manitoba hydro placeIt's sometimes nice to do touristy things in your own city. One time, I visited the Royal Canadian Mint with my friend Mel - for some reason, people made found that very nerdy...
Manitoba Hydro Place has been around for a few years now and I've been itching to see inside it. So Mike & I signed up for a guided tour recently, cameras in hand.
The tour ended up being even more interesting than I predicted. And the building - well, even more gorgeous than we expected. Just look at it.
Here are some additional facts about the building for those who are as nerdy as I am:
1. The buildings that were taken down to make room for Manitoba Hydro Place were carefully deconstructed, allowing 95 per cent of the materials from these old structures to be reused, recycled or salvaged.
2. The building is one of the most energy-efficient buildings of its size in North America. It is 66% more energy efficient than the model national energy code for buildings (and this is in a city in which temperatures flucuate from -35 degrees Celsius (-31 degrees Fahrenheit) to +34 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit)).
3. The Toronto and Winnipeg architectural firms that designed the building won the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat's 2009 Best Tall Building Americas award.
4. The building has a 100% fresh air ventilation system. It was honestly amazing. I have never breathed in such clean, crisp air inside a building before.
5. 100% of cooling load and 50% of heating load is covered by geothermal heat pump system.
(There is a lot more information about the geothermal heating system and the fresh air ventilation system here. I must admit, I don't quite understand it all.)
6. Studies have shown that people are most productive when they are able to see nature outside (trees, flowers, etc). From any spot on the building, you can see most kind of greenery outside (thanks to rooftop gardens).
7. The solar chimney, as designed initially by the architect, was going to cast a lot of shade on a little downtown park across the street where people eat their lunches in the summer time. The architect was already disappointed about the amount of green space downtown, and he did not want to take away this little park from downtown workers. So he intentionally designed the solar chimney in just a way that it will never cast a shadow on the park (incredible!).
It is reassuring and inspiring to know that there are people committed to constructing buildings that maximize employee productivity and minimize energy consumption There are just so many facets of this building that are complete genius. I'm proud for it to be in the middle of my little city!
*most information taken from Manitoba Hydro Place's website.
*most photos taken & edited by Mike