MCW Custom Energy Solutions: Nunavut Research Institute

Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada

MCW Custom Energy Solutions: Nunavut Research Institute

Key Facts

Federal Funding

  • $11 million

area of each building

  • 5,000 ft2

less annual energy than MNECB

  • 56% & 52%

annual energy reduction

  • 13% & 12%

MCW Custom Energy Solutions Ltd. utilises IES software to review and improve energy efficiency of two proposed government buildings in Iqaluit, Nunavut.

Consulting Engineering Services firm MCW selected IES Virtual Environment (IESVE) to conduct an energy review to improve the proposed design for the new Nunavut Research Institute (NRI) Buildings at Arctic College in Iqaluit.

The new NRI was completed in March 2011 after receiving $11 million of federal funding as part of the government’s economic stimulus package. The Institute is made up of two buildings, each approximately 5,000ft2 in area, with one used mainly as an administration/ laboratory building, and the other used primarily for classrooms. The
buildings house over 15 offices, four modern laboratories, classrooms, conference rooms and computer rooms.

The IESVE was used to improve and validate the already existing, energy efficient design prepared by PSAV Architects Ltd, Nelson Engineering Inc., FSC Architects & Engineers and Thorn Engineering. This was used as the basis for the energy models of the buildings. One energy model was used to compare the original design against the Model National Energy Code for Buildings (MNEC B), which contains minimum requirements for energy efficiency in new commercial, institutional and government buildings, additions and major renovations. The other model was used to assess the efficiency of the proposed design upgrades by comparing energy usage for this design against the base design.

The first comparison showed that the two buildings consumed 43% and 40% less annual energy than the MNEC B baseline, respectively. The second comparison showed that with the MCW recommended measures the buildings consumed 56% and 52% less annual energy than the MNEC B baseline, respectively. By using the IES VE, MCW was able to reduce the annual energy used by 13% and 12%. This means that if the buildings were LEED certified they would have been eligible for 8 and 7 LEED Canada points respectively under Energy & Atmosphere Credit 1: Optimize Energy Performance.

MCW evaluated and analysed various design modifications, recommending measures based on a combination of factors including payback, improvements to occupant comfort and ease of implementation.

“The Virtual Environment allowed us to see the impact our ideas would have on the energy consumption of these buildings. The superior graphics, visualisation and presentation capabilities made it easy to communicate the benefits to our client.”

Brian Tysoe, MCW