June 12, 2017
by Canadian Architect
TD Tower in Toronto.
Toronto-Dominion Centre’s 222 Bay St. tower has achieved a Gold level certification under the WELL Building Standard (WELL).
Grounded in medical research and administered by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), WELL is the first standard to integrate human health and wellness in the design, construction, maintenance and operations of buildings. Features of the standard are structured under 7 Concepts – Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Fitness, Comfort and Mind.
“Buildings are living and breathing human environments that have a material impact on the mind, body and spirit of people who live and work in them,” said David Hoffman, general manager, Toronto-Dominion Centre. “Through smart investments in building design and operations that enhance human health and wellness, TD Centre is delivering significant new value for our tenants, supporting the productivity and competitiveness of their businesses.”
Occupants at the property benefit from design and operational elements delivering enhanced air quality, pollutant reduction, water quality testing and thermal comfort, as well as on-site amenities that support physical fitness and accessibility.
Benefits of a WELL building
A growing body of research demonstrates the business case for office buildings that support the health and well-being of their occupants. For example, buildings with improved air quality and ventilation not only mitigate the health risks of exposure to CO2, VOCs and other indoor air pollutants, but studies suggest they can also improve employee productivity by up to 11 per cent, according to the World Green Building Council. Meanwhile, buildings that promote the physical fitness of their occupants can help reduce absenteeism, with the Public Health Agency of Canada finding that physically active employees take 27 per cent fewer sick days.
“With staff wages and benefits typically accounting for 90 per cent of a business’ operating costs, any improvement in employee health and productivity can have a profound effect on the bottom line,” explained Sal Iacono, executive vice-president, Operations, Cadillac Fairview.
Pursuit of Gold-level WELL certification required meeting the standard’s 30 Preconditions and additional Optimization Features. Some of the key design, operational and programming elements that contributed to the certification include:
- Building HVAC systems and operational protocols that enhance air quality delivered to tenant spaces, including high grade air filtration, HVAC maintenance protocols, ongoing commissioning of building systems that impact air quality, and controls around the introduction of indoor air pollutants from building materials.
- Promotion of stairwell use and upgrades like painting, lighting and installation of motivational nature scenes to provide pleasant vertical paths of travel for occupants. Occupants are also able to join classes that provide exercise techniques for getting the most out of stairwell usage.
- Supporting occupants in healthy food choices during the work week through lunch n’ learns, expert assessment of healthy meal options at TD Centre, and a series of nutritional communications installed in lobbies, posted in elevators and shared with tenants for distribution to their employees.
“Today’s top employers understand how real estate can impact the performance of their employees,” said Barbara Ciesla, senior vice-president at Jones Lang LaSalle, who consulted on the project. “TD Centre’s achievement of WELL Certification lays a strong foundation for tenants looking to pursue further strategies of health and wellness in their workplaces.”
“The achievement of WELL Certification provides the opportunity for the 222 Bay Street tower to stand at the forefront of innovation in the sustainable and healthy building movement and supports TD in helping us to continue to provide a healthy workplace for our employees,” said Gerry Guidice, Head of Enterprise Real Estate at TD Bank.