Rendering of the new RBC Centre.

OAKVILLE, Ontario - With concrete for more than half of the building’s 43 stories now poured, the RBC Centre in Toronto’s financial district is steadily changing the city’s skyline. This first commercial tower to be built in Toronto in more than a decade is also Canada’s first major triple-A office building designed to target LEED Gold New Construction (NC) certification. The installation of raised floors with underfloor air distribution throughout 1.2 million square feet of office space significantly contributes to the structure’s LEED certification. That part of the project is being managed and delivered by the contracting office of Tate Access Floors’ Canadian division, TateASP.

The RBC Centre will achieve estimated energy savings of 50 percent relative to buildings built to the Canadian National Energy Code. “These savings are significant to building tenants for a variety of reasons,” said Wayne Barwise, senior vice president, office development with Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited, owner of the property. “First, everyone wants to be a good corporate citizen, and many corporations now have corporate environmental policy statements in addition to other corporate policies.

“Secondly, in view of increasing energy costs, everyone is trying to be more efficient in their use of energy to reduce operating costs. Finally, the LEED features in the building, including the raised access floors, provide a more comfortable work environment for all building occupants, offering more personal comfort control, with the potential to reduce employee absenteeism and improve employee attraction and retention.”

State-of-the-art technologies employed by the RBC Centre will contribute to LEED points in numerous ways. In addition to Tate’s Building Technology Platform®, those technologies include automated systems for lighting, window blinds and light shelves, a curtain wall, water collection and high efficiency recycling systems, low emitting materials, the Enwave Deep Lake Water Cooling system, and 100 percent backup power.

According to Barwise, “The raised floor system represents a new, better technology that offers greater flexibility in terms of HVAC distribution and the location of data and telecommunications cabling.

“In addition, studies show that the cost of reconfiguring interior space in a building that uses a raised floor system is more economical than in a building that uses a conventional dropped lay-in tile acoustic ceiling. Finally, because the raised floor system places diffusers in the floor to distribute conditioned air throughout the building, the system provides greater personal control over comfort.”

By working with TateASP, Cadillac-Fairview was able to leverage the supplier’s many turnkey solutions as manufacturer, construction manager, and contractor. “We just find that working in this manner offers our customers a great deal of convenience and credibility in their efforts to construct more sustainable, high-performance buildings,” said Adam Mead, general manager, TateASP.

Construction of the $420 million project began last August and is expected to be completed for first occupancy in June 2009. RBC and RBC Dexia are the lead tenants and together will lease approximately half of the building.

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Publication date:07/28/2008