The Co-operators

Guelph Headquarters

The Co-operators’ Headquarters renovation in Guelph, Ontario covers three floors totalling 226,000 ft2, and including a data centre, cafeteria, fitness centre, conference rooms, and three-storey open atrium.

The building will feature an all-electric design to eliminate direct carbon emissions from any on-site source. This means that the company will not need to undertake any retrofits or decarbonization plans to achieve net zero targets. The building is being designed to be highly energy-efficient and to minimize indirect annual carbon emissions from electricity.

Any remaining emissions will be offset through high-quality carbon offsets or carbon-free renewable energy sources. The construction process will also meaningfully reduce or offset “embodied carbon” emissions resulting from the manufacture, transportation, and disposal of all building materials.

The Canada Green Building Council has identified the building sector as Canada’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG). Presently, residential, commercial, and institutional buildings are responsible for 17% of Canada’s GHG emissions, and this figure approaches 30% when building materials and construction processes are taken into account.

Despite an aggressive construction schedule, the project will overcome the challenges of integrating an all-electric design and achieving Zero Carbon Building certification. It will also surpass goals for energy and GHG savings beyond the Ontario Building Code’s all-electric baseline and heating load reduction minimum for new builds. The building also features a rooftop solar array and a high-efficiency water source, showcasing innovative approaches to sustainable design.

The building’s low-impact features include:

  1. Energy and GHG savings are 40% greater than the Ontario Building Code’s all-electric baseline
  2. 60% reduced heating load, which surpasses the minimum code requirement for new office builds
  3. A 282 kW rooftop solar array that will produce ~ 9% of the building’s annual total energy
  4. Automatic window tinting to reduce glare and save energy
  5. A highly-insulated and airtight envelope to conserve energy
  6. High-efficiency water source technology to recover and redistribute heat throughout the building
  7. LED lighting equipped with occupancy and daylight harvesting sensors that turn on only when needed

Read CaGBC's feature article about The Co-operators Guelph Headquarters.

Mechanical Engineering | Electrical Engineering | IMIT Consulting | Lighting Design

226,000 ft2 | Status: Completion estimated for 2024 | Targeting LEED Gold and WELL Platinum certifications | LED lighting | Daylight harvesting

Guelph, Ontario

Energy and GHG savings 40% greater than all-electric OBC standard | Building designed to achieve net-zero through all-electric design, without retrofits or decarbonization | Targeting reduced embodied carbon emissions during construction, minimizing carbon footprint

Zero carbon building

The building aims to attain ‘zero carbon building – design standard’ certification as well as LEED Gold and WELL Platinum certifications.

Carbon offsets

There is also a plan to offset embodied carbon emissions resulting from construction, manufacturing, transportation and disposal of all building materials.

*Source: HOK Canada