November 19th 2020

Fair Haven United Church Homes Society, Vancouver

Fair Haven United Church Homes Society, Vancouver

Edge Consultants used the IES Virtual Environment (IESVE) to carry out detailed energy modeling for this residential project in Vancouver, helping it to achieve LEED Platinum Certification.

The Fair Haven United Church Homes Society, with financial support from BC Housing, launched a new residential project with the aim to substantially increase the supply of affordable seniors’ rental housing at its existing Vancouver location. The residential building is 66,897 SF, with 137-units of rental, and is located on Vivian Street in the Fairhaven neighborhood of Vancouver. The Edge Sustainability Consultants used the USGBC version of LEED for Homes for this project in collaboration with E3 Eco Group.

The Edge team used IESVE to carry out detailed energy modeling and optimize the energy efficiency of the project’s design. Edge found the high level of detail available within IESVE for both modeling inputs (in the Apache and ApacheHVAC application) and results outputs (in the VistaPro application) to be beneficial for this project. 

The project achieved the highest rating of LEED Platinum even though LEED Gold was originally pursued. Points achieved from increased energy savings were a major contributing factor. Results from the modeling showed that estimated energy cost savings of $16,500 per year could be achieved, with most savings coming from service water heating, fan energy, space cooling, appliances, and reduced lighting power density.

The Apache application provides flexibility to assign custom lighting controls on a space-by-space basis. The Edge consulting team found this to be of great benefit as it allowed the internal lighting to be optimized, reducing the overall energy consumption, and maximizing savings achieved versus the baseline comparison. The impact of implementing different lighting controls could be evaluated using multiple model iterations, and the relative ease of taking this iterative approach within IESVE ensured the optimum design was achieved.

IESVE makes it possible to assign specific electrical appliances to individual spaces to align with LEED guidance documents. Therefore, the Edge team could easily ensure that the energy savings associated with the inclusion of Energy Star Rated appliances was accurately captured within the software. 

The ApacheHVAC application provided the Edge team a working environment to design a custom HVAC system for the project. The chosen system relied on energy recovery ventilation (ERV) to minimize the building’s energy consumption. The potential to easily adjust parameters within the HVAC system, including flow rates and equipment efficiencies allowed the overall design and selection of equipment to be optimized. 

The granularity of results displayed within the VistaPro application allows for detailed interrogation of the modelled results. This feature within IESVE is an important part of the reason why a modeller can trust the results which the software produces. If one has any doubts about the results being reported by the software, investigating the area which is causing concern is possible. This interrogation of results is intuitive for the user within VistaPro. The variety of ways in which results data can be displayed allows for a user-friendly experience; the options include graphs, tables, heat maps, video renderings, range testing, threshold setting and more. These various methods of analysis can be performed on a plethora of variables. Simple values, such as air temperature and occupancy level within each room are readily available. More complex values are also just as easily viewed. These include the carbon dioxide concentration levels and illuminance levels within each room or the power consumption of individual fans and heating elements within each HVAC system.

“The high level of detail available and the ability to define characteristics at a granular level if desired, make IESVE the leading modeling software. IESVE is a powerful tool when informing design decisions. It guards against the over-design or over-specification of equipment which have little or no benefits to the design.”
Edge Consulting Team