The Co-operators’ Headquarters in Guelph, Ontario has been certified a 'Zero Carbon Building' by the Canada Green Building Council. The project is also targeting LEED Gold and WELL Platinum.
The renovation project covers three floors totalling 226,000 ft2, and includes a data centre, cafeteria, fitness centre, conference rooms, and three-storey open atrium. HH Angus provided mechanical and electrical consulting engineering, as well as IMIT and lighting design.
The building features an all-electric design to eliminate direct carbon emissions from any on-site source. This means that the company did not need to undertake any retrofits or decarbonization plans to achieve net zero targets. The building has been 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 was also meaningfully reduced, offsetting “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 overcame the challenges of integrating an all-electric design and achieving Zero Carbon Building certification. It also intended to 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 features a rooftop solar array and a high-efficiency water source, showcasing innovative approaches to sustainable design.
The building’s low-impact features include:
- Energy and GHG savings 40% greater than the Ontario Building Code’s all-electric baseline
- 60% reduced heating load, surpassing the minimum code requirement for new office builds requirement for new office builds
- A 282 kW rooftop solar array that is expected to produce ~9% of the building’s annual total energy
- Automatic window tinting to reduce glare and save energy
- A highly-insulated and airtight envelope to conserve energy
- High-efficiency water source technology to recover and redistribute heat throughout the building
- 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 2024 | Certified ‘Zero Carbon Building by CaGBC | Targeting LEED Gold and WELL Platinum certifications | LED lighting | Daylight harvesting
KEY SCOPE ELEMENTS
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 has attained the ‘zero carbon building design standard’ certification and is pursuing LEED Gold and WELL Platinum certifications.
The company will be offsetting embodied carbon emissions resulting from construction, manufacturing, transportation and disposal of all building materials.