Manitoba Hydro Place, the new headquarters of the fourth largest energy utility in Canada, recently opened its doors in downtown Winnipeg. The 22-storey office tower with LEED Platinum target was designed by Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (Toronto) with Smith Carter Architects (Winnipeg) and climate engineers Transsolar (Stuttgart). According to the architects, Manitoba Hydro Place offers a model for extreme climate responsive design drawing on local passive energy sources, while providing 100% fresh air and the highest quality of human comfort.

Recently, the design also has gained world attention with the prestigious “Best Tall Building in the Americas Award” granted by the CTBUH, the world’s leading body dedicated to the field of tall buildings and urban habitat.

“Manitoba Hydro’s vision to consolidate 2,000 employees from 15 different offices in the suburbs into one location in downtown Winnipeg created a real opportunity to give back to the community and spearhead the revitalization of Winnipeg’s downtown,” explains Tom Gouldsborough, Division Manager of Corporate Services and Project Manager for Manitoba Hydro. “Since opening 50% of Manitoba Hydro staff has converted to public transit after a lifetime of driving to work.”

Manitoba Hydro set ambitious goals for a supportive workplace and urban regeneration, inclusive of 60% less energy consumption than Canada’s Model National Energy Code for Buildings in an extreme climate that fluctuates from -35 degrees C in the winter to +35 degrees C in the summer. To meet these, Manitoba Hydro mandated a formal Integrated Design Process developed by National Resources Canada. An international search was held for the design architect with eight finalists from whom KPMB was selected, followed by the selection of Smith Carter Architects + Engineers as executive architects and Transsolar as climate engineers to form the core IDP Team.
Read the full article at – Portal for Architecture ..