• Sheila Matsubara

Case Study: Canada Life Project Cygnus

Updated: Mar 14

This first fully “Intelligent Building” in Manitoba uses Fault Detection and Diagnostics (FDD) technology to significantly reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. FDD incorporates a customized, building-specific library of fault rules that are used to predict equipment failures and advise personnel of preventive actions.


The redevelopment of the Canada Life Campus involved a complete renovation of the 350,000-sq.-ft. office building at 60 Osborne St. N. and a new, low carbon energy plant serving the overall 750,000-sq.-ft. campus. The renovation created a “workplace of the future,” complete with new workplace strategy, intelligent building system, reduction in greenhouse gases and energy savings.



Main Objectives & Biggest Challenges:

Part of the redevelopment goal was to transform a traditional, cubicle-based workspace to an open-concept, function-specific office setting. A variety of spaces were created to provide areas for individual workspace both co-working and focused, and small and large-scale collaboration areas.


Daily, staff have the ability to reserve their working spaces referred to as “hot desking” or “hoteling” with choices ranging from an individual space to small and large-scale collaboration areas. Occupancy monitoring gathering and reporting capability greatly enhances lighting, indoor air quality and HVAC scheduling. Consumptions, times of use and capacities are shared between systems to allow for universal reports on overall consumptions in various spaces and contribute to energy savings.


How SMS met the objectives and resolved the challenges innovatively:

As the mechanical, electrical, communications, lighting and smart buildings engineers for this redevelopment project of 60 Osborne Street North, SMS Engineering led the project’s planning and pre-development phases to maximize facility operations.


Right sizing the office, greenhouse emission reduction and increased staff wellness were the driving focus for this 350,000 sf redevelopment project. Additionally, a new physical plant services the entire 750,000 sf campus of three buildings and surface parking lot.


This completed project reduces campus energy use by close to 30 per cent and greenhouse gas emissions by close to 40 per cent, helping to achieve a nine-year return on investment.


Occupant wellness is greatly improved via new daylight harvesting lighting, ASHRAE 55 compliant comfort systems, reduction in background noise and staff demand controlled ventilation to ventilate when occupied.


The single pane of glass platform uses a Unified User Interface (UUI) giving the facility managers access to historical and real-time data which can be used to identify faults, trends and patterns in energy and equipment usage and identify opportunities for improved performance.


“We worked with the client to design and implement a converged network that allows the various building systems to communicate and share information on a single network. Data is massed in a single location and can be shared with anyone or anything. The secure network set up in conjunction with the building IT team increases efficiency, reduces implementation costs, reduces downtime and increases future flexibility. This converged network has now become the backbone of this smart building and can be expanded upon in the future. Our specialized Intelligent Building team combined the data and functionality of the building system within an Integrated Automation System (IAS) which is essentially the programmable brain of the building. Our single display or UUI controls numerous building systems with quick deficiency notifications to building operators.” – Scott Hammond, SMS Engineering

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