A new “thinking” Engineering company that I have had the pleasure of sharing ideas and knowledge with, is Cobalt Engineering. Together with other colleagues in the environmental design professions, we have had the pleasure of presenting Canadian projects and innovations to places like China. Cobalt is now one of Canada’s leading energy and environmental engineering companies based out of Vancouver. (Cobalt website: http://www.cobaltengineering.com/)
Their mission statement is “Engineering Ideas Beyond Sustainability.”
I’ve watched how Cobalt had it’s beginnings as just another mechanical engineering company, and how they re-branded and evolved their company and vision to what they are today.
And a quick review of some of their projects demonstrate interesting sustainable concepts – from geothermal systems, sustainable master planning, to energy modelling.
Here’s an example of one of their recent efforts:
Laurentian University: Cooperative Fresh Water Ecology Unit
Sustainable strategies contributed to an improvement in energy consumption by 90% compared to a typical building.
The Ecology Unit was established to study the impact of human activities on the lakes, streams and wetlands in Northern Environments. Striving to advance our current knowledge, this project is a partnership between the Laurentian University, the Ontario Ministries of Natural Resources and Environment, Environment Canada, City of Sudbury, and local industry.
Pairing environmental studies with environmental stewardship, project goals focused on high-level sustainable design. As a 32,200 ft 2 laboratory and office building, this facility was designed to create a high-quality work environment to promote advances in research while showcasing responsible building development to students, faculty, and visitors.
Cobalt provided sustainable consulting services to help this project reach its design target of LEED Platinum Certification. A thorough evaluation of the available green design solutions resulted in the realization of the optimal combination of strategies that would ultimately contribute to a smaller ecological footprint.
Key features include extensive stormwater management and green site strategies. A high performance building envelope, green roof, and full glazing contribute to superb insulation. Energy efficiency strategies include earth-source tempering for supply air, solar hot-water systems, and radiant slab heating and cooling. Renewable energy strategies were also explored, such as wind turbines, to further reduce building energy consumption.