Energy Company Headquarters is an “Open Book” on Sustainable Design
Manitoba Hydro, a government-owned utility company, gets nearly all its electricity from self-renewing water power. Its headquarters tower, Manitoba Hydro Place, integrated time-tested environmental concepts with advanced technologies to achieve a “living building” that dynamically responds to the local climate. The architectural solution clearly responds to the client’s vision, and relies on passive free energy without compromising on design quality and, most importantly, human comfort.
Embraced and nicknamed the “Open Book” by citizens of Winnipeg, the towers converge at the north and splay open to the south for maximum exposure to the abundant sunlight and consistently-robust southerly winds unique to Winnipeg’s climate. The podium includes a publicly accessible Galleria to offer citizens a sheltered pedestrian route through the full city block. Narrow floor plates and tall floor-to-ceiling glazing allow sunlight to penetrate into the core. A double façade curtain-wall system forms a one-meter-wide buffer zone. Automated louver shades control glare and heat gain, while radiant slabs act as an internal heat exchange with the geothermal field.
Ultimately, Manitoba Hydro Place set a precedent for the seamless integration of architectural excellence and climate-responsive, energy-efficient and sustainable design, while enhancing and improving the quality and comfort of the human experience and the civility of urban life.