HH Angus & Associates

“Envisioning Change by Challenging Technological Convention”

Established in 1919, HH Angus represents almost a century of experience and technical leadership in Canadian engineering and building design. The company builds strong relationships with its clients, which has resulted in over 70 per cent repeat business.

Tom Halpenny, Vice-President Operations & General Manager with HH Angus & Associates, told The Canadian Business Journal, “We are in the business of designing building systems. The architects design the building and then they turn to us, as consulting engineers, to design and integrate the operational systems and the internal infrastructure into their design. While the architectural firm designs the envelope — the ceilings, floors, finishes, and so on, and the structural engineer designs the skeleton to ensure things stay in place, we engineer everything that’s behind the walls – the heating, cooling, and any specific operational needs the building may have, such as IT infrastructure, security systems, communications, vertical transportation, lighting design and so on. We are a knowledge-based firm.”

HH Angus engineers systems for both public buildings and commercial real estate. The company is currently working for Cadillac Fairview on the renovation of the Toronto-Dominion Centre, originally built in 1967 and designed by one of the pioneers of modern architecture, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. After finalizing this Property Revitalization Program, Cadillac Fairview aims to gain Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold rating. To help achieve this, HH Angus is installing newer, more energy-efficient systems, such as chilled beams — a modern convection HVAC system designed to heat or cool large buildings.

Halpenny reflected on the use of new technologies in the industry, “Each time we take on a design, we look at the best way to provide efficient systems. The chilled beam system is a new way of providing cooling and heating to commercial buildings, taking the traditional under-the-window placement and moving it up to the ceiling. This provides more efficient cooling and heating, and provides 100 per cent fresh air into the space, making it healthier and more comfortable for the occupants. One other innovation HH Angus brought forward is the heat recovery wheel. While we bring more outdoor air inside and provide healthier atmosphere in the buildings, this technology extracts and recycles the energy before the air leaves the building, whether it’s heating or cooling.”

To the issue of new technologies, Barbara Bradley, Vice-President of Marketing & Business Development, added, “For us, sustainability is what we do. It’s in our DNA to always provide the best solutions possible. In fact, we designed our first energy efficient building back in the early 1980’s, before ‘sustainability’ became a buzz word, and even before LEED (initiated in 1998), so we have been advising our clients on sustainability for a long time. We view sustainability as a race without a finish line — as an ongoing process, constantly improving and seeking new solutions and innovative ways to satisfy our clients.”

Over the years, HH Angus has worked on a great many projects across Canada and around the world, including projects designed by some of the biggest personalities in contemporary architecture. Halpenny was hesitant to mention only a few of the names and leave out others, but for our readers, we learned that besides working with Frank Gehry on the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) expansion project, the company also worked with Sir Norman Foster on the Leslie L.

Dan Faculty of Pharmacy Building in Toronto, and with Moshe Safdie on the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. “While we don’t work with the famous names in architecture often, we know how to work with world class architects, and we like to work with them because it’s always interesting work.”

Some of HH Angus’ recent and current projects include:

Art Gallery of Ontario

AGO has been a client of HH Angus since 1925, and the company worked on the AGO expansion (finished in 2007) designed by Frank Gehry. Halpenny said, “One of the challenges of this project was to design ‘invisible’ building infrastructure. From the AGO’s perspective as an art gallery hosting touring exhibits, the crucial criterion was consistent, controllable air quality, temperature, and humidity. Otherwise, exhibitors would not provide their valuable art to the gallery and insurers would not cover them.” HH Angus delivered. The HVAC systems within the gallery viewing area are hidden from visitors, and all 70 gallery zones are fitted with dedicated sensors controlling the individual equipment in remote rooms. The AGO’s air management system received a very high rating among art galleries around the world, based on its ability to safely exhibit the rare collections that the AGO is interested in.

SickKids Centre for Research & Learning

With construction completion expected for 2013, this 750,000 square foot facility will serve as a hub where researchers can share ideas for the transformation of children’s health care. The building has been designed to target LEED Gold certification. Halpenny describes it as “a fairly large project, and we enjoy the challenges that come with that. We finished our design portion and the Centre is now under construction. We’re very proud of our work on this project.”

Royal Jubilee Hospital

HH Angus provided consulting engineering for all mechanical, electrical and vertical transportation services of this state-of-the-art 400,000 square foot project.

Royal Jubilee Hospital is British Columbia’s first truly digital hospital, where end-to-end IP-based network infrastructure allows caregivers and patients more reliable and secure connection. The hospital features 500 beds, as well as an All Nations’ Healing Room which accommodates traditional First Nations’ healing practices and ceremonies.

Bradley commented, “Royal Jubilee Hospital has just received LEED Gold certification, and we’re very proud of the fact that this is one of the few hospitals in Canada that has achieved this certification. It’s the largest LEED Gold certified hospital in Canada. In terms of the design process, the LEED discussion takes shape early, determining whether the client chooses to have their building certified and, if they do, at what level (Certified, Silver, Gold, Platinum). Regardless which way the client chooses to go, we are always looking to deliver an energy efficient building.”

Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM)

Dubbed ‘superhospital’ due to its massive size, CHUM is the largest project of its kind in North America. The hospital complex will cover two blocks in downtown Montreal and, when complete, will feature 775 single patient rooms, 39 operating rooms, laboratories, a cancer centre, a library, and an outdoor amphitheatre.

Halpenny said of the project, “This facility is approximately 3 million square feet, with a construction cost of about $2 billion. It’s a very prestigious project, and we currently have about 60 team members dedicated to the project.”

Not content to rest on its well deserved reputation, HH Angus prefers to look to the future. The company continues to challenge technological convention, and encourages employees to envision change by asking questions, fostering creativity, and promoting inventiveness — all with the singular goal of delivering innovative, effective, and efficient design solutions.