Canadian Consulting Engineer

Canada’s first Zero Carbon Building – Design certification

April 23, 2018

evolv1, a commercial multi-tenant office building currently under construction in Waterloo, Ont., was designed and engineered by Stantec.


Rendering of evolv1, South Elevation (source: Stantec)

The Cora Group has announced that it has been awarded Zero Carbon Building – Design certification by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) for evolv1, a new commercial multi-tenant office building currently under construction in Waterloo, Ont.

Designed and engineered by Stantec and constructed by Melloul Blamey, the building is also targeting LEED Platinum certification and will produce more energy than it consumes when complete.

Stantec’s integrated design process incorporates active and passive systems to optimize value against construction cost.

The building envelope incorporates triple glazing, a solar wall for preheated ventilation, a geo-exchange/VRF HVAC system, three-story green wall, and a combination of photovoltaics.


evolv1 is one of 16 pilot projects across Canada selected by CaGBC to participate in a two-year development of its new Zero Carbon Building Standard, and the building is the first in the country to earn the Zero Carbon Building – Design certification.

To receive the certification, evolv1 had to demonstrate that it has modeled a zero carbon balance for future operations, incorporating a highly efficient envelope and ventilation system to meet a defined threshold for thermal energy demand intensity, and has onsite renewable energy systems capable of providing a minimum of 5% of building energy consumption.

“We are proud of how evolv1 expands the definition of sustainability. This project advances the business case and economic model for sustainable design in a multi-tenant building. It’s a building that supports human health and wellness, important characteristics for today’s premiere tenants and their employees,” says Richard Williams, principal with Stantec.

Over the course of the first 12 months of operation, evolv1 will monitor performance to demonstrate that it has achieved a zero emissions balance in order to earn Zero Carbon Building – Performance certification.

“We are incredibly honoured that evolv1 has been recognized as the first building in Canada to earn Zero Carbon Building – Design certification,” said Adrian Conrad, COO, Cora Group, in a media release. “This has been a building several years in the imagining, planning, and making. It is the result of a collaborative effort by The Cora Group, our design partner Stantec, and our many stakeholders. … evolv1 represents a project that goes well beyond ‘building sustainably.’ We firmly believe it sets a new benchmark for green building design and construction.

The evolv1 vision is a collaboration between The Cora Group, Sustainable Waterloo Region, The David Johnston Research & Technology Park, and anchor tenant E&Y.

“CaGBC’s Zero Carbon Building Standard is an innovative made-in-Canada solution that supports industry efforts to reduce GHG emissions and grow the low-carbon economy,” said Thomas Mueller, president and CEO of the CaGBC in the release. “As the first project to earn Zero Carbon Building – Design certification in Canada, evolv1 stands out as an innovator and a true leader for the industry. It is setting a tangible example for building owners and policymakers across the country that zero carbon buildings are technically feasible and economically viable right now.”


The building is due for completion in Summer 2018.




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