtained the balance through a bank loan « at a preferred rate of 4.25 per cent, » according to Leclerc. As the ASHRAE Journal explained, École du Tournant now saves $34,400 in energy costs per year. For its energy efficiency, the school has earned numerous accolades, including the 2005 Canada’s Energy Efficiency Award in the new buildings category presented by NRCan’s Office of Energy Efficiency to Dessau-Soprin. « Practically all of the energy used to heat and air condition the school is free, » said Laurier Nichols, the firm’s team leader for energy efficiency, who last year won an ASHRAE Technology Award for the school in the alternatives Thorncliffe Park Public School – exterior bridge and/or renewable energy category. And if the sustainability message isn’t clear enough, a statue honouring former Norwegian prime minister and physician Dr. Gro Harlem Bruntland — chair of the 1983 United Nations Commission of Environment and Development that introduced the concept of sustainable development — graces the school’s front lawn. Vincent Leclerc + Associés Architectes was able to build on École du Tournant’s success and apply the same sustainability design to another school : Forest Hill, a 3,750-squaremetre, anglophone elementary school for about 450 students in grades 3 to 6 in the Quebec community of Saint-Lazare. Rather than start from scratch, the Lester B. Pearson School Board asked Leclerc’s firmto apply its winning model for Tournant to Forest Hill, with some modifications. For example, Forest Hill has only one solar wall, facing south, while Tournant has two walls — one facing east, the other facing west. « Repeat plans can be adapted to save time and money, » says Leclerc. « Normally it takes six to seven months to design a school before going to tender, and then a whole year to build it, for a total of 21 months or so. If you can adapt a plan, the whole process can take only 12 months from start to finish. » Leclerc has more than a bit of experience in such adaptations. Innovative Design He estimates that one in every three schools he and his architect-father, Claude, have designed were repeat plans. And between them, that’s a considerable number of schools. Claude Leclerc, FIRAC, now retired, designed about 30 schools in Quebec, beginning with his first one in 1963. Vincent Leclerc, who began his career in his father’s firmin 1982 — the year he graduated with an architecture degree from the Université de Montréal — isn’t far behind with 27 schools under his belt thus far. Clearly, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. « My father designed his first energy-efficient school in 1981, » says the 50-year-old proud son. « But instead of using a geothermal system, it was hydrothermal in which the heating and cooling came from a water basin built under the school. » That school — École Bourlingueurs-Ste- Catherine in Sainte-Catherine, not far from Saint-Constant — was found to be 45 per cent more energy efficient than a similar school under the MNECB. And like his father, Vincent Leclerc is now able to add the letters FIRAC after his name after being formally inducted into the RAIC College of Fellows during the Institute’s centennial celebrations. Says Leclerc : « Being a good architect is being able to design a durable, functional building with the right systems. « My father was the best teacher. » ■ THE ROYAL ARCHITECTURAL INSTITUTE OF CANADA/L’INSTITUT ROYAL D’ARCHITECTURE DU CANADA ■ 23 ARCHITECT : TEEPLE ARCHITECTS/PHOTO : TOM ARBAN

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