BOMA Edmonton - September 2013

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VAC A N C Y 2013 - Q2

Citywide: Downtown-Vacancy: Financial Vacancy: AA: A: B: C:


“THE WHOLE BUILDING IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND” The Solution to Your Building Operation and Maintenance Manuals BY DAVID GREEN CEng CPMP LEED AP | DIRECTOR


perating and maintaining a building over its life cycle represents the greatest expense in building ownership. Having rapid access to accurate, easy-to-use, multi-format information assets is vital in the effective running of a building. From our client surveys, the current situation for building operation and maintenance (O&M) manuals can be summarized as follows: • No standard format between disciplines • Mix of paper and CDs • No Building Information Modelling (BIM) integration • Difficult to search and find relevant information • Frequently issued late, inaccurate and incomplete • Costly to duplicate and onerous to maintain

• Easily lost • Rarely used by building operators An operation and maintenance (O&M) manual is a valuable tool. It should contain the requirements and procedures for the effective operation, maintenance, decommissioning and demolition of the building. It should also include details of the building’s construction, its history, instructions for its operation and maintenance, and its warranties. The building O&M should enable the building owner to: • Maintain accurate records of the building • Limit the costs of using, managing and maintaining the building • Maintain the Return on Investment (ROI)

8.2% 6.7% 6.6% 8.1% 5.7% 6.5% 4.6%

Government Vacancy: A: B: C: Suburban Vacancy: A: B: C:

6.9% 8.5% 8.1% 1.7% 10.9% 10.5% 9.9% 16.2%

Office Space Absorption 2013 Q2 Citywide: 42,451-sf Downtown: 44,497-sf Suburban: (2,046)-sf

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With increasing complexity and capability of a modern building, so grows the quality and quantity of operation and maintenance (O&M) information required to ensure that building operates optimally. • Paper copy O&M manuals largely fail to keep pace with the increasing demands of building operators. • Paper-based documentation is often proven to be inadequate for managing, presenting and updating large amounts of O&M related information. • The use of hard copy manuals represents a significant barrier to the ongoing use of digital information created during a building’s design and construction phases. CDML can help you overcome these limitations and move from hard copy manuals to a digital solution. CDML Converge™ provides a highly flexible and dynamic information medium, which can help manage assets in an easy-to-use format. CDML Converge™ makes the thousands of documents required to maintain and operate a building into a digital format. Remote hosting options ensures these invaluable documents are never lost. Converge™ makes all documents fully searchable, and allows multiple copies to be created at no additional cost. CDML Converge™ also make contractor’s training videos fully accessible, via a single interface which can help lessen the impact of staff turnover and reduce the cost of training new starters.


September 2013 | BOMA Edmonton Newsletter |

CDML Converge™ is a dedicated, digital, information asset management service and is the leading digital building O&M manuals product used within Canada. CDML Converge™ is a browser-based solution that is platform independent and uniquely, fully functional both online and offline. CDML Converge™ requires no software purchase or user training and it can be viewed on any device including: tablets, desktop PCs and even smartphones ensuring you always have your documents in the palm of your hand when you need them most. Best of all CDML can implement Converge™ on your project typically for no cost premium over traditional paper manual solutions. Each CDML Converge™ building O&M manual is tailored to each unique project, however a typical CDML Converge™ building O&M manual contains: • Planning, Design & Construction Documentation • Commissioning Documentation • Energy Modelling Information • As Built Drawings • Architectural O&M • Landscaping O&M • Mechanical O&M • BAS O&M • Electrical O&M • Training Videos

Fully integrated tenant solutions

All of the contractor and subcontractor manuals are easily converted into the CDML Converge™ layout, which includes built-in navigation tools to ensure it is easy to use with a consistent format. CDML can also work to other templates as required by the client. CDML will manage quality assurance on all of the documents and will also undertake a full audit to identify any missing or incomplete documentation. CDML Converge™ can also portfolio multiple buildings into one easy-to-use interface saving both time and money for building operators. CDML Converge™ is “The Whole Building in The Palm of Your Hand” Solution to ensuring ROI of the built asset. For more information on CDML Converge™ please visit our website at building_om_manuals where you can view our CDML Converge™ informational video. CDML are an independent property consultant providing; • Commissioning • Sustainability / LEED Consulting • Energy Modelling. CDML have offices in Edmonton and Toronto as well as projects throughout the Middle East with our partners, AJB Hightech Ltd. David is a newcomer to Edmonton being originally from London, England. He is married with three children, and has 29 years of experience in commissioning, controls engineering, building services design, project management and business ownership. He has been involved in some of the largest and most technically innovative and challenging projects in the world. David is a U.K. chartered engineer and a member of ASHRAE. He is also one of only a few holders in Canada of the ASHRAE Commissioning Process Management Professional designation. David relocated his wife Linda and his three sons Jake, Finn and Cade from Toronto to Edmonton in December last year, to commence CDML on a new journey in Alberta. David’s building services and project management experience includes the $2 billion P3 refurbishment of the Ministry of Defence buildings in London U.K. Commissioning of the world’s largest newspaper printing press for News International Ltd. and airport developments such as British Airways’ World Cargo Centre at London’s Heathrow Airport. He has also successfully delivered a number large-scale P3 health-care projects in Ontario, including the redevelopment of Bridgepoint Hospital in Toronto; including the historic Don Valley Jail and the new Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) buildings also in downtown Toronto. David can be contacted at or by phone 587 337 1458.



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ith the acceptance of climate change becoming more wide spread, and fluctuating energy costs, more and more building owners/operators are looking at energy efficiency and renewable energy systems as options to reduce operating costs and environmental footprint. Whether economically or environmentally driven, different options exist to reduce or green a building’s energy profile.


September 2013 | BOMA Edmonton Newsletter |

Although the goals of both energy efficiency initiatives and renewable energy are similar, the operating principles are much different. Energy efficiency is a strategy designed to reduce the amount of energy used by lights, equipment, processes and people within a building. Renewable energy usually follows in the footsteps of an energy efficiency initiative, once the building has reduced their energy usage to the lowest feasible level. Most renewable energy systems are designed to supply energy from a separate (environmentally friendly) source, so that a building uses and is charged for less energy from the utility company. These two strategies can be implemented separately, but can complement each other nicely when executed together. Successful energy efficiency upgrades in northern Alberta often include LED lighting, condensing boilers, variable frequency drives (VFDs) on motors, properly designed and implemented building management systems (BMS), insulation and air tightness improvements to the building’s envelope, and building occupant awareness plans, to name a few. These technologies and plans are well developed and had a linear development cycle. Mainstream renewable energy technologies are also tried and tested, but experience a greater level of uncertainty because of their more recent applications on the commercial scale. A few have proven themselves to be better suited to certain applications and geographic locations. In Edmonton’s cold climate, technologies need to be able to successfully withstand the extreme winter temperatures. Solar electric (photovoltaic) systems have done well, comprising most of Alberta’s renewable electrical energy systems installed under the Micro Generation Act. Cogeneration and district heating systems, although not considered “renewable,” have achieved successful performance results in large, heating-dominant applications. One of the largest difficulties implementing renewable energy, regardless of building size, has been that the general level of knowledge on energy alternatives is low. Energizing a building with a distributed generation system is different than the status quo, and there is a high level of resistance that


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must be overcome to implement new solutions. Although the technology exists and can be installed at a competitive price today, conventional methods have prevailed because they are well known and familiar. Relatively low energy prices in the recent years have reinforced that status quo. Having an open mind and be willing to look at the big picture will allow building owners and operators see the full set of benefits realized from reduced energy usage and renewable energies. Looking at the actual cost of energy, environmental benefits and reduced exposure to fluctuating utility rates gives a better perspective than any one individual approach, not to mention the spill-over benefits of reduced equipment maintenance costs, more satisfied tenants and a healthier working environment. As with any large investment, it is essential for building operators and owners to know the operating parameters and functionality of their system. This knowledge will ensure that the system is operated as designed, and will be maintained as required. Think about the system like a car – it has a specific purpose that it does well when oper-

ated correctly. If the car was used for off-road travel or not properly maintained, it stands to reason that it would no longer operate in the manner it was designed to. Knowing the system allows for greater involvement in dayto-day operations, building operators will be able to see tangible results and identify maintenance needs as early as possible. Important for any owner/operator looking to reduce costs associated with energy usage is an analysis of the energy bills and energy profile of the building. Due to Alberta’s deregulated energy market, the bill is most often broken down into two sections: the portion from distribution and transmission (the lines company), and the portion for the actual energy used (the energy retailer). Because of the separation of charges, the real cost for each unit of energy purchased by the building is often unclear. When the actual cost is calculated, the case for energy efficiency and renewable energy is almost always greatly enhanced. Understanding the actual cost for energy used (both environmental and monetary) will assist in determining

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the economic case for the building. Study of the rate structures used by electrical utilities will show that reducing actual energy consumption is not always the greatest way to reduce costs. Rate structures used by the distribution and transmission companies for larger commercial and industrial buildings commonly charge more for peak electrical demand, and base the charges less on the actual energy used. Reducing the spikes in demand has proven to be an effective way to escape the higher rate brackets for buildings with this type of rate structure. Grant programs at different levels have existed sporadically, from federal, provincial and municipal governments, but have primarily been used to “stimulate� a market adaption of certain technologies. With close analysis of the technologies available today, many business cases show positive returns without subsidies. The problem exists with the hurdle rates imposed against the technologies. When required to meet an unreasonably high ROI (often in excess of 25 per cent per annum), many proposed systems are shelved. The initial effort needed to push a non-conventional project into implementation is higher than average for Alberta, and this resistance has been a large barrier for energy efficiency and renewable energy in the province. A lot of the energy efficiency initiatives are usually self-funding, meaning that the operating cost reductions will cover the implementation costs over a certain time period, usually between 0.5-10 years. Various financing mechanisms such as equipment lease financing exist that can fully remove the financial burden out of implementation, without any impact on the operating capital. Verifying the results of an energy efficiency or renewable energy initiative can seem like a daunting task, but many methods exist now that make monitoring and reporting simple. Utility-grade metering systems can be installed at a relatively low cost, but output useful reports that show the energy usage of the building and/or energy production from a

renewable system. These reports vary in sophistication from detailed analysis of multiple meter points, to simple, easyto-understand reports that can be displayed on a monitor for building occupants to view. From engaging the occupants to back-end accounting on the savings, metering and verification systems are very useful and often warrant the extra installation costs. Typical operating costs alone can be reduced by 5-20 per cent with low to no-cost improvement measures. To maximize the benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency in northern Alberta, three main points should be considered: 1) having an open mind to proven energy alternatives; 2) understanding and knowing the system or program being considered; and 3) having a means for measuring and verifying results. A basic or a more comprehensive facility energy assessment is a great first step in taking action. The technology exists today that can reduce operating costs, environmental footprint and increase occupant comfort. With careful planning and selection, an owner/operator can achieve their energy goals while experiencing positive financial returns.

NuEnergy Group is an Edmonton-based energy consulting and construction firm that has been assisting building owners and operators with successful energy efficiency and renewable energy implementation strategies into new and existing facilities. From initial energy use assessments to final system construction and start-up, NuEnergy has been delivering turnkey, easily understood building energy solutions that work. For more information, visit or call 780-443-4242.

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September 2013 | BOMA Edmonton Newsletter |



o, you want to re-imagine your workspace. Welcome to the future! We expect daylight and healthy interiors in our home, yet not in the workplace. This historical discord has been an accepted reality, until now. Edmonton-based architectural firm Manasc Isaac is working to change such outdated perceptions by integrating modern research about how modern people work into their office designs. By exploring the connections between design, productivity and employee retention, workplaces will become increasingly more dynamic and healthy. We want to lead this revolution. Take one of our future-forward clients, the Alberta Museums Association (AMA). They approached us in 2010 with a request to design their new office space and create an environment that would boost employee productivity while reinforcing their brand. The project was well received by the

entire staff upon completion, but we wanted to touch base with AMA and see how the renovated office is performing three years later. Did re-imagining their office pay off?


The working style at the AMA is highly collaborative. In order to encourage these connections, the office was designed to be open-concept. “The mixture of traditional office space with open areas works well,” says AMA executive director, Alexandra Hatcher. “We absolutely love the spontaneous meeting areas: the reading nook and the chat bar. People gravitate toward these informal sitting areas. It helps them get into a different head space and makes for a different kind of meeting. The design has improved both productivity and collaboration for our team.”

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Having recently redeveloped their brand, AMA wanted their corporate environment to reflect all of their recently confirmed values.

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Call and quote this Ad and Receive a 10% Discount! “We wanted people to basically walk into our business card,” Hatcher says. “The colour palette and design of the new space has allowed us to put our philosophy into practice. It reflects the larger paradigm shift that occurred for our organization at the time of the move.”

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September 2013 | BOMA Edmonton Newsletter |

Think outside the cubicle. Traditional office design may not reflect the way that your organization actually works. Hot-desking, spontaneous meeting spaces and other design innovations employed by today’s architects may help to improve your workflow. “This design reflects where we want to go as an organization – we’re open, vibrant and thinking about the future,” says Hatcher. Freeing team members from fabric-covered cubicles and fluorescent lights has gone a long way toward helping AMA improve their workflow.


In contrast to AMA’s former headquarters, natural daylight pours into the new office space. Bright colours liven the walls and meeting rooms walled in glass offer inspiring views into collaborative meetings. “This office has had an incredible impact on wellness for

ployee wellness. Healthy materials were specified at every level of the design. Non-off-gassing paint, flooring, wall treatments and even furniture were selected so that harmful toxins don’t build up and affect the indoor air quality at the AMA office.


So what advice would Alexandra Hatcher give prospective clients who are considering re-imagining their space? “Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want,” she says. “Too many times people are afraid of questioning designers. Always remember that they want you to have the office that you want. Talk to them and ask questions.” Above all, if your office could use a lift, go for it, she insists. “We’ve been here for three years, and we still call it the ‘new’ space. It makes us smile when we walk in, and it’s made a world of difference to how we work.”

us. In the wintertime when it’s dark, seeing daylight through the windows all day helps to keep all of us happy and healthy,” Hatcher notes. Natural light isn’t the only improvement aimed to boost em-

Kent McKay is communications director at Manasc Isaac, an innovative, award-winning architectural firm and a recognized Canadian leader in sustainable design. Manasc Isaac’s re-imagine initiative has focused its team’s expertise on the evaluation and renovation of existing buildings. For more information on the AMA renovation and other cool projects, please visit

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