Jamaican Houses of Parliament

Date Published

13th Jan 2021

Suzanne Wallace
Media & Communications Manager, IES

TLC used IESVE to create a detailed energy model of the Jamaican Houses of Parliament, demonstrating that it met its sustainability goal of achieving minimum 20% energy savings compared to ASHRAE 90.1.

The chosen building design for the new Jamaican Houses of Parliament in Kingston's National Heroes Park, was voted for by the people of Jamaica through an 18-month deliberation. The design, titled "Out of Many, One People" was created by a collaboration of a Houston-based design firm and Jamaican architect. The 300Ft perimeter of the building is a series of X-shaped columns and provides access to the building which includes chambers for the House and Senate, as well as atria and galleries. 

TLC, as a sub-consultant to Synchro Corporation, used IESVE to create a detailed energy model that estimates energy use, and then refined the model as the design evolved. The project has sustainability goals that demonstrate a good investment of taxpayer funds by targeting a minimum savings of 20% compared to ASHRAE 90.1-2010 App. G. Using IESVE, TLC were able to demonstrate that the design meets the project sustainability goals.



Cooling was discovered to be the number one energy end use due to the climate and constant requirement for cooling in core spaces.  

TLC used the VE energy model to evaluate how much impact glazing performance had on peak cooling load and annual energy consumption to inform the target glazing performance. They discovered that the high solar angles and exterior shading protect the vertical fenestration well, making the energy cost and peaking cooling load not particularly sensitive to changes in performance.  



TLC then looked at the DOAS operation and whether supplying the air cold to the VRF indoor units would use less energy than supplying it neutral (65F) and how much reduction in load and energy consumption they could achieve with air-side energy recovery.  They discovered that this results in lower energy cost and peak cooling load while removing the need for heat recovery on the air-cooled chillers.  The amount of cooling provided by the minimum ventilation air is typically close to the minimum load in a space which means the VRF units would not need to cycle on as often.



Construction for this project is due to begin in early 2021 with anticipated completion in 2023.

“The VE’s ability to import complex shading structures using gbXML allowed the team to more accurately quantify the shading effectiveness of the radial column structure along the circular arcade.  In other software, this would have to been at best estimated and simplified where with the VE it was simply imported as designed.  The preprocessing of solar shading with Suncast using multiple cores in parallel kept the complex shading structure from slowing down the energy simulation.”
Cory Duggin, Principal, TLC Engineering Solutions

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