Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Winnipeg Window Washer Rescue

A Winnipeg window washer is safe after being rescued while dangling above Portage Avenue.
Window washer rescued after dangling from Hydro Building: A Winnipeg window washer is safe after being rescued while dangling above Portage Avenue. Authorities say his ropes got tangled yesterday while he was cleaning the Manitoba Hydro building. Firefighters were able to reach him with their ladder truck and lowered him to the ground. They then worked to secure the window washing platform, which was swaying in the wind.

Manitoba Hydro Place was designed using computer modelling to improve performance: A Toronto architectural firm’s unique design approach has helped a Winnipeg skyscraper win the title of the year’s best tall building in the Americas. Manitoba Hydro Place is a 23-storey, energy-efficient building on Winnipeg’s Portage Avenue and it earned the award from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. The $300 million building was completed in December 2008.

“What really differentiated this project from other buildings was from the beginning it was organized and designed through an Integrated Design Process (IDP),” said Kael Opie, KPMB project architect. “This was critical for Manitoba Hydro because we were trying to achieve a high level of energy reductions.” The goal was to achieve a 60 per cent energy savings. “A lot of things went into achieving this energy efficiency saving,” he explained. “The main difference between Hydro Place and a typical building is the heating and cooling of the building is achieved using a passive system, when possible. The shape of the building, orientation and atriums were all arranged to meet the energy requirements of the client.”

The IDP process was enhanced by extensive computer modeling using local wind, sun and temperature data to evaluate design options. The building also has the largest closed loop geothermal system in the province. There are 280 boreholes, each 150 mm (6 inches) in diameter, that penetrate the site 125 metres (400 ft.) underground. A key element in the passive ventilation system is a solar chimney that draws used air out of the building and preheats the incoming cold air in the south atria, during the winter. Depending on the season, a 24-metre-tall waterfall feature in each of the atria humidifies or dehumidifies the incoming air.

During colder weather, recovered heat from exhaust air and passive solar radiant energy is used to warm the fresh air. Manually operated windows on the interior curtain wall, combined with the automated exterior wall vents controlled by the Building Management System allow employees to control their individual environment. Every feature of Manitoba Hydro Place was integrated to make this building one of the most energy-efficient office towers in the world.

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