Manitoba Hydro Service Centres, Ashern & Neepawa, Manitoba
The new Manitoba Hydro regional service centres in Ashern and Neepawa, Manitoba include vehicle garage with associated workshops and storage, offices, meeting rooms, kitchen, field crew ready room, and support space including washrooms and a locker room. All service functions are consolidated and consist of customer service, local area administration, and field services. These facilities are prototypes for Manitoba Hydro’s future regional service centres.
Sustainability, in particular energy efficiency, is a priority. The buildings are designed with a high performance envelope to reduce energy loss and passive systems, such as natural ventilation, thermal mass and daylighting to reduce the need for active mechanical and electrical systems. South facing winter gardens capture solar heat to preheat fresh air. Active mechanical systems include ground source heat pumps as the primary source of heating and cooling with a combination of radiant floor slab and under floor air distribution utilizing an access floor system for delivery. The access floor also contains all power and data systems. The buildings have been designed to allow for future expansion.
The new facilities are located on roughly 5 acre (2 ha) green field sites in rural areas. The site design provides for customer and staff parking and a large service yard including outdoor storage areas for vehicles, electrical components such as transformers, and general service items such as hydro poles. The roadway and parking compound are a combination of paved surfaces and gravel.