RBC Waterpark Place, Toronto

RBC Waterpark Place III is a new 1,200,000 square-foot office building in Toronto, located at 85 Harbour Street. This new high-rise office tower is 32 storeys above-grade with three levels of underground parking. The main tenants are the Royal Bank of Canada and Cisco Systems Canada Co.

Collaboration, Innovation and Sustainability in a Single Tower

The client had three major objectives for the design of this building; to increase collaboration in the workplace, integrate innovation in the design and create the most sustainable building possible. The building uses renewable energy from sources including an innovative water cooling system that uses water from the depths of Lake Ontario.

The thoughtful placement of glazing optimizes the amount of natural light entering the building to create a comfortable environment for the employees. The open space areas promote flexibility, collaboration and encourage creativity.

WSP work included the fibre backbone throughout the building that allows for a connected and customised use of technology. For example, when an employee enters the building and swipes their card, the elevator knows which floor to take them to. Room lighting and the temperature are adjusted to the occupant’s profile and their preferences are stored. Not only does this provide an environment with optimal surrounding conditions but also helps save energy by tracking movement. A high number of connecting devices are integrated in the tower which allows for numerous building services to be computer-controlled, including blinds on the windows, for example.

WSP installed an electronic sub-metering system in the building that monitors energy and water use in the building and determines the energy efficiency levels, providing tenants with real-time consumption readings.

The technology on Cisco’s floor is so advanced that it is considered to be one of the first really ‘smart buildings’ in North America. Most systems used on this floor are integrated with IP technology. For example, each light has its own IP address and which means it can be controlled via an app or a computer. Lights are powered via Ethernet, not electrical wires, which safeguards the office against the risk of power failures, and the lighting fixtures can be easily moved for future needs. Occupancy and weather data is collected and is used by the air-conditioning system for optimal temperature control. The technological part of this work was carried out by Cisco.

The sustainable design solutions implemented in the design of the building enabled Waterpark Place to become the first office building in Toronto to achieve LEED Core and Shell Platinum certification.