200 King Street West

Toronto, Ontario

November 16, 2011

Rating System/Standard
LEED Canada
Certification Level
Building Type

Located in Toronto’s Financial District, 200 King Street West is home to a number of large national and multi-national tenancies. In October 2016, the 472,000 square foot, Class A office building achieved LEED EB:O&M Platinum certification.

Owned and managed by QuadReal Property Group (QuadReal) on behalf of British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC), the certification of this building forms part of bcIMC’s ongoing re-investment plan for its properties, targeted at modernizing and future-proofing its portfolio while enhancing QuadReal’s ability to provide best-in-class premises to its tenants.

The following case study was written using responses previously provided for a LEED Spotlight in March 2017, and is the result of an interview with QuadReal’s Dr. James Gray-Donald, VP Sustainability, Enterprise Resources & Innovation.

Choosing LEED strengthens commitment to sustainability

The certification of 200 King includes a major renovation to its lobbies, common areas, and outdoor plaza. It also featured fully modernized elevators, equipped with direct dispatch technology, and an expanded bicycle parking facility with direct access to new tenant change rooms and showers.

“LEED was initially chosen for 200 King as it is a leading global standard for both sustainable development and operational practices,” says Dr. Gray-Donald. “Having developed a number of LEED certified buildings across the country, it was a natural extension to employ LEED to reinforce bcIMC and QuadReal’s commitment to sustainable investment and management practices for its existing property portfolio.”

LEED certification achieves results for all stakeholders

Being stewards of pension fund capital, responsible property investment is one of QuadReal’s core values, closely aligned with the values of many of their tenants, investors, and surrounding communities. They believe that a sustainable approach to their management practices allows them to achieve the best results in a responsible manner for all stakeholders.

“For the tenants, sustainable management practices employed within the premises they occupy form an important part of their own corporate CSR goals and objectives,” says Gray-Donald.

As part of QuadReal’s service delivery promise, their Enterprise Resource & Innovation (ERI) Group actively seek out opportunities to work with their tenants to realize ESG goals within the framework of their organizational policies.

“For our client, sustainable management practices form a fundamental objective under bcIMC’s Responsible Investment Mandate. At all levels of the QuadReal organization, we seek out opportunities to invest, develop, and manage based on this core operating philosophy,” says Gray-Donald. “For the communities we invest in, QuadReal’s long term approach to its management ensures we develop and operate responsibly while respectfully adding to the urban fabric of the neighborhoods we invest in.”

Sustainable development maximizes property performance

QuadReal believes that sustainable development and operational practices can be closely aligned with their organizational goals and objectives.

With respect to their goal of maximizing risk-adjusted returns for their clients, they believe that responsible investing and management forms a major part of driving operational efficiencies and sensibly allocating capital in order to maximize the performance of their properties.

“A recent study of Canadian and US properties (Green Certification and Building Performance: Implications for Tangibles and Intangibles by Avis Devine and Nils Kok), including long-term data from our own portfolio, found that LEED certified buildings in Canada earned up to a 10 per cent rental rate premium compared with similar non-certified buildings. While there are often other factors that influence property performance, we believe that sustainable management practices do ultimately contribute to higher incomes and higher values relative to the broader market,” says Gray-Donald.

Energy performance improvements result in large savings

QuadReal employs target setting for their property portfolio to improve energy performance and reduce GHG emissions. Using insights from energy audits (ASHRAE and others), formal target setting programs are put in place as part of multi-year plans for the properties. They believe target setting benefits building performance through more focused operational planning and staff engagement processes.

In 2011, the energy performance of the building was just above the LEED EB:O&M prerequisite ENERGY STAR® threshold of 69. By 2016, they had surpassed their projections and targets by achieving an ENERGY STAR® rating of 93. While several targeted capital investments were made over the past several years, QuadReal affirms the improved performance was achieved primarily through operational improvements and tenant engagement.

“200 King Street West is an example of how performance standards and goals have led to strong building performance. The property was initially LEED Gold certified in 2011. Through subsequent audits and gap analyses, a number of additional operational and systems improvements were planned and executed, ultimately allowing for the achievement of LEED Platinum when the building was recertified in 2016,” says Gray-Donald.

After adjusting for energy cost differentials, the average annual consumption costs savings exceeded $100,000 (2016 vs. 2011). At the same time, normalized water consumption also declined 32 per cent (since 2011), equating to material savings for the property.

Tenant participation results in tenant satisfaction

The tenant experience at 200 King, with respect to sustainability initiatives according to QuadReal, has been extremely positive. Results from their 2016 Tenant Survey showed a favourable increase, versus prior years, on tenant awareness and satisfaction of sustainability and tenant comfort-related initiatives.

Located in close proximity to major transit hubs and with access to the new bike and shower facilities, over 90 per cent of tenants now use alternative modes of transportation, other than car.

One recent operational approach that they found resulted in significant sustainability benefits for tenants was Daytime Cleaning. In addition to improved service levels for the building occupants, the sequencing of cleaning during the day has allowed for reduced evening hydro consumption while providing an improved work/life balance for their cleaning team.

In addition, to celebrate LEED Platinum certification, QuadReal invited all 2,200 tenants to an event in the newly renovated lobby allowing them to share in the commemoration of this important milestone. Tenants participated in a number of activities including a Sustainability Q&A game, which created awareness of both the LEED program and their responsible management program.


Certification LevelPlatinum
Rating SystemLEED Canada for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance 2009
Total Points earned83
Sustainable Sites20 out of 26
Water Efficiency9 out of 14
Energy & Atmosphere31 out of 35
Materials & Resources4 out of 10
Indoor Environmental Quality9 out of 15
Innovation in Operations6 out of 6
Regional Priority4 out of 4

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