The work conducted by Prism Engineering to support organizations in achieving higher energy efficiency while implementing measures to accelerate the decarbonization of their operations has been recognized with six ASHRAE BC Technology Awards for the years 2021-2022 and 2019-2020.
The awards recognize innovative projects that have been implemented for more than one year and with substantial results in the areas of occupant comfort, indoor air quality and energy conservation.
“These projects are great examples of our core values,” says Robert Greenwald, P.Eng., President of Prism Engineering. “We want our work to have an impact, we want to nurture strong relationships with our clients, we want to deliver quality projects that perform,” he adds.
From left to right: Tim Aske, P.Eng., Energy Team; Iram Green, P. Eng., Energy Team Leader; Stephen Kooiman, P. Eng., M.A.Sc, Mechanical Team Leader; Hamid Samani, P. Eng., Principal and Senior Mechanical Engineer; and David Roberts, P. Eng., Mechanical Engineer.
The award-winning projects are:
- BC Chapter Award for Hillcrest Community Centre Optimization and Second Place in Region XI in the Existing Commercial Building Category.
- First Place in Region XI and a BC Chapter Award for New Afton Mine Chiller Replacement in the Industrial Category.
- First Place Region XI, BC Chapter and Society Award for Kitsilano Community Centre Deep Carbon Retrofit. Existing Institutional Category.
- Second Place Region XI and BC Chapter Award for Surrey Taxation Data Center Boiler Replacement. Existing Commercial Building Category.
- Second Place Region XI and BC Chapter Award for Langara College Building A, AHU Upgrade. Existing Education Facilities Category.
- Second Place Region XI and BC Chapter Award for Richmond Hospital Cooling Upgrade. Existing Health Care Facilities Category.
Multi-step approach to achieve carbon reductions
There are some common traits among our award-winning projects. First, they all involved a multi-disciplinary team of Energy, Mechanical, and Electrical professionals from Prism. The large scale of the projects required a team approach with different areas of expertise to meet the objectives of each project.
Additionally, not only were the projects built upon a comprehensive study to assess best opportunities for energy savings, but most importantly to find new ways to advance decarbonization.
“This enabled us to present multiple options to the organizations, so that they could analyze each one of them carefully and make an informed decision”, explains Stephen Kooiman, P.Eng., M.A.Sc, Mechanical Team Leader. “They are all large projects with good energy savings and decarbonization opportunities. We achieved the biggest impact by focusing on where the most energy was being consumed,” Stephen says.
With the recommendations in hand at the end of the study phase, our team put in place an implementation plan that addressed both the client’s budget and an optimized pathway for energy and emission reductions.
“The retrofits go beyond energy savings to achieve significant carbon reductions using technologies that work”, explains Robert. “Our clients are making strides to meet their long-term carbon reduction targets and we are helping them on their journey. I am really proud of how our staff collaborate and challenge each other, on a continuous basis, to get the results and long-term performance demonstrated through these awards,” he adds.
Here is a brief overview of each award-winning project:
Hillcrest Community Centre
Project: System optimization, pool heating, and control system redesign.
Innovation: Redesign of pool heating, domestic hot water (DHW), and control systems to enable heat recovery in the facility.
Results: $92,000/year in energy cost savings and 700 tonnes of CO2e/year in GHG reduction.
New Afton Mine
Sarah Anderson, P. Eng., at New Afton Mine, receives the ASHRAE Award from Robert Greenwald, P. Eng., President of Prism Engineering.
Project: Chiller replacement
Innovation: Installation of low-pressure centrifugal water-cooled chiller to integrate existing fresh water supply into chillers’ condenser loop.
Results: 1,160 MWh/year reduction in electricity consumption.
Kitsilano Community Centre
Project: Heat recovery
Innovation: HVAC systems retrofit (rink and community centre facilities), with integrated ice plant recovery system connected to central heating plant of both buildings,
Results: $70,000/year in energy cost savings and 82% decrease in GHG emissions.
Surrey Taxation Data Centre
Project: Boiler replacement
Innovation: Implementation of dual return condensing boilers, with cascading loads and demand feedback, to allow building to operate in condensing mode during heating season.
Results: $28,000/year in energy and maintenance cost savings; 65.5 tonnes of CO2e/year in GHG reduction.
Langara College (Building A)
Project: HVAC upgrade
Innovation: Use of fan array and reconfiguration of AHU; upgrade with minimum disruption to campus life.
Results: $70,000/year in energy cost savings and more balanced efficiency among college buildings.
Project: Cooling upgrades for medical imaging and kitchen/cafeteria.
Innovation: Kitchen/cafeteria were shutdown for only three days during upgrades; improvements in ducting air intakes; new rooftop makeup air unit; renewed heat pumps and advanced control strategies.
Results: $4,200/year in energy cost savings and 22 tonnes of CO2e/year in GHG reduction.
All images © Google Earth except New Afton Mine