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The $750-million mixed-use development features aggressive sustainable goals
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In a city known for innovative and sustainable buildings, Telus Garden in Vancouver is pushing that reputation to a whole new level. The $750-million mixed-use development is transforming an entire downtown block into a vibrant hub of commercial, residential, retail and public space. With its modern design, cutting edge sustainability and technology, the project promises to set new benchmarks.

Located on Georgia, Richards, Robson and Seymour Streets, the one-million-square-foot development is comprised of a 22-storey office tower and a 47-storey residential tower. It will create 500,000 square feet of much needed Class AAA office space as the first major office space to be built in downtown Vancouver since 2007. Communications giant Telus will occupy nine floors for its new national headquarters.

Designed by Henriquez Partners Architects and developed by Westbank Projects, Telus Garden will not only have distinctive architectural features but will also boast one of the most environmentally sensitive designs.

“From the start, both Telus and Westbank wanted the building to be the most sustainable and technologically advanced office building in Canada, if not the world,” says Peter Wood, the director of architecture at HPA. “We wanted to be different than other office buildings, and to have those differences be recognized as sustainable strategies by the public. The building itself becoming the message of the corporation’s commitment to a better work environment and a better world.”

Wood cites the facades on the office tower as a good example of how that commitment to the environment is being visibly expressed. Each facade has been designed to optimize its orientationthe south elevation has deep aluminum horizontal sun shades; the east and west have vertical glass sunshades; and the north has floor to ceiling glass to capture the views.

The development has ambitious sustainability goals with the office tower being built to LEED Platinum while the residential tower is targeting LEED Gold standard.

“This is one of the most aggressive developments in Vancouver in terms of size and aspirations,” says Westbank project manager Rhiannon Mabberley. “The office tower will be first tower in Canada to be certified LEED platinum under 2009 standards. It has the most aggressive sustainability features of any building today in Canada.”

Nature was also a key inspiration for the building design which includes gardens and water features.

Green features include an innovative district energy system (DES) with a central plant linking both towers, heat recovery from the data centre (in the existing Telus facility), radiant heating and cooling, demand-driven ventilation and LED lighting. The Telus Garden project is expected to be 35 per cent more energy efficient than the relevant ASHRAE base case.

The office tower has a long list of other items to help achieve the LEED Platinum designation including rainwater harvesting, energy efficient LED lighting and advanced lighting controls.

“This is the first building in Canada to encompass a standard base building light fixture that is LED,” says Mabberley.

General contractor ICON Pacific Construction (construction division of Westbank) broke ground in 2012 and completion of the office tower is scheduled for May 2015. The residential tower will begin a phased occupancy towards the end of December 2015.

Amenities at the complex include a dog park, 17,000 square foot fitness centre with a 25 metre length outdoor pool, restaurant and retail space. Tenants and residents will enjoy state-of-the-art communications technology. “The buildings are wired for the fastest Internet in Canada,” says Mabberley.

Read the full article at Remi Network.