Project Gallery


Manitoba Hydro

© 2008 Adrian Stoness 1 of 10

Location: Winnipeg Canada
Architect/Specifier: KPMB Architects
Product(s) Used:
Nysan Interior Shades

Manitoba Hydro is an electric power and natural gas utility in Canada, whose headquarters received LEED Gold Certification upon completion in 2009. This 22-story building was designed to maximize solar energy, reduce energy consumption, and create a positive and healthy working environment for its 2,000 occupants.

With green roofs, a solar chimney that provides ventilation and air movement throughout the structure, a geothermal heating and cooling system, and interior and exterior shading systems, Manitoba Hydro reduced its energy use by 65%.

Architect, Smith Carter, wanted to maximize the amount of natural light while minimizing the amount of glare and thermal gain in the building. Nysan was able to provide multiple solar control solutions that met these requirements.

"More and more architects are designing double-skin passive and active ventilated facades to lower a building's energy requirements for heating and cooling," said Frits Niijs, president, Nysan Solar Contol.

Double facades have an inner and outer skin to take advantage of airflow and solar heating. In this case, an external daylighting venetian blind is located between the two skins that control natural and forced airflow between the two surfaces. In the summer, these blinds remain partially or fully closed, absorbing and reflecting energy to shield the interior from solar gain. Operable vents located at the base of the void (double facade) allow warm air to continually be replaced with cooler air. In the winter, these blinds remain mostly open to maximize passive solar heating, except as needed for glare control, and facade vents remain closed, creating a thermal barrier of warmer air in the void. The daylighting venetian blinds used for Manitoba Hydro have perforated slats to allow best possible visibility, while still controlling glare.

Nysan Solar Control also provided manual and motorized interior roller shades for the main atrium and boardrooms, using PVC-free, GreenScreen Eco fabrics that provide great solar control and outward visibility. The motorized systems are controlled with Nysan's SolarWare, a state-of-the-art, fully integrated control system that actively responds to changes within the internal and external environment. This automated solution, with suntracking and scheduling capabilities, maximizes use of available daylight while controlling glare and thermal gain.