TTC Gunn Building Technical Tour – Nov. 27, 2013

On November 26th a group of ASHRAE students were given the opportunity to tour the mechanical systems behind the Toronto Transit Control Centre. This tour was held at the David L. Gunn Building in the Hillcrest Complex given by Claudio Bertoldi, a veteran in HVAC systems for TTC facilities.

Part of Claudio’s responsibility is monitoring and controlling the settings of each facilities system. A building automatic program allows him to see schematics of the inner workings of each mechanical system and it will alert him with any malfunctions. Through this program he is easily able to identify and compare which parts are efficient. For instance, Claudio quickly recognized that “efficient” automatic air duct fans which turn on/off depending on demand broke down often, and tended to have trouble turning on/off at the right times. With Toronto transit replying on its facilities to be working these small failures can have a large impact.

Pic 1

Above – UPS batter back-up

After seeing the schematics of the TTC facilities we were given a walking tour of the building. The building is equipped with an emergency power supply that will immediately start with any outage. It is capable of uninterrupted power through a battery bank and a diesel generator back up. The server room was massive with cables running everywhere, and it required dedicated chillers and an under floor supply plenum. This one building had two air handlers, one on each level. The boiler room was decorated with colour coded water pipes; purple for domestic hot water. This building is also responsible for carrying the emergency power back up for other TTC facilities.

 Pic 2

Above – Server room under-floor supply plenum

The most interesting part of the tour was seeing the Transit Control Centre which has a panel of enormous screens lined up along an entire wall, displaying live footage of subway carts, surveillance videos, maintenance at a station and so much more. Directly in front of these screens are the many men and women that are continuously working to keep the city’s transit system moving. In order them to be able to do their work all mechanical systems in the building must be fully functional.

Special thanks to Claudio Bertoldi and the TTC for the wonderful tour!

Pic 3

Group photo with the old Transit Control board





ASHRAE Toronto Chapter Meeting & Student Night – Oct 7, 2013 – Ryerson Mattamy Athletic Centre

Maple Leaf Gardens

The new Athletic Centre opened September 6 2012 after being closed in 1999 after the last Maple Leaf Hockey game of the season. It has now been renovated and split up into many uses. A large Loblaws takes up most of the main floor, a LCBO on the second, and the larger part of the remaining multiple stories is divided by the Ryerson Mattamy Athletic Centre which includes an full sized ice rink, gym, running track as well as lecture halls and classrooms for Ryerson University.

Two tours were offered on Monday evening, one at 4 and another at 5. Here we were privileged to see the new technology added to the old building which included:

  • A large size heat exchanger, roughly 7 feet tall (as seen below)

MPG Heat Exchanger

  • Two massive chillers with touch screen display (as seen below)

MPG Chiller touchscreen

  • Six large boilers
  • And a great venue for the guest speaker – Gary Berlin of Pennsylvania a specialist in Relative Humidity relating to human comfort levels.

MPG conference hall

I hope that the event on November 4th will have a stronger Humber presence and I look forward to seeing many of you signing up for our school tour of F.E.S.T.I (Fire & Emergency Services Training Institute) scheduled for October 22nd and 23rd.

Registration information will be emailed to you soon!

Technical Tour of Humber Lakeshore’s “L” Building

On Friday, April 12, 2013 members of the ASHRAE Humber student branch were pleased to attend a facilities presentation and tour of the Humber College – Lakeshore Campus’ L building, given by Humber’s own Facilities Director Spencer Wood. 

 The L building is the hub of the revitalized Lakeshore Campus, which features state of the art sustainable design techniques that combine design strategies with building technology to achieve higher operational efficiencies and significant energy savings.  Some of these measures include:

  • Green roof
  • Daylighting
  • High efficiency HVAC w/ zone control
  • High efficiency lighting
  • Thermal wheel HRV/ERV
  • Occupancy Sensors

 After the presentation on the building systems we were given a walk-through tour of the mechanical rooms.  With the Lakeshore Campus being set on the grounds of an old hospital for the mentally ill, it is unique in both design and layout.  The L building is new build and central to the campus.  The heritage hospital buildings surround the L building in a semi-circular fashion.  A connection is made underground with a series of service tunnels that are now used to run the heating and cooling loops from the boiler and chiller systems. 

 The feel inside the L building was one of comfort and contentment.  As a place primarily designated for learning, one could tell that the design of the building was done with students in mind.  The building flows from classroom to lecture hall, computer lab to study hall, all quite seamlessly.  The Indoor environmental quality was very good and more than suitable for students’ needs.

 Overall, the L building was an impressive bit of engineered design that fits in perfectly at the Humber-Lakeshore campus.  We are grateful to have had the opportunity for visiting the site.  The ASHRAE Humber Student Branch would like to thank Spencer Wood for a great presentation and tour, his knowledge of the building systems was evident and appreciated.