The Destination Project is the largest building project for the University of Lethbridge since it was founded. As a science research and teaching building, the goals were:
- to put “Science on Display”
- create a new entrance for the university,
- increase comfort and functionality for the researchers, students and staff,
- reduce energy consumption,
- Be a destination for science in Southern Alberta.
Transsolar’s focus was to:
- Reduce Energy Consumption to become the most sustainable lab building in Alberta / Canada
- Maximize the comfort in the space to best support the building users and their work
The team worked closely with the design team to optimize the shape of the building testing 4 different schemes for maximum daylight, natural ventilation potential, energy savings, and comfort. Daylight simulations were run throughout the process to improve the atrium, office spaces and use of external shadings. Detailed thermal simulations were used to provide design specifications for the double façade, external shading and active slab. Workshops focused on reducing air flow in the lab spaces, ensuring comfort and reducing total air use. The final result is predicted to use 50% less energy than the baseline model with a goal of achieving LEED Gold. It has a double façade with external movable shading in all office spaces, which have active slab (ceiling) heating and cooling. Displacement ventilation for all offices separates the hygienic ventilation from the conditioning of the space. Offices transfer their air to the central atrium where the winter garden further heats the air in Winter and transfers the air back to the main plenum. The main plenum supplies the labs so total outside air is reduced and the effectiveness of the run around coil heat recovery is increased. Centralized staged strobic exhaust fans minimize fan power and exhaust air. Natural ventilation in the offices through the double façade provides additional comfort for the occupants and provide a contrast to the highly sterile controlled conditions of the lab spaces. The winter garden also provides a semi conditioned space to better enjoy a connection to nature during the shoulder seasons.