397 West 7th Avenue

Zero Carbon High-Efficiency Mechanical Design

 

Building

The development at 397 West 7th Avenue in Vancouver consists of a one level parkade, light industrial component on the Main Floor and half of Level 2, with Level 3 and Level 4 as well as the remaining portion of Level 2 providing modern office space. A majority of the office space is likely to be Owner occupied. The total floor area is 16,000 sqft. Construction to begin in 2019.

Client Expectations

The Owner is a highly experienced and highly regarded structural engineering firm, Fast + Epp, with a motivation to demonstrate that the structure and floor assemblies of the building can be erected in 7 days. This ambitious goal requires an extremely well thought out and well-coordinated mechanical system that can be partly pre-fabricated with the floor panels, with the remainder to be quickly installed on site. The Owner also had a desire to showcase a sustainable and highly efficient mechanical system.

As such, HiH Energy has proposed and is designing a mechanical system based on a geothermal field to provide energy exchange for a radiant heating / cooling slab. The geothermal field would be installed prior to the building being erected while the radiant slab can be quickly laid down once the floor assemblies are in place.

Pre-fabricated floor panels will contain ventilation ductwork and sprinkler piping, to be connected to ductwork and piping mains once the floor panels are in place. A Heat Recover Ventilator located on the roof with mechanical cooling for peak days will be connected to the floor panel delivery system. The light industrial space will make use of standard water to air heat pumps with overhead air delivery.

Project Outcome

The final story has yet to be written on this project, but the team believes that erecting the structure can be achieved within the 7-day stretch goal.

What we can say for sure at this stage is that a truly integrated design process involving all key design consultants and contractors led by a construction manager has been vital to coordinating these ambitious designs and to put them to the practical test. 

We expect to see a lot more of this approach to construction projects as developments pursue more ambitious energy targets driven by personal desire as well as by more stringent building codes.

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