• Sheila Matsubara

Case Study: Richardson Innovation Centre

Updated: Mar 16

The Richardson Innovation Centre is a state-of-the-art food product development and quality-testing facility, located in the heart of downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. From farm to table, Richardson International is involved in every stage of the food production cycle, ensuring exceptional standards of sustainability, nutrition, and food and ingredient quality.


The four-storey, 62,000 sf facility houses Richardson’s food development team, product development suites, analytical laboratory and a culinary test and demonstration kitchen facilitate agri-food research and product innovation.


To support quality assurance and food safety teams, the centre features a cutting-edge microbiology lab and an extensive quality analysis area requiring specialized gas design. Also included are office areas with room for expansion focusing on innovative concepts like the increased use of robotics and automation in food packaging and processing.

The strategic positioning of these core departments within the same multi-level space optimizes research, analytical and educational activities and facilitate the efficient development of truly innovative products.



Main Objectives & Biggest Challenges:

To support quality assurance and food safety teams in its state-of-the-art food product development and quality testing facility, the Richardson Innovation Centre features a cutting-edge microbiology lab and extensive quality analysis area.

Enabling this zone to operate safely and efficiently in today's energy-use conscious world given the large volume of exhaust air that wasn't suitable for energy reclaim and requirement for high air change rates was our challenge.


How SMS met the objectives and resolved the challenges innovatively:

Our solution was to capture airborne fumes near the point of use and utilize airflow directional controls to maintain air quality. Doing this we were able to use heat recovery technologies to lower energy use while protecting against cross contamination of exhaust with outside air streams.

As this is a multi-functional facility, this design helps to ensure the balance and differential pressure between the labs and adjacent spaces. Controls and air systems are designed to continually respond to fluctuations like doors opening and airflow volume change to meet space temperature and specialty exhaust air requirements.

Night setback controls, high efficiency boilers & chillers, variable speed pumping, centralized steam humidification system & heat reclaim enabled us to meet National Energy Code requirements.



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