LEED Spotlight: TD Bank Group’s Toronto office certifies WELL Gold, marking the first WELL Certified™ Project under WELL v1
Toronto , Ontario
June 30, 2016
Situated within the LEED Platinum certified Toronto-Dominion Centre (TDC) in downtown Toronto, which comprises of six LEED EB:O&M Platinum towers, “TD23” is TD Bank Group’s newly renovated office space and the first WELL Certified™ project in the world under version 1 of the WELL Building Standard.
The WELL Certified™ Gold project promotes health and wellness by incorporating WELL features throughout its design, as well as implementing programs to improve occupant wellbeing. WELL is designed to work harmoniously with LEED and a number of overlapping features exist between the rating systems. In addition, third-party certification for WELL is provided through the International WELL Building Institute’s (IWBI) collaboration with Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), the same organization that administers LEED certification.
We talked to Martha MacInnis, Design Director, Enterprise Real Estate of TD Bank Group and Adrienne Cressman, Embedded Energy Manager of Cadillac Fairview about their collaboration in delivering sustainable building solutions and what they have learned along the way.
WELL delivers a wealth of health and wellness features
The newly renovated TD workspace supports 170 employees and encompasses 25,000 square feet of corporate office space. The project achieved all of the WELL precondition features, as well as 25 additional optimization features, and includes:
- Enhanced air and water filtration
- Abundance of daylight and lighting systems to support circadian rhythm
- Nutritious vending offerings and regular provision of fruit and vegetables
- A Tranquility Lounge where employees can rest and escape open workspace
- Biophilic artwork throughout the space
- Adjustable height workstations
- Wellness library and messaging throughout
Early preparation, innovative thinking and teamwork lead to WELL success
For TD Bank Group, pursuing WELL certification required that the project team be aligned on the goals and intent of the design from the very beginning. A project kick-off meeting, including all parties from the landlord to the occupant to HR, was crucial in identifying goals, gaps and opportunities with regards to WELL requirements. By bringing the team together early in the process, they were able to achieve WELL features that went above and beyond their typical project scope due to landlord participation, occupant engagement and identification of existing policies and resources.
“Depending on the base scope and budget of the project, the cost and effort to achieve certification will depend largely on location of the project (i.e. ambient air and water quality, access to public transportation, active space etc.); base building conditions and landlord participation (i.e. mechanical systems, building features); existing design standards, if applicable (i.e. height adjustable desks, lighting); and occupant engagement programs (i.e. nutritional provisions, fitness),” says Martha.
They also found that the WELL Building Standard can be both prescriptive and interpretive in its requirements. “While there are some features that are very specific in the thresholds and requirements to be met, each feature is explained with background and research to support the health intention behind the requirement. We were able to achieve several features by demonstrating an alternate solution for attaining the desired health intent of the requirements while in keeping with the scope and budget of our project.”
WELL and LEED certification in line with TD Centre’s and TD Bank’s vision
In addition to the Bank’s commitment to design, build and operate high-performing sustainable buildings, they are focused on providing an extraordinary workplace, including providing workspaces that create the optimal individual experience for employees.
“WELL certification contributes to our vision through the incorporation of specific features and policies focused on the health and wellness of each individual employee, ultimately – as studies have shown – leading them to be happier, healthier and more productive at work,” says Martha.
TDC sees their journey with LEED certification as a real-life story of a workplace community with a promise of innovation and sustainability, pledging to be a model of real estate in Canada and beyond. TDC continues to invest in and execute programs and initiatives that support sustainability and environmental stewardship within the TD Centre community. Their vision is of a future that is reliable, responsive and environmentally sustainable everyday. TDC recognizes that the growing awareness of the environmental and health impact of buildings has led to widespread demand for them to be independently certified to “green” standards.
“TD Centre strives to be a leader in the real estate market for sustainability. As part of this it is important to be recognized by a third party for the efforts which the property has committed. This effort is in joint venture with our tenants and the certification is recognition on the success of this collaboration,” says Adrienne. “LEED is a recognized third-party sustainability certification which TD Centre has been pursuing for nearly a decade. To achieve one of the largest Platinum-certified complexes in North America and one of the first in Canada was a huge accomplishment for this property,” says Adrienne.
Tracking the positive impacts of WELL and LEED certification
The implementation of WELL for “TD23”, TD Group’s workplace pilot, will allow TD to identify and study specific interventions that may enhance productivity and workplace experience for their employees. In order to gather data and feedback in an effort to measure the impact of the enhanced health and wellness features of the space, TD will be conducting surveys, interviews and focus group sessions, many of which had already been a part of their design standards prior to the implementation of WELL. With trends showing significant interest in health and wellness, TD anticipates that they might witness benefits in employee attraction and retention as a result of their continued commitment to provide healthy workplaces.
For TDC, Cadillac Fairview has implemented a Green At Work™ program that requires every property to reduce energy by 2.5 per cent year over year. At TDC they have met or exceeded this target annually since 2010 with their most recently results showing reduced energy by 6.8 per cent in 2014 and 3.8 per cent in 2015.