200 Kent Humidifier Retrofit

200 Kent is a prestigious office building in Ottawa’s downtown core.  The Class ‘A’ building is managed by GWL Realty.  This 387,000 square foot and 15 storey building houses several government departments.  Public Works Government Services Canada indoor air quality guidelines requires that their office spaces are kept at a minimum 25% relative humidity level.  Because of this requirement, 200 Kent requires humidification during Ottawa’s dry Fall, Winter and Spring months.  

Engineering firm Goodkey Weedmark & Associates was contracted by GWL to design and plan the replacement of 200 Kent’s aging humidification system.  Resistive element steam humidifiers were injecting steam into four 70,000 cfm air handling units.  The project aimed to evaluate, select and design the installation of replacement humidifiers.  

Longhill Energy is the local representative of Condair humidifiers, formerly known as Nortec Humidity.   Located in Ottawa, Condair is a manufacturer of commercial humidifiers.  Condair leads the worldwide humidification market by offering every humidifier technology.  Including electrode steam, resistive element, gas-fired, livesteam, pressurized, ultrasonic and evaporative media; Condair covers all humidification products.  This allows Longhill to objectively evaluate a project by considering all humidifier technologies for an application.   

Humidification technologies are categorized in two distinct groups:  steam or evaporation.  Steam humidifiers use electricity or natural gas to boil water.  The steam is injected into the ventilation air stream.  Evaporative humidifiers introduce liquid water into the air stream.  The change of state from water to vapour happens in the air.  The resulting leaving air after evaporative humidification is cool and humid.  

Some office spaces may require cooling on cold days because of the heat generated by the solar load, occupants, lights and computers.  Air-side economizer is typically used to provide free cooling.  When outside temperatures permit, the air handling unit increases the amount of outside air to supply the space with cool air.  The trade-off of an economizer is that the increased outside air will ‘dry-out’ the building and could easily drop the indoor relative humidity below the 25% threshold.  

The evaporative humidifier solves both problems:  it provides free cooling from water evaporation and humidifies the dry outside air.  For this reason, Goodkey Weedmark & Associates selected the Condair ME evaporative media humidifier.  The four media humidifiers have a total power consumption of 1 kW, compared to 262 kW that would’ve been required to humidify with electric steam.  The Hydro incentive combined with the operating electrical savings allowed for a 2-year payback compared to a like-for-like replacement of the existing electric steam humidifiers.  

Multi trade contractor Black & McDonald installed the four new ME humidifiers into the existing air handling units.  The installation was performed without any downtime of the ventilation system.  Black & McDonald performed the commissioning to ensure the new humidifiers operated as per the manufacturer’s specifications.  Having the installing contractor with commissioning expertise ensured that the ME humidifier was installed correctly and working to its full potential.  

With Condair’s complete humidification offering, Goodkey Weedmark & Associates were able to select the optimal product for 200 Kent’s humidification requirements.  The product was then expertly installed and commissioned by Black & McDonald.  Sometimes being environmentally friendly can also save you money.