New EY office building in Waterloo one of the 'greenest' in Canada

25 May 2018 3 min. read
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The evolv1 office building in Waterloo, Ontario – slated for completion this summer – was awarded the first ever zero carbon certification by the Canada Green Building Council. The building, designed by Edmonton-based engineering and design consultancy Stantec, will produce more energy than it consumes. Accounting and consulting firm EY will be the anchor tenant of the 9,300 sq m building.

Other multi-tenant buildings will be green with envy over how eco-friendly the forthcoming evolv1 complex in Waterloo is projected to be. Located in the ‘IdeaQuarter’ north of the University of Waterloo, evolv1 – a project of real estate developer Cora Group – will be the first multi-tenant building of its kind established with goal of achieving a net positive carbon output.

Designed by Canadian design and engineering consultancy Stantec, the building was awarded the first zero carbon certification by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC). The building design utilizes a number of cutting-edge technologies to create more energy than it consumes. The ultra-green building will be anchored by accounting and consulting firm EY, with other tenants including TextNow and evolvGreen.

The building’s energy efficiency is achieved through a combination of energy-saving and creating design elements. The building is very effectively insulated throughout its walls and roof, reducing heat loss in the winter and AC loss in the summer. Windows are triple-glazed and incorporate solar shading to prevent heat gain in the summer. The building also utilizes a solar wall that passively heats air pumped into the three-story building, as well as a geothermal cooling and heating system. A three-storey green wall and an array of solar photovoltaic panels round out the building’s eco-design elements.

New EY office building in Waterloo one of the 'greenest' in Canada

“We are proud of how evolv1 expands the definition of sustainability,” said Stantec Principal Richard Williams. “This project advances the business case and economic model for sustainable design in a multi-tenant building.” Ostensibly, the hyper-efficiency of the building balances some of the higher design and construction costs.

“[evolv1] is setting a tangible example for building owners and policymakers across the country that zero carbon buildings are technically feasible and economically viable right now,” commented CaGBC President and CEO Thomas Mueller. “The shift to zero carbon buildings is a critical step in reaching our climate change goals in Canada. Through innovative projects like evolv1 the building industry can lead the way in the fight against climate change.”

The 100,000 sq ft, three-story office building will be situated in the David Johnston Research + Technology Park, within Waterloo’s Idea Quarter. The building will feature bike lockers, electric vehicle charging stations, and ample parking space. Evolv1 is conveniently situated near an Ion Light Rail Transit stop.

Over the first year of operation, evolv1 will closely monitor its performance in order to uphold its zero carbon building certification. Cora Group CEO Adrian Conrad hopes that other developers will follow suit in building zero carbon projects.

"It's replicable," said Conrad in an interview with the Waterloo Chronicle. "A big part of this was proof of concept — we're a private developer and Region of Waterloo-based, and the vision back in 2013 was to take the sustainable buildings we've done in the past and take them to the next level.”

The building’s construction is set to be completed this summer.