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OAA Headquarters Daylighting Report

By Harold Murray, Gottesman Associates



As a part of the OAA’s commitment to the 2030 Challenge, the Headquarters at 111 Moatfied underwent an intensive lighting study in the summer/fall of 2013. Lead by lighting designer Deborah Gottesman, the overarching goal of the initiative was to model the building’s natural lighting coupled with detailed lighting needs in order that informed decisions can be made with respect to lighting retrofit and upgrades in the near future. The focus of a lighting retrofit for the OAA Building is to improve the interior lighting conditions to create a more comfortable working environment, while also implementing a solution that is energy efficient and helps the OAA move towards meeting the targets of the 2030 Challenge.

OAA Council received the Report at the December Council meeting and is excited to share the results with the membership and others in order to demonstrate our commitment as leaders in sustainable design of the built environment.

This Report is the first of a number of reports which we will be made available to the membership as OAA Council continues to consider the options to further advance the membership largest asset towards the 2030 Challenge.

To read about the OAA Headquarters retrofit plan click here.

Executive Summary

The Ontario Association of Architects has undertaken an ambitious project in putting their Headquarters at 111 Moatfield Drive to the 2030 Challenge. Substantial renovations would be required to achieve the goal of net-zero energy use. To this end, a study was undertaken by the OAA Building Committee, and overseen by David Fujiwara, Architect. Sustainable Edge was hired to co-ordinate the mechanical feasibility study with Transsolar Klima Engineering providing the energy and thermal modeling. Gottesman Associates was hired as lighting and daylighting consultant. The study reviewed all potential building improvements and their impact on overall energy consumption. Maintaining the architectural integrity of the building and its appearance was identified as a parallel high priority. 

This report covers the Daylighting Study and its conclusions, which have formed an integral part of the overall feasibility study and preliminary design process. There was considerable co-ordination between the disciplines as the daylight, electric light, thermal and energy models were concurrently developed. Details of the daylight modeling and electric lighting and controls design were provided as input to the thermal modeling. There were discussions regarding shading systems options, as required for both daylighting and thermal control. The new electric lighting system was designed with dimming controls to take full advantage of the excellent daylight harvesting potential. The result will be lighting energy use far below current NRCAN and ASHRAE guidelines, and Building Code requirements.    

As a part of the Daylighting Study, first the existing building and then six progressively refined whole building renovations were modeled and evaluated with input from the OAA Building Committee, David Fujiwara Architect, Sustainable Edge, and Transsolar Klima Engineering. The results and analyses of these daylight models illustrate the superb daylighting potential of the building as well as its challenges with glare from direct sunlight. Variations on proposed arrays of PV panels on the roof were included in the models. Alternatives for new glazing were modeled. Proposed changes to the floor layouts, with new interior walls reflecting changes to the use and occupancy of the building were also incorporated. 

This Daylighting Study concludes that the proposed changes to the glazing and the new exterior shading systems, which will allow the building to meet net-zero energy goals, will still provide good quality interior daylight. The remaining challenge will be controlling glare, particularly around the atrium on the third floor, which is currently used as open concept office space. Given the alternatives, the preferred approach to solving this will be a redesign of the furniture systems and the introduction of additional interior architectural elements. 

These renovations when completed will be a major contributor to meeting the 2030 Challenge.  

Click here to view the report.