Type: Evaluation Essays
Sample donated: Julie Ellis
Last updated: May 23, 2019
Toronto-DominionCentreToronto, Ontario, Canada Mies Van Der Rohe, Bregmannand Hamman Architects, Pellow and Associates ArchitectsCompleted between 1967 to 1991LEED Platinum by SiljaWalenius 1.
INTRODUCTION The Toronto Dominion Centre inToronto, Ontario ranks among the greenest office complexes in the world, and isthe only multi building LEED Platinum certified complex in Canada. The complexis made up of six buildings, the original two (TD Bank Tower (1967) and TDNorth Tower (1969)) designed by Mies Van Der Rohe, the third, fourth and sixthtowers (West Tower (1974), South Tower (1985), Ernst and Young Tower (1991))designed by Bregmann + Hamann Architects, and the fifth tower (95 Wellington West(1987)) designed by Pellow & Associates Architects Inc. The complex alsoincludes the TD Centre Pavilion, which contains the main branch of TD Bank. Thecomplex achieved a total of 82 points in its LEED evaluation in 2015, and ispart of Cadillac-Fairview’s “Green at Work” program, requiring it to reduce itsenergy use by at least 2.5% each year. TDC has been meeting or exceeded thisgoal every year since 2010. Climate AnalysisToronto is located in a humid continental climate zone,with cold winters and hot summers.
This is moderated by its location next toLake Ontario, which creates a microclimate that is slightly warmer in thewinter, and more cool and humid in the summer than landlocked temperate climateareas. In 2017, there was a total of 3464 heating degree days and 345 cooling degreedays throughout the year, meaning that properly insulating buildings in orderto conserve heat and energy is one of the most important aspects for Torontoconstruction. The average winter temperatures (from December to February) rangefrom 1 to -11 degrees Celsius, and the average summer (June to August)temperature range is 11 to 26 degrees Celsius. Wind speeds in Toronto averageabout 6 m/s, with the fastest coming from the South West at a maximum speed of22 m/s. 2. SUSTAINABLE SITES The urban location of TD Centre isextremely accessible to public transportation.
It is located directly betweenKing and St. Andrew stations on the Toronto subway line, which makes it easy toaccess by subway or streetcar. It is also connected to the underground PATHsystem, which makes it accessible from Union and King station without having togo outside.
The centre provides bike storage for 430 bikes outside of thetowers, with additional locker storage in the underground parking lot, as wellas a free bike repair clinic in every lower lobby of the complex. Certainoffices in the complex also provide change rooms and showers for use by bikingemployees. Oscar Peterson Square off of Bay Street contributes to the non-roofheat island reduction category, with a large area of grass, trees and busheswhich is accessible to the public. The TD Centre pavilion, a smaller buildingin the centre of TDC, serves as the main banking branch and has a gridpatterned, vegetated roof which retains and evaporates 50% of its annualreceived rain water. The roofs of the towers are currently being replaced aspart of the revitalization project taken on by the centre, and will be madewhite instead of their current grey-black colour in an effort to avoid solarheat gain.
TDC also switched to daytime cleaning services, in order to reducenighttime energy usage and light pollution. 3. MATERIALS & RESOURCES TDC onlyachieved points in this category for sustainable purchasing of food andlighting, and solid water management. The towers are made mainly out of steel,travertine, and granite, which causes renovations and repairs to be difficultto do with recycled or sustainably purchased materials. The use of steel as themain structure means that if the buildings were to be taken down, a largeamount of material could be salvaged and recycled. On the interior, few wallfinishes are used. The steel structure is exposed on every exterior wall, whichsaves drywall material and decreases waste for interior finishes, but alsocreates an extremely large amount of heat bridges throughout every building inthe complex. Since the steel structure is completely exposed, and every part ofthe exterior between the steel is glazed, no insulation was used to protectagainst heat loss through steel, however the glazing on the buildings wasrecently upgraded to double layered glass in an effort to increase thesustainability of the complex without altering the appearance.
TD Centre also makes an effort toreuse or recycle any construction materials used during renovation, withmaterials evaluated on site for their ability to be reused, and non-reusablematerials being returned to the manufacturer when possible. Wood, Metal,Drywall, Cardboard, Masonry, and Rigid Insulation all have on-site reuseprocedures which are monitored by the centre. 4. WATER TDC uses a nano climate irrigation systemfor all of the landscaping any the centre. Small wireless sensors are installedin the vegetated roof and courtyard landscaping which keep track of soilmoisture and communicate the data to water valves. The plants are only wateredwhen the moisture content of the soil drops below 30%. In 2015, this allowedthe complex to decrease its landscaping water consumption by 60%, and save 1.
3 millionliters of water. For the interior of the building, low flow taps with aeratorswere installed into each washroom, and toilets and urinals have low flowfixtures and automatic valve controls. Water audits are regularly conducted,which scan washrooms in the building to look for areas where water use is aboveaverage, or where it needs to be decreased.
5. ENERGY & ATMOSPHERE TD Centre does not generate energy onsite due to the lack ofspace at the downtown location. Instead, the centre purchases certified windand solar energy from an offsite provider. Each year, roughly 100,000 kWh arepurchased, which makes up just over 60% of the total energy usage of thecomplex. In place of air conditioning, deep lakecooling is used to cool the buildings during warmer months. This process useswater pumped from the bottom of Lake Ontario (which is usually around 4 degreesCelsius) and takes it to a heat transfer station. The coldness of the lakewater is used to cool a closed loop water supply, which is then pumped to heatexchangers in the TD Centre and other buildings and used to cool them.
Thewater returns to the Enwave heat exchange centre once warm, is cooled again,and recirculated. The lake water used is potable, and is pumped into theToronto’s water supply after leaving the heat exchange centre, which preventsheat waste in Lake Ontario. The switch to deep lake cooling reduced theelectricity consumption of the centre by 90%, and decreased their CarbonDioxide emissions by about 23,000 tones each year.
Aspart of the occupant engagement program at the centre, “Midnight Audits”regularly take place in the building, which are scans of each building in thecomplex at midnight to identify where energy is being wasted. The data fromthese audits is sent to tenants of the building, in order to give themspecifics for how to reduce their energy use, as well as how high their energyuse is in comparison to other tenants. In total, the audits showed $70,000(500,000 kWh) of potential energy savings.
Mystery audits were also conductedby tenant companies on individual employees. Their energy use was calculated,and the data given to the employee, as well as suggestions on how to improve theirenergy use. A second audit was then conducted, allowing the tenants, and TDC tosee if any improvement had taken place. Sub metering systems are also installedon every floor of the centre, which allow tenants to see their individual energyuse at any time. 6. INDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY Window filmwas strategically installed on specific levels of building facades which wereconstantly exposed to direct light.
The film protects against solar radiation,and helps prevent direct solar gain, which causes there to be less need forcooling systems within the building. The façade of the West Tower is completelycovered with the protective film, while 222 Bay Street and the Ernst and YoungTower have none, as the taller surrounding buildings already provide shadingfor them. Although theglazed facades of the buildings provide views of the Toronto skyline, thetinting on the glass decreases the quality of light allowed into the building. Noneof the windows are operable, causing the interior environment to be controlledentirely by heating and cooling systems. The perimeter of each floor of thetower is taken up by offices, which does not allow much natural light intocommunal spaces on the floors. Interiorlighting in all stairwells in the building is occupancy activated, and when notin use is kept at 30% of its total brightness. Interior air quality is alsomonitored and tested against ASHRAE standards, and washrooms, cafeteriakitchens, chemical storage rooms and large printing rooms in the centre all haveaccess to exterior venting. 80% of thecleaning products used in the centre are environmentally friendly, and allbattery powered cleaning equipment is powered by gel batteries, which are aless acidic alternative to normal batteries.
The new TDBank office space (project name TD23) at the TD Centre is the first project inthe world to be WELL certified. WELL works with LEED as a system of ratinginteriors, but focusses on occupant health and wellness. Some of the programsimplemented with WELL include an improved air and water filtration system,improved lighting and daylighting systems to support circadian rhythm, a”Tranquility Lounge”, nutritious vending machine options, and a wellnesslibrary.
TD23 currently has a Gold WELL certification. The TDCentre also offers a program to assist tenants in achieving the LEED CommercialInteriors certification, a program which focuses on creating healthy andproductive workplaces with small environmental footprints. With the assistanceof this program, KingSett Capital achieved LEED CI Gold and TD Bank achievedLEED CI Platinum. 7.
INNOVATION AND DESIGNPROCESS TD Centreconducts regular thermography scans of their buildings. These scans use a heatsensitive camera to identify areas of the building where heat transfer or airleakage is occurring, allowing the proper knowledge to be gained so repairs canbe done. The scans are conducted once every two years on each building, and thesealant and weather stripping on the exterior of the building is regularlymaintained and fully repaired anywhere the scans show leakage. TDC is currentlyin the process of “revitalizing” the towers, which includes replacing thesingle glazed glass on the towers from the second floor up with double glazing,which doubles the R value of each tower, repainting the exterior of each tower,and replacing the roofs.
Pointswere also gained in this category for the innovation in the watering system ofOscar Peterson Square and the pavilion living roof, as well as for changing thecleaning schedule in the centre to take place during the workday instead ofovernight (which significantly decreases nighttime energy consumption), andusing environmentally safe cleaning products. The Toronto Dominion Centre is continuingto renovate and revitalize their buildings with a $250 Million project which isexpected to be mostly completed by late 2021. The goal of the revitalization isto further boost the sustainability of the TDC, and to make more pleasant,productive interiors for tenants.
So far through this project, the groundfloors of the Ernst and Young Tower and TD West Tower have been restored, theroof of the TD South Tower has been replaced, all single glazed glass has beenupgraded to double glazed on building facades, and all existing paving stonesin the outdoor plaza have been replaced and waterproofed. The revitalization ofthe TD Bank Tower is currently in progress, and is expected to be completed bylate 2018.