Is this Canada’s greenest office building?


An inspiring development in the Waterloo region has made headlines as the first of its kind in Canada.

Evolv1 is a new multi-tenant three-story office building designed in response to an industry challenge from Sustainable Waterloo Region. The result is over 100,000-square-feet of Class A office space that is Net Positive Energy. The operation results in no net release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and actually generates surplus energy.

Evolv1 fits in the IdeaQuarter

Waterloo, Ontario, is an international technology hub, home to an emerging area known as the IdeaQuarter which includes the David Johnston Research + Technology Park where evolv1 is located.


Premium developer The Cora Group teamed up with architect Stantec plus a host of other collaborators, to create evolvGREEN workspaces suitable for entrepreneurs, researchers and clean economy supporters. The first building in the project opened in late November 2018 and is expected to be a template for future green office developments.

Amazing sustainable features

This space was created to engage people. Built on key design principles including regenerative, scalable, innovation and collaboration. Some of the impressive features in and around evolv1 include:

  • Living Wall
    A three-story-high living wall of 4,000 plants in the foyer, serves to temper humidity, filters and cleans the air. Gives a sight of plants just by entering the lobby and looking up.
  • LED Lighting
    The interiors and plants are lit with smart dimmable 1-10V LED lighting for extra energy savings
  • Geothermal
    The building is heated and cooled through an innovative geothermal well system buried 150 metres in the ground.
  • Solar Rooftop and Solar Carport
    Photovoltaics are mounted all over the roof and above the parking lot, which also includes 28 electric vehicle charging stations. Combined, the more than 2000 solar panels are expected to produce 50,000 kilowatt hours a year of surplus energy for the local grid.
  • LEED Platinum
    The zero-carbon building is now a candidate for platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the Canada Green Building Council.
  • Walls, windows, temperature and more…
    • Horizontal solar shades above the windows mitigate the sun’s midday heat, while vertical shades on the east and west side capture some of its warmth.
    •  Geo-exchange / variable refrigerant flow (VRF) HVAC system balances indoor temperatures
    • Triple pane glazing. Heavy insulation. Preheated ventilation.
    • A new light-rail transit stop, 80 metres from the building, is expected to open this year.


The future of office space is here

Evolv1 has already made history as  Canada’s first Zero Carbon Design Certified building. Recognized by  Canada Green Building Council as the first to meet the organization’s new zero-carbon design standards. An award-winning addition to the Sustainable Waterloo Region.


People are taking notice of  the building already 95% leased. It is no wonder as the area is home to the highest density of startup companies outside Silicon Valley. Working amongst the leading researchers in technology, healthcare, robotics, quantum computing and artificial intelligence.

Evolv1 will also be home to a new R+D Lab for Borealis AI, a leading company that is partners with the Waterloo Artificial Intelligence Institute at the University of Waterloo.

An office environment that you can be proud of because it contributes a net-positive-energy. A great work-life benefit. As the rush is on to retrofit existing office spaces in a socially conscious way, this project represents the future of new construction in Canada.

“Creating one building does not change green building standards and organizational sustainability, but if you can do one and it is scalable financially in a replicable model then you have a foundation to build something much bigger on.”
Tova Davidson – executive director of Sustainable Waterloo Region

Planning is already underway for evolv2, which will be located nearby. We expect it to be even more outstanding.


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