Manitoba Hydro Place


All Case Studies

Project Highlights

Price Products Used:  Displacement Ventilation

Location:  Winnipeg, Manitoba

Project Type:  Commercial, New Construction

Project Cost:  $278 Million

Year Completed:  2011

Square Footage:  695,250 ft2

Architect:  KPMB Architects and Smith Carter

Mechanical Engineer:  AECOM

Price Representative:  E.H. Price Sales, Winnipeg

Energy/Climate Engineer:  Transsolar

Price Displacement System Contributes to Groundbreaking Energy Efficiency

Manitoba Hydro is the major energy utility for the province of Manitoba. The company completed a new headquarters in downtown Winnipeg in 2009. A truly groundbreaking building in terms of energy efficiency, Manitoba Hydro Place is seeking LEED Platinum certification and has earned multiple engineering and architectural awards, including the 2010 AIA/Cote Top Ten Green Projects award.

A major component of the building’s sustainable design is the use of passive HVAC systems, including displacement and natural ventilation. Customized Price DF1R displacement ventilation diffusers were installed in the building’s gallery to provide energy efficient ventilation and improve air quality.

The Challenge: Energy Efficiency and Architectural Integration

Superior energy efficiency was a mandate of the design throughout Manitoba Hydro Place, and delivering ventilation air in an energy efficient way was essential. Manitoba Hydro Place features radiant slabs capable of managing the building’s sensible load. This means that the airside ventilation needs only to satisfy the latent load and ventilation requirement of the building, using a dedicated outdoor air system.

The design of the Manitoba Hydro Place called for high ceilings in the gallery. If overhead mixing ventilation was used to condition the space, a significant amount of energy would be wasted cooling the unoccupied zone in the upper levels of the gallery.

However, if a ventilation system were installed at eye-level, as is common in displacement systems, it would be essential that the diffusers used be integrated into the architectural design vision for the gallery.

Design Team Profile

KPMB Architects

KPMB Architects is known for its consistency of architectural excellence through a diversity of project experience. Founded in 1987, KPMB won two major competitions for large-scale institutions in its first few years of practice, Kitchener City Hall and the Queen’s University Library. This work, along with a number of other projects, rapidly established the firm’s reputation for high design and production standards.

Smith Carter Architects and Engineers

Smith Carter Architects and Engineers of Winnipeg was named as Executive Architect for Manitoba Hydro Place in 2004. Working closely with the design architect, Smith Carter translated design intent into the technical details required for construction, and coordinated the production of sequential bid document packages. This was all accomplished while managing a geographically diverse design team, pursuing aggressive quality objectives, and adhering to a fast-track delivery schedule.


Transsolar of Germany was chosen as the energy and climate engineer. Transsolar is the world’s foremost climate engineering firm, drawing on engineering principles and a range of climate and energy considerations to influence design. The firm is internationally recognized for its approach, which strives for the highest possible comfort in the built environment with the lowest possible impact on the environment.


AECOM is known internationally for their sustainable and holistic design approach, which embraces low-carbon and economic operational performance. AECOM provided mechanical and electrical engineering services for Manitoba Hydro Place, including fire protection, plumbing and heating, and uninterruptible power system design.

Price Solution: Seamless Integration and Superior Energy Efficiency

A ventilation system that would condition only the occupied zone and contribute to the design vision of the building was the best option for the Manitoba Hydro Place gallery. This made Price displacement ventilation a natural choice.

Displacement ventilation results in room air stratification causing warm, contaminated air to collect at high levels outside the occupied zone. This has the dual benefit of improving air quality and saving energy in spaces with high ceilings, like the Manitoba Hydro Place gallery. The displacement system does not condition the air above the occupied zone, resulting in reduced supply air volume and fan power energy savings.

In addition, the displacement system assured the design team superior indoor air quality due to stratification, while also ensuring occupant comfort due to the low supply air velocity inherent of displacement ventilation.

The design architects at KPMB emphasized the fact that since displacement diffusers are at eye-level, and not in the ceiling, they must fit into the architectural design of the gallery. To meet this criteria, Price supplied customized black DF1R diffusers that were recessed into the wall and featured false corners so the diffuser had no breaks from one end of the room to the other.

The result was diffusers that not only integrated into the architect’s design, but also contributed to it, while also contributing to the energy efficiency of a building that Architectural Record described as “arguably the most energy efficient large building in North America.”

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