Sustainable by design 2050

An initiative of the UIA

Velux model home 2020




Manitoba Hydro Place

Manitoba Hydro Place
Manitoba Hydro Place
Manitoba Hydro Place
Manitoba Hydro Place
Manitoba Hydro Place
Manitoba Hydro Place
Manitoba Hydro Place
Manitoba Hydro Place
Manitoba Hydro Place
Manitoba Hydro Place
Manitoba Hydro Place
Manitoba Hydro Place
Manitoba Hydro Place
Manitoba Hydro Place
Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (Design Architects); Smith Carter Architects & Engineers (Executive Architects); Transsolar (Specialist Energy/Climate Engineers); Prairie Architects Inc. (Advocate Architects)
Transsolar (energy/climate engineers); Crosier Kilgour & Partners Ltd./Yolles Partnership Inc. (Structural Engineer), AECOM (Mechanical & Electrical); Groundsolar Energy Technologies, Omnicron Consulting Group (Geothermal Specialists), UMA Engineering Ltd. in partnership with Dyregrov Consultants (Geotechnical Engineer/Hydrogeologist), Pivotal Lighting Design (Lighting); Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg, Hilderman Thomas Frank Cram (Landscape), RWDI (Microclimate); Brook Van Dalen & Associates (Building Envelope); Aercoustics (Acoustics Specialist)
Further Specialists
Leber Rubes Inc. (life safety); Soberman Engineering (vertical transportation); Hanscomb (Quality Surveyor); PCL Constructors Canada Inc. (Construction Manager); Wardrop Engineering (Municipal & Site Services); ND Lea Engineers & Planners (Traffic/Access/
The Americas - Canada - Winnipeg, Manitoba
Climate Zone
Design status
Date of completion
Site area (m²)
Footprint (m²)
GFA (m²)
NFA (m²)
Building Costs
214000000 EUR
Building Costs / m² GFA
Building Costs / m² NFA
Cooling / Heating-System

Automated windows, manually operated windows, radiant concrete slabs help passively heat, cool, and ventilate the building.  Manitoba Hydro uses the province's largest closed loop geothermal system to sustainably heat and cool the building when needed.  The wintergardens passively treat fresh outdoor air before it's distributed throughout the building.  The building interior is provided with 100% fresh air at all times year-round.

Use of renewable ressources - low tech
natural cross ventilation, evapoartive cooling, solar chimneys, use of high thermal mass
Use of renewable ressources - high tech
geothermal energy use
Renewable, recycled, recyclable and innovative materials

Reclaimed Douglas Fir from the building that used to occupy the site, local Tyndall stone and granite selected for high durability and ease of maintenance, as well as recyclable, reclaimable and life cycle cost qualities. A minimum of 35% fly ash, an industrial byproduct, was utilized in all cast-in-place concrete to reduce Portland cement content. Masonry and concrete demolition material was crushed and reused for backfill.

Key Sustainability aspects
solar building integration, public spaces, accessability for disabled, renewable building materials, recycling and reuse, integrated planning process, participation of users in planning process, use of innovative design tools
Sustainability rated
Social and ethical responsibility

Manitoba Hydro Place is the new headquarters tower for the major energy utility in the Province of Manitoba. It is the first of the next generation of bioclimatic buildings integrating time-tested environmental concepts in conjunction with advanced technologies and the art of architecture. Urban revitalization was a key objective of Manitoba Hydro for bringing 2000 employees from the suburbs into its new headquarters in downtown Winnipeg. The design prioritizes the creation of spaces for public use, including a new urban park and a three-storey street-level Public Galleria which functions both as a sheltered pedestrian route and major event space. The ‘Capital A’ form is sited to harness the maximum amount of passive solar and wind energies and provide 100% fresh air, 24/7. At 88 kwh/m2/annually it is the most energy efficient large office tower in North America, with a 66% improvement over standard office towers. The building has become a focal point of downtown activity and its iconic form has redefined the Winnipeg skyline.

Manitoba Hydro Place aims to create a healthy and effective contemporary office environment for 2,000 employees adaptable to changing technology and workplace environment for present and future needs. The six, three-story atria on the north side of the building create neighborhoods of work, maintaining a sense of human scale and vertical connectivity in the tower.

Ressource efficiency and environmental impact

Manitoba Hydro Place recorded over 70 percent energy savings over the Model National Energy Building Code (MNEBC). The building reached the predicted energy goals after two years.

Contextual performance and impact

The guiding principles of the design included the commitment to invest in and strengthen Winnipeg’s downtown and to make positive connections with the community. It also called for integration with public infrastructure such as transit (Manitoba Hydro is accessible by public transit from 94% of the city), the Skywalk pedestrian walkway system in the downtown area, and retail space