WSP Calgary Office Fit-Out

Calgary, Alberta

April 11, 2018

Rating System/Standard
Certification Level
Building Type

As Alberta’s first project to certify under the LEED v4 rating system, receiving ID+C Silver certification in April 2018, WSP’s Calgary office fit-out showcases the company’s commitment to supporting the growth of a healthier and more sustainable society.

The project follows a period of exciting growth for WSP, leading the company to consolidate its Calgary offices into a single space spanning five floors and 100,000 sq.ft. at Fifth Avenue Place in the downtown core.

The new space and WSP’s pursuit of LEED certification exemplify many features aimed at promoting sustainability, wellness and energy efficiency, including ensuring the use of healthier materials, and emphasizing the importance of educating employees about the features of a greener work environment, while generating operational savings.

Energy and carbon reductions achieved through high-efficiency equipment and offsets

At the core of LEED v4 is the more rigorous energy, materials and holistic requirements, designed to achieve maximum efficiency and operational savings. With this LEED v4 Silver certification, WSP has achieved, or is predicted to achieve, strong results for energy and water efficiency, and waste diversion, including:

  • 100 per cent of anticipated energy use offset by renewable energy certificates, or RECs (for electricity) and carbon offsets (for natural gas) for five years.
  • 96 per cent of equipment and appliances are ENERGY STAR certified.
  • 87 per cent of construction waste diverted from landfill.
  • 48 per cent lighting power density reduction versus ASHRAE 90.1-2010, with 82 per cent and 34 per cent of lighting controlled by vacancy and daylight sensors, respectively.
  • 31 per cent calculated water savings versus LEED baseline.

In addition, through a detailed research and material selection vetting process in collaboration with the interior designer and the construction team, the design team was able to achieve several of the more rigorous LEED v4 Materials & Resources credits: Environmental Product Declarations (Option 1); Sourcing of Raw Materials (Option 2); Material Ingredients (Option 1); and Low-Emitting Materials (compliance in five categories).

Creating a healthier, more productive workplace

When looking at consolidating its office space, WSP notes that LEED v4 certification was a logical choice for the project as it provides the most up-to-date framework for accomplishing its commitment towards creating a positive impact on the environment and people.

Given this, employee health and wellness are a key priority for WSP, something that was highlighted in this project through features such as:

  • An open-plan layout that provides ample access to natural daylight.
  • Employee privacy features such as quiet spaces throughout the office and improved acoustics with sound-masking materials in open areas.
  • A Sustainable and Healthy Purchasing Policy that draws on both LEED O+M and WELL requirements for procuring food, office supplies and cleaning products.
  • Low-emitting paints, coatings, adhesives, sealants, flooring, composite wood and furniture to minimize exposure to potential toxicants.
  • Access to indoor bicycle parking and showers.
  • Motorized sit-stand desks for all employees.
  • An interconnecting stairwell with appealing finishes to encourage use.

Biophilic design was also a major contribution to improving health, wellness and productivity. The office incorporates a variety of natural elements, stimuli and patterns throughout the space, including:

  • Full-height wall graphics and images that showcase Alberta’s natural landscapes.
  • A variety of vegetation, including a living wall and potted plants.
  • Accent colours in rich, warm and natural tones reflective of regional geography and changing seasons.
  • Finishes incorporating natural materials, such as stone and wood, and patterns that evoke natural elements such as fractal geometry.
  • Peaceful spaces for refuge such as phone rooms, collaboration huts, wellness rooms and a quiet room.

These strategies helped the project achieve a LEED v4 Innovation point using the “Designing with Nature” pilot credit.

Engaging with employees a key to success

Ben Campbell, WSP’s Director of Sustainability & Energy for Southern Alberta noted that the company made great efforts to engage and educate employees about the office’s green features by providing detailed information in a variety of ways, such as:

  • Day-to-day sustainability guidelines included in employee welcome packages so staff understand and appropriately use the sustainability features.
  • “Get to Know Your Office” seminars with a focus on sustainability features.
  • A comprehensive signage program, highlighting the various elements that contribute to the office’s LEED certification.
  • Clearly labelled switches for intelligently zoned lighting that responds to users’ needs.
  • Robust waste signage to help improve waste diversion.
  • Labelling of all electrical outlets that turn off at night so that occupants understand which outlets can be used to plug in non-essential items.
  • A planned occupant survey to garner feedback on how to continually improve comfort and foster well-being.

Employees have already expressed their enjoyment of the new office: “The sit-stand desks, phone rooms, user-friendly waste stations, sweeping views and nature graphics are particularly popular,” said Brooke Silvaggio, Facilities Manager.


Certification LevelSilver
Rating SystemLEED v4 for Interior Design and Construction: Commercial Interiors (ID+C)
Total Points earned57
Integrative Process0 out of 2
Location & Transportation17 out of 36
Water Efficiency4 out of 12
Energy & Atmosphere15 out of 38
Materials & Resources6 out of 13
Indoor Environmental Quality6 out of 17
Innovation6 out of 6
Regional Priority3 out of 3

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