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Green Good Design Awards ARCHIVE 2023 Green Architecture
Waterfront Innovation Centre | 2017-2022
  • Waterfront Innovation Centre | 2017-2022
  • Waterfront Innovation Centre | 2017-2022
  • Waterfront Innovation Centre | 2017-2022
Waterfront Innovation Centre | 2017-2022

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Architects: Sweeny&Co Architects Inc.
Clients: Menkes Developments and BentallGreenOak
Photographers: Paul Casselman 

The Waterfront Innovation Centre was born out of a competition by Waterfront Toronto in 2015 for a development partner and the design of a purpose-built facility for Toronto’s growing technology sectors. Divided across two mid-rise buildings and connected by a bridge, the 431,000 square foot facility is one of Canada’s first LEED v4.1 Platinum-certified developments, incorporating district heating and cooling, optimized natural daylighting, on-site energy generation, a high performing curtain wall envelope, underfloor air distribution systems, and rainwater harvesting.

WIC’s mid-rise form created efficient 35,500 square foot floorplates arranged around a central core. Daylight is optimized with over 90% of the leasable floorplate within 40 feet of the perimeter glazing, achieving an average of 85% and 89% continuous daylight in each of the buildings. Photo-electric sensors along the perimeter take advantage of daylight harvesting, and high-performance glazing with a low Solar Heat Gain Coefficient reduces thermal gains. WIC is equipped with cycle storage and changeroom facilities to encourage reductions in vehicle use and to promote active living. The building features seven outdoor terraces, which with pressurized vestibules to each, maintaining indoor air quality and reduce infiltration of pollutants. Enhanced sound attenuating glass along the north façade reduce environmental noise.

The Waterfront Innovation Centre features a raised floor with underfloor air delivery. Individual air diffusers are provided for personal control of thermal comfort and minimizes fan/cooling energy use. Cooling air is delivered into the space at a higher temperature than traditional overhead air supply, extending the free-cooling period. This, accompanied with enhanced building insulation, HVAC heat recovery, and a Deep Lake Water district energy system, supports the LEED Zero Carbon operations of the building. Coupled with a heat recovery system for all ventilation air, high efficiency boilers, and variable frequency drive pumps, the Waterfront Innovation Centre achieves a 49% reduction in winter heating and 23% reduction for summer cooling over a standard office building.

Low-flow plumbing fixtures and rainwater harvesting of rainwater are reused in toilets and for irrigating the green roof, contributing to a 42% reduction in indoor water use, and a 62% reduction in outdoor water use over a standard office. 20% of all building materials have environmental, economic, and socially preferred life-cycle impacts. with over 81% of all construction waste was diverted from landfills utilizing separate waste and recycle materials streams. The Waterfront Innovation Centre is an excellent model for integrating the office program with sustainable systems, proactive design, and amenities.