Totems Keeping Travellers Warm & Toasty

Manitobans are familiar with wild fluctuations in weather – from bone-chilling winters to blisteringly hot summers. Ensuring travellers are comfortable inside the terminal building, while limiting the amount of greenhouse gases produced, was of upmost importance when the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport’s terminal was designed.

Winnipeg Airports Authority designed the terminal building with energy efficiency in mind, in accordance with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards with a target of achieving LEED Silver certification.

In conjunction with radiant floor heating and jet diffusers, the terminal design included ventilation totems to heat and cool the building. The sleek silver totems found throughout the terminal buidling distribute the air supply at lower heights within the building rather than at the ceiling level. The totems alternate between providing warm air from the bottom and cool air from the top, helping condition the lower 10ft of the vertically occupied space. By doing so, air is ventilated in the space that people occupy, resulting in significant energy savings by not wasting heat. The system also automatically senses the building’s ambient temperature and adapts as additional heating or cooling is required.

These innovative totems are featured in the “Green Skies Ahead” exhibit at the Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport presented by the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. The exhibit features illustrations and initiatives taken by a variety of aviation industry representatives including other Canadian Airport Authorities, Air Canada, General Electric, the Advisory Committee for Aeronautic Research in Europe (ACARE), and designers Victor Uribe and Bauhaus Luftfahrt e.V. The exhibit will run until the end of 2014.