Balfour BuildingToronto, Ontario, Canada, Canada
Designed in 1930 by the world renowned architect Benjamin Brown, the Balfour Building stands as one of the premier historical structures in the heart of downtown Toronto. Located on the corner of Adelaide and Spadina Avenue, just north of Lake Ontario, the 12-story, 120,000 sq. ft. high-rise is nestled in Toronto’s revitalized Entertainment and High Tech District. Comprised of both commercial office and retail space, tenants are drawn to the interesting character of the building as well as the amenities of the area. In fact, the building is much like the city itself: historic but hip, refined but relaxed, cultured but comfortable.
Recently, the management company for the Balfour Building was in search of ways to reduce both the amount of energy the building was consuming and the amount of time their technicians spent managing the different systems. They decided to consult with a local engineering firm to assess the building’s energy performance and pinpoint areas for improvement. The firm quickly recognized the company’s need for more control of the building systems and recommended Mann Engineering, a local energy management company and a KMC Controls authorized dealer, to install a web-based building automation system.
The firm knew that Mann Engineering was uniquely positioned to supply the company with a single-source solution for all their energy needs. “The customers were not happy with the performance of the building, nor their utility bills,” commented Greg Adno, Automation Manager for Mann Engineering. He went on to say, “They desperately needed to centralize control of the building systems. All they had was basic process control of the boiler system using another controls manufacturer, and it was not getting the job done.”
In April of 2010, Mann Engineering had begun their largest BACnet® project to-date. They started by retrofitting and integrating the existing building systems with KMC BACnet controls; specifically 132 heat pumps, a boiler, a cooling tower, a condenser, and air handling unit. With the use of KMC’s new FlexStat™, Mann Engineering was able to replace all of the existing thermostats and fully control all of the heat pump units without having to install both a controller and a thermostat for each suite. This allowed them to significantly cut installation costs while providing the customer with a very easy-to-use interface. Additionally, system management of the building is made possible through the use of the KMC TotalControl™ web-based operator workstation.
“The TotalControl workstation is amazing. It allows our customers the freedom and flexibility to make parameter changes, schedule changes and run trends from anywhere they can access the Internet,” commented Greg. “Additionally, the KMC solutions help our customers maintain a more consistent environment and keep the building operating at optimal temperatures all year long, which in Toronto is not easy,” he added.
The Balfour Building owners will benefit greatly from the recent installation through reduced utility costs. Likewise, the rest of the city will benefit as the upgrades will help the building attract new tenants in fields such as software development, architecture, marketing, advertising, and film production. And, because of the project’s technical accomplishments, a historic part of the Toronto landscape has been preserved and converted to a state-of-the-art environment for the future.