LEED & Sustainable Design Services
Green when green was still just a colour.
At Hemisphere Engineering, green buildings and sustainable design are second nature, as we have been doing it for half a century. From improving energy efficiency for schools in the 1960’s to controlling security and air flow in today’s sophisticated labs that house the world’s deadliest viruses, Hemisphere Engineering has been using innovative design to successfully meet the challenge. Building owners and occupants receive the best building systems for the long term and can be confident that the environment and resource economics were top-of-mind from design to completion.
Our approach and mindset is to improve from project to project. Our commitment to the highest standard of sustainable design starts in the planning stages of a project and, following the LEED framework, we ensure that all aspects of sustainable design are addressed. Project facilitators focus on planning, architectural issues, water conservation, energy efficiency, air quality and a healthful work environment. And, our LEED certified projects are a testament to our success in sustainable design.
Our focus is not just on today, but the buildings systems we design and the technology we develop that will be used for years to come.
At Hemisphere Engineering, designing systems for cost effective longevity is at the cornerstone of our philosophy. We draw from our past experience, apply the latest trends in technology and maintain a vision to design systems that stand out today and pass the test of time.
“From 1957 to today we treat the environments we create with the same respect, care and attention that we have for the environments that they inhabit."
Buildings too are living, breathing creatures.
Sustainable design that makes business sense – the Hemisphere difference.
Our focus and commitment to a comprehensive planning stage of any project is where our clients experience the benefits of our unique Strategic Cost Benefit Transfer approach.
This discipline ensures that design decisions are based on current capital investment balanced against the future operational, maintenance and replacement costs. A way of cashing in on future benefits to offset initial capital costs. If the additional capital costs can be recovered in a short period of time, the benefit of the future savings is what makes the building more sustainable.
That’s what Hemisphere Engineering does. It’s a planned strategic approach, and it’s one that makes a building more cost effective in the long run. The bottom line is lower long term ownership costs for your initial capital investment.
Today we focus on advancing sustainable design supported by our history of a commitment to green.
Inspired by Nature. Validated by Engineers.
The undeniable challenge of our century.
We realize that sustainable design is not new, but that there is a greater awareness and a collective will to tackle this building design challenge. We believe that good, innovative design is best realized when we incorporate the principles of sustainable design early into our projects.
The Hemisphere Commitment:
• Promote the initiatives of LEED
• Dedicated to innovative solutions to further reduce life cycle costs
• Recognize that these initiatives are of strategic economic importance
Sustainable design is a mindset that permeates all our efforts.
Our work includes design for new construction, renovations and upgrades and our broad range of projects include institutional, research, commercial, recreational and light industrial facilities.
A brief history of Engineering Excellence
Hillcrest Junior High School, Edmonton, AB,
1962 Hillcrest Junior High is one of our first examples of innovative sustainable design. In an effort to design a school that had low construction and operating costs and a comfortable healthful environment, a windowless structure in an efficient circle shape was designed. Hemisphere Engineering used two natural gas fired Caterpillar engines to generate both power and heat. The waste heat off the cooling jackets heated the school during winter and operated the absorption chiller machine for cooling during summer resulting in substantial net utility cost savings. This was considered one of the first sustainable buildings in Canada.
Coquitlam Shopping Centre, Coquitlam, BC,
1970 The Coquitlam Shopping Centre is a 750,000 square foot facility constructed with the focus of reducing the long term operating costs. To keep the electrical costs to a minimum, Hemisphere Engineering incorporated an innovative storage tank in the mechanical design. This tank stored cool water during the off hours to minimize the operation of chillers during the day. This innovative solution ensured that the most economical electrical charges were achieved and in turn was awarded the International Council of Shopping Centres for Energy Efficiency Award.
St. Luke’s Catholic School, Cooking Lake, AB,
1983 Known as Alberta’s first sub-terranean school, St. Luke’s Catholic School took a very different approach to energy efficiency. Three of the outside walls had an unconventional insulator – the earth. Lower heat losses due to the natural insulation meant that Hemisphere Engineering was able to design a smaller heating system. Hemisphere Engineering also incorporated an 181,600-litre tank buried in the berm. This dual purpose tank held water for fire fighting and provided cool water that was pumped through coils in the air handling units to provide relief on very hot days. St. Luke’s annual energy cost in 1983 was $27,000 compared to $83,000 for a similar sized school. Although the school was more expensive to build, that extra cost was paid back in energy cost savings within six years.
Walter C. MacKenzie Health Sciences Centre, Edmonton, AB,
1986 Hemisphere Engineering was a pioneer in controls development for sustainable design with the Walter C. MacKenzie Health Sciences Centre. On this project, Hemisphere Engineering designed a central mechanical control system utilizing an industrial distributed direct digital control (DDC). This was one of the first applications of DDC on institutional buildings in Alberta. With the incorporation of commercial grade sensors, actuators and other control devices, overall costs were cut while maintaining state-of-the-art computer controlled technology. Today, the original DDC control system continues to control and manage energy consumption, and with innovative modifications to control protocols, it has resulted in improved utility cost savings from year to year. As renovations are implemented, room DDC is being incorporated to further enhance energy management.
J.G. O’Donaghue Buidling, Edmonton, AB,
1986 The three-story, 330,000 square foot Alberta Agriculture Building used an innovative design feature to increase energy efficiency. An emergency exit corridor around the perimeter of the two upper floors was proposed to simplify exiting requirements, but Hemisphere Engineering used it to improve the building’s mechanical systems. The mechanical systems were adapted to take advantage of the building geometry and direct digital controls (DDC) were incorporated with software designed to utilize the benefits of the thermal mass storage, sun shading and a perimeter “buffer” inherent in the building design. In the year ending April 1986, the energy saved resulted in cost avoidance for that year at $35,300. This design received an ASHRAE Energy Award in 1987 for energy efficient new commercial buildings.
Granger Elementary School, Yukon,
1990 When the Yukon Government and School Board decided that Granger Elementary School required a conversion from heating with coal, they also decided to use this as an opportunity to develop a labour source for their local people. Due to environmental concerns, conversion to oil was disregarded, and secondly, the focus was keeping their cash resources in the Territory. The innovative solution was to convert to heat generation by wood chips and Hemisphere Engineering conducted an Alternate Energy Study to test the environmental impact and the feasibility of the plan. After the decision to proceed with the construction of the woodchip plant, Hemisphere Engineering then studied the alternate glazing types using computer modeling comparisons to develop the best glazing application for this unique heat source.
E. Garner King Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Fire Fighters Burn Treatment Unit (BTU), Edmonton, AB
2002 The E. Garner King ICU and Fire Fighters BTU were constructed within the third floor of the Walter C. MacKenzie Health Sciences Centre and provided for 30 ICU beds and nine BTU beds. Hemisphere Engineering designed each air system with an energy recovery wheel which rotates through the supply air and exhaust air streams. This transfers heat from the exhaust flow to the supply flow. The capital cost to incorporate the two heat wheels was $150,000 with an estimated payback period of two years. Because one air system operates as redundant stand-by, the actual payback period was one year. The design received the 2002 CEA Award of Merit for Building Engineering.
Cardel Place Recreation and Library Center, Calgary, AB
2005 Cardel Place is the first LEED Gold certified project in Alberta and an example of the high level of environmental stewardship that Hemisphere Engineering incorporates into projects. The multi-purpose facility exceeded energy performance by 36% as defined by the Model National Energy Code and this was accomplished without compromising quality, occupant comfort or function. The facility was built with lower construction costs, and operates at $10,000/month lower electrical costs, than similar recreational facilities. The facility has been recognized for its many sustainable design features and received the 2004 CEA Award of Merit for Building Engineering.
National Institute for Nanotechnology, U of A, Edmonton, AB
2005 The National Institute of Nanotechnology is the national centre for nanotechnology research in Canada. The nature of the research conducted in this 16,000 square metre state-of-the-art facility meant that Hemisphere Engineering was faced with extremely challenging design requirements. This included Class 1000 nano-fab areas and characterization suites with stringent environmental control including temperature controlled to 1/10oC utilizing radiant cooling. The building was designed to LEED Silver while still ensuring that the mechanical system satisfied the requirements of the laboratories and that the work environment was healthy and comfortable for the 150 permanent staff and 45 guest workers
Our LEED Projects Include:
Federal Building, Edmonton, AB - 230,000 sq.ft. historic building renovation for the Alberta government. Located on the Alberta Legislature grounds, the building will be completely gutted, and rebuilt for government MLA offices. The project includes chilled beam technology, and is targeted to attain LEED Gold certification.
RAH North Treatment Centre, Edmonton, AB-LEED Shadowed. The Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH) is one of Capital Health’s largest hospitals. This 700 bed facility offers medical and surgical services stretching from Edmonton’s downtown to western and northern Canada.
The NTC is served from eight identical air systems which supply 100% fresh air to the building. Each air system is equipped with a heat wheel which draws heat from the building exhaust air and transfers it to the supply air.
In addition to the heat wheel, each air system is equipped with a cooling reclaim coil which cools the chilled water during periods when the central chillers are off. This chilled water is used in the North Treatment Center to serve water cooled equipment.
CNRL Markin Natural Resources Engineering Facility, U of A Edmonton, AB-LEED Shadowed. This facility is a seven storey building plus two below grade levels totaling approximately 29,000 m² in area. The facility houses experimental and research, teaching and administration space for construction, environmental, geotechnical, mining, petroleum, structural and water research management.
Killam Centre for Advanced Studies, U of A Edmonton, AB- LEED Shadowed. This was a redevelopment of a historic facility for the faculty of Graduate Studies. The building consists of office, classrooms and general study for programming. This facility was redeveloped utilizing energy efficient design processes and involved the integration of new and existing services to achieve efficiencies during construction.
8th Avenue Place – a LEED gold project in the downtown core of Calgary. This two-phase commercial mixed-use development includes two commercial office towers, totaling 2,000,000 sq.ft. over a five-level below-grade parking structure. The two towers will be connected by the two-level podium, with a winter garden situated between them
Calgary Courts Centre– a 1.000,000 sf LEED silver project arising out of a P3 tender process, delivered as design-build, and incorporating high efficiency triple glazing, condensing boilers, high efficiency exhaust air heat reclaim, energy efficient direct drive fans, a dual-fan / duct HVAC system and energy efficiency performance exceeding 50% below the MNECB.
Markin Building, University of Lethbridge – currently in construction, intended to achieve LEED silver incorporating high performance triple glazing high efficiency technology exhaust air heat reclaim, displacement ventilation, radiant floor and ceiling panel supplementary cooling, and energy efficient / reduced maintenance direct drive fans
Grand Prairie Library and Art Gallery – A LEED Silver project, incorporating high performance triple glazing, high efficiency technology heat reclaim, condensing boilers and displacement ventilation.
Banff High School renewal – the first LEED certified school project in Alberta, incorporating exhaust air heat reclaim and condensing boilers
Lawrence Grassi School, Canmore – a LEED silver project incorporating high efficiency exhaust air heat reclaim, condensing boilers, displacement ventilation, and a tempered slab for ‘free cooling’
High Prairie Health Complex – currently at the Design Development stage, intending to achieve a LEED Silver certification. The project will incorporate high performance triple glazing, condensing boilers, exhaust air heat recovery, displacement ventilation and storm water retention.
Coutts Sweetgrass Border Crossing – an early LEED certified project delivered through a competitively tendered design-build tender involving Canadian and American authorities.