At the heart of the David Johnston R+T Park lies Canada’s greenest office building, evolv1. The building, developed by the Cora Group, is North America’s first economically replicable LEED Platinum, net-positive energy workplace and the first building in Canada to receive a Zero Carbon Building – Design Certification from the Canadian Green Building Council.
With a goal of demonstrating that the building’s ultra-sustainable systems are financially viable to developers and tenants, this scalable model gives back to both the environment and the economy.
The bold plan is setting a new standard for sustainable development and will soon be home to a mix of big business, tech powerhouses, startup ventures, and academia.
Welcome to evolvGREEN.
Within the state-of-the-art office building, you’ll find evolvGREEN, an innovative collaborative partnership between Sustainable Waterloo Region, the University of Waterloo, Laurier, the Accelerator Centre, the City of Waterloo, and the Region of Waterloo. Together, they are working to make the vision of a community hub, focused on innovation, sustainability and the clean economy a reality.
One of the primary goals of the partnership is to bring academic research, industry partners, and entrepreneurs together to drive the development and growth of a local clean economy and to create opportunity for community members to collaborate in new and exciting ways – all focused around a culture of sustainability and a collective commitment to the environment.
This week, as construction on evolv1 reaches a pivotal point, the first collaboration from the evolvGREEN project has come to life.
Building Developer and Startup partner to make a statement
When Adrian Conrad envisioned the evolv1 building, he imagined a warm and welcoming office space where large corporations, not-for-profits, and startups could come together and form a community centered around one thing – sustainability.
Inside the entrance of the building is an inspiring atrium that welcomes tenants and visitors. It sets the stage for the culture of sustainability and collaboration found within. As the design of the space was being done, Adrian knew he needed a statement piece that reflects the bold vision of evolv1; he needed a living wall.
That’s where Livescape comes in.
One of the first startups to join the Accelerator Centre’s cleantech program, which is funded through the Ontario Trillium Fund, Livescape designs and builds the most creative, state of the art living walls in the industry.
Through the AC, Livescape was able to connect with the Cora Group, learn about the vision for the space, and design a structure fitting of the innovative space. After a competitive bidding process, Livescape secured the deal with Cora Group and began working on the impressive, three story structure.
“Being a part of the AC’s cleantech program is being a part of a community that can introduce us to other forward-thinking businesses like the Cora Group.
A 40 ft high living wall in the atrium of the most progressive building in Canada needed a design that reflects its statement for sustainability. Our circular pattern design symbolizes the community, commitment, and integrity that is evolv1. It’s not just a building, it’s a space for collaboration. We’re so happy this wall will be one of the features facilitating that vision.”
– Ashley DeMarte, CEO, Livescape
The completion of the wall marks a milestone for the construction of evolv1 and demonstrates the value of collaborative projects like evolvGREEN in bringing people together under a common vision.
The evolvGREEN collaborative space and cleantech incubator are scheduled to open within evolv1 in the fall of 2018 and the partners envision even more collaborations to take place. A public grand opening event is in the works. It is sure to be a great beginning to many years of innovation and will mark the start of a new way of thinking about office buildings, about innovation, and about driving economic growth.
We are inspired by the early success of the evolvGREEN partnership and are looking forward to moving into this incredible new space. The potential for cleantech startups to succeed in this region represents an incredible opportunity for Waterloo to lead in the development of a Canada-wide clean economy, and we are excited to be supporting those startups through The Accelerator Program™.
– Dr. Paul Salvini, CEO, Accelerator Centre
“We are so thankful for the partnerships that have brought this community vision to life and especially to those we have worked most closely within its development and will continue to work within the building, fulfilling this now common, shared vision. And we have to say, the future looks bright.”
– Tova Davidson, Executive Director, Sustainable Waterloo Region