May 5, 2015 (Waterloo Region, ON) – Sustainable Waterloo Region, a local environmental not-for-profit, announced at its annual Evening of Recognition on Thursday April 30 that it has entered into an agreement with three Waterloo Region organizations to work together toward the building of a leading-edge sustainable building in Waterloo Region, slated to open in 2018. The Cora Group, David Johnston Research + Technology Park University of Waterloo, and EY have joined Sustainable Waterloo Region to bring the vision of a local home for sustainability to reality.
The building, which is projected to be 100,000 to 120,000 square feet, will be located in the David Johnston Research + Technology Park, right at the park’s LRT station. The Cora Group will be working with the team to lead the building and development of this multi-tenant office building. The vision is to create a net-positive building which goes well beyond current green building practices and integrates systems that give back to the environment in the areas of energy, water, air, and waste. It is also planned to be an iconic building which integrates unique architectural elements that help meet the sustainability goals of the project.
“The David Johnston Research + Technology Park is the ideal location for this type of building in Waterloo Region,” said Carol Stewart, Manager of the David Johnston Research + Technology Park and Founding Director & Immediate Past President– Association of University Research Parks Canada. “The R+T Park’s focus is on innovation and this building brings together all that we at the University of Waterloo are striving toward – leading edge innovation, incubation of talent and business, and a culture of collaboration.”
“We are thrilled to be a party to this agreement and to be the developer that will be creating this one of a kind building for our region,” says Adrian Conrad, President of Cora Developments. “This project is the next natural step for the Cora Group. With our long track record of sustainable developments in Waterloo Region, including three sustainable buildings already in the R+T Park, we are in a great position to take this vision to reality.”
The vision, which was developed by Sustainable Waterloo Region through consultation with the community, includes not only consideration of the environmental impacts of the building, it also strives to create a workplace that includes shared working spaces, meeting rooms and amenities that encourage tenants and other building visitors to come out of their offices, allowing for collaboration, innovation and a feeling of belonging. There are also plans for a business incubator which focuses on social enterprise and green business, fostering organizations that are designed with an understanding of the value of sustainability at their core.
“We’re looking forward to participating in the planning and development of this project”, says Greg McCauley, Office Managing Partner, EY Waterloo Region. “It’s important for our local businesses to be able to work and meet in a space that encourages collaboration and innovation. This building will meet those needs and more”.
The four parties to this agreement will now be working on the details of the building, taking the next step towards construction including building design, tenant and management structure, and financing and fundraising.
“This building is intended to be a physical home for sustainability in Waterloo Region,” said Tova Davidson, Executive Director of Sustainable Waterloo Region. “Together with these incredible partners we will be working towards the creation of a demonstration site, featuring technologies that allow a building to give back to the environment, rather than take from it.
We envision a site that welcomes everyone to come in and become a part of what is happening inside. That includes people working in the collaborative space, those enjoying a meal in a sustainable restaurant, the community using the event space, and other developers and organizations coming in to see how this vision can work in the Canadian climate. We are excited to take this next step in further demonstrating Waterloo Region’s leadership in sustainability.”