Menkes Developments Ltd.’s 25 York Street property in downtown Toronto has achieved BOMA BEST Platinum certification with a record score of 95 per cent.
“25 York is arguably the greatest building in Canada right now,” said Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Canada president and chief executive officer Benjamin Shinewald.
“Menkes is at the top of its game and pulled out all the stops and left no stone unturned. You can’t score 95 by accident.”
BOMA BEST introduced a rebranded ratings system last month where Platinum replaces the former Level 4 and is awarded to buildings meeting the best practices and achieving at least 90 per cent on the questionnaire. Properties can receive one of five levels of certification and, of the 1,800 properties certified, only three per cent have attained Platinum status.
Many buildings register scores in the 50s and 60s in the program, which evaluates: energy use; water use; waste reduction and site; emissions and effluents; indoor environment; and environmental management systems.
25 York Street features
Building features which contributed to 25 York Street’s lofty status are:
* rooftop garden patios with indigenous species and xeriscaping;
* rooftop community food gardens;
* rainwater and steam condensate collection used as non-potable water for irrigation and washrooms up to the 10th floor;
* central location and direct connection to Union Station, bus routes and subway routes;
* in-building secure bicycle storage and shower facilities;
* Zipcar and Bike Share Toronto programs;
* 11-foot ceilings with windows extending from floor to ceiling, maximizing the intake of natural light on each floor;
* a state-of-the-art light management system with high-efficiency lighting and occupancy sensors;
* a window management system with automatically adjusting shades throughout 70 per cent of the building to maximize views and day lighting while protecting people and work surfaces from direct sun;
* pressurized raised floors providing individual temperature control and greater access to fresh air;
* constant air quality monitoring to ensure a healthy environment;
* deep lake water cooling system reducing hydro requirements for cooling;
* under-floor HVAC distribution with voice, data and power cabling;
* and sub-metering of all tenants for electricity and natural gas usage.
Award-winning recycling program
The building also features an award-winning recycling program encompassing paper, cans, bottles, organics, construction waste, furniture, electronics, batteries, printer cartridges and fluorescent light bulbs. “Zero waste” meetings and tenant appreciation events are part of a comprehensive year-round environmentally focused tenant engagement program.
“A lot goes into the property teams maintaining those initiatives on a day-to-day basis as well as what they do to reduce consumption and plan with their capital expenditures,” said Stefanie Miller, sustainability services director of CD Sonter Ltd., Environmental Consultants, who project-managed 25 York Street’s BOMA Best re-certification.
“They continue to incorporate green initiatives, whether it’s through lighting retrofits or different types of equipment upgrades and things like that.”
The building sits on 1.8 acres of once-abandoned railway land on the northeast corners of York Street and Bremner Boulevard and is part of a revitalization of the area just north of Toronto’s waterfront. It became Toronto’s first LEED EB:O&M Platinum building in 2012 and has continued to make improvements.
“Our teams continued to learn the building systems and encourage tenant buy-in,” said 25 York Street general manager Gregory Brent. “It was a partnership between Menkes and the tenants, as many tenants did undertake their own LEED CI certifications as well.”
LEED Dynamic Plaque
The building was the first in Canada to install the LEED Dynamic Plaque earlier this year. The performance monitoring and scoring platform for LEED-certified projects displays the LEED Performance Score, which reflects the measured performance of the building across five categories: energy, water, waste, transportation and human experience.
The 30-storey tower at 25 York St. is also known as TELUS House. It has 30,041 square feet of retail space at ground level and 786,231 square feet of office space that’s been fully leased since 2012.
Tenants — including TELUS, Kinross Gold, ACE INA Insurance, Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario, Hudbay Minerals, Desjardins, Marketwired and President’s Choice Financial — have all benefited from the building’s high environmental standards.
“Operational savings are seen and we are hoping to be able to continue to run the building at optimal levels,” said Brent. “It allows us to be proactive and plan out major repairs to help prevent spikes in common-area maintenance costs.”