evolv1 achieves dual Zero Carbon Building certification

evolv1 by Stantec. Photo by Ben Rahn/A-Frame

Evolv1, a three-story building located in the University of Waterloo’s David Johnston Research and Technology Park in Waterloo, Ontario, has added the Zero Carbon Building – Performance certification to their existing Zero Carbon Building-Design certification. This makes it only the second project in Canada to achieve both, after Mohawk College’s The Joyce Centre for Partnership and Innovation.

Designed by Stantec, evolv1 was purpose-built to attract a millennial, tech-savvy workforce. In April 2018, evolv1 became the first building to achieve the Zero Carbon Building (ZCB) – Design certification under the Canada Green Building Council’s Zero Carbon Building Standard. Last Wednesday, on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, developer Cora Group announced they’ve achieved Zero Carbon Building – Performance certification.

“As the very first Zero Carbon Building certification, evolv1 is already ahead of the curve,” says CaGBC president and CEO Thomas Mueller. “I had the pleasure of visiting evolv1 this February. I was impressed by how the different design approaches and technologies had been integrated to achieve zero carbon as well as environmentally advanced and healthy workplaces through LEED Platinum certification.

“The evolv1 project helped CaGBC prove that zero-carbon designs are both technically feasible and economically viable. With the addition of a ZCB-Performance certification, The Cora Group’s leadership not only continues, but it confirms that this building operates to zero carbon standards, delivering premium sustainability benefits at competitive market rates,” he adds.

evolv1 by Stantec. Photo by Jesse Milns

Evolv1 operates with a highly efficient building envelope. Sustainable features include 1,440 Canadian-made solar panels covering the building’s parking spots, and 754 rooftop solar panels, in addition to a passive solar wall system. The building’s open-loop geothermal system uses an aquifer to heat and cool the commercial space. The geothermal well is 160 meters deep and pumps 800 gallons per minute. Other features include a 40,000-litre rainwater cistern and daylight harvesting. The building promotes sustainability with 28 Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers.

On a summer day, the onsite solar panels can produce more than 2,000 kWh of renewable energy over what the building consumes – providing this energy back to the grid. In the winter, evolv1’s passive solar wall is able to warm the entire building, requiring little to no additional aid in heating.

“Cora Group knew it wanted to apply for the zero-carbon performance certification once one year of reliable energy data was available and took steps to achieve this goal. It was important for us to ensure the building was fully occupied during the certification period to further validate our performance,” says Thor Neumann, The Cora Group’s Senior Project Manager.

During evolv1’s first year of operation,  the 104,000-square-foot building’s total annual production was 848,823kWh. Evolv1 is close to achieving LEED Platinum certification as a LEED Platinum candidate.  Its solar array displaced 110 tons of CO2 in one year, the equivalent produced by 130 cars.