Solutions for your Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Needs


By Anna Guy

Winnipeg’s SMS Engineering continues to lead sustainability and energy reduction goals for its clients.

smsFor commercial, industrial, and institutional projects, energy management is as important as the brick and mortar. But this wasn’t always the case, making retrofitting older buildings for energy reduction through upgraded electrical, heating and lighting systems huge business. SMS Engineering are a leading in consulting mechanical and electrical engineering whose work in high performance design has garnered accolades from clients nation wide. From new buildings to tenant improvement projects in existing facilities, SMS Engineering’s innovative solutions for clients has made them leaders in their field.

A third-generation company, SMS Engineering has a legacy of mechanical and electrical design, and project service. Established in 1965, the company has adapted to changing technologies and exceeded clients’ expectations by a dedication to being at the forefront of emerging technology. Through this mainstay, the company has successfully navigated decades of a changing business landscapes through a focus on continuous education and training.

In 2017, this focus has not wavered. Sensing a movement towards energy efficient buildings, SMS Engineers were some of the first in the country to obtain designation of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional—an integral tool for the optimization of energy efficiency in buildings through an integrated design approach.

“It is something that we find is a big demand for our clients’ complex projects in this region and across Canada,” says Stirling Walkes, Director. “Clients want to be educated on the potential and possibilities of energy management for their projects.”

High-Profile Projects

SMS Engineering’s roster of high-profile projects with bar-setting energy management include James Richardson International Airport Terminal—the first of its kind in Canada to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

SMS Engineering also made 40,000 Blue Bombers fans happy with the work it did in Investors Group Field. The 60-year-old facility was abandoned and a new stadium was built with new lighting, public address systems and cooling and heating systems resulting in a state-of-the-art sports venue for fans and athletes alike.

The RBC Convention Centre and the Assiniboine Park Zoo Redevelopment were also given updated, energy efficient lighting, and mechanical and electrical system designs, respectively, by SMS Engineering team, both presenting unique engineering challenges.

Deep Green

“Our team is investigating diversifying our offerings, particularly in greenhouse gas reduction projects,” adds Walkes. Amid rising energy costs and a better understanding of the positive environmental impact of smart systems, the SMS team has a variety of projects in the pipeline in this vein, a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Described as a “deeper green” by Stirling, SMS Engineering is focusing on helping clients achieve close to—if not complete—net zero projects.

“A recent point of interest and training has been the greening of existing buildings,” says Stirling. With due diligence, which includes an energy audit and system analysis, SMS is able to implement the right technologies, practices, and controls in order to not only minimize energy use, but also produce its own energy.

Heating and cooling systems are priorities when it comes to energy efficiency. “We just replaced some old steam boilers in a very large downtown building, the Richardson building,” says Walkes. “By putting in a condensing boiler system, the client reduced their carbon foot print considerably.”

“In the case of the Richardson Building, an energy audit was completed,” says Walkes. “We have been working there for a number of years, so we were best situated to do the installation and integration of the new systems. On the mechanical side of things, we checked the air systems to see if they are doing constant volume supply of air, and to see if we can incorporate variable-air-volume (VAV) systems and variable speed drives which reduces power consumption.”

Additionally, there will be pumping configurations the team can address—for example, replacing three-way valves with two-way valve flow, for ultimately less energy consumption when coupled with variable speed pumping.

“Our multidisciplinary team can help show them more about the benefits of geothermal installations, for instance, or specialities such as in-house lighting design, to help them understand the benefits of these energy saving measures,” says Walkes.

SMS’s team also includes an energy modeling expert with a decade of experience doing simulation displays for clients. With this, clients can see an energy model and the different consumption of gas and electricity, as well as a computerized daylighting/glare analysis where its findings are integrated into the design of the lighting control system. “The smart engineering and tools we use to guide decisions,” says Walkes.

With over 11,000 construction projects spanning all industries, SMS Engineering constant leadership is the key to the company’s longevity. Currently, at the helm is the core group of 10 partners of which four fill Director positions—a stable management team ready to take on new challenges, continue to diversify the portfolio, and lead the way for Manitoba’s engineering industry.

For more information about SMS Engineering, please visit