North America’s first zero-carbon office tower opens in Vancouver
By Adam FreillCommercial Construction Green Construction
The Stack, Vancouver's tallest commercial building, is setting new standards for environmental and workplace excellence in Canada.
Not only is The Stack setting new benchmarks as Vancouver’s tallest commercial building, but the property is also raising the bar on the environmental side as well. The building, which officially opened its doors this week, represents a landmark in the commercial real estate industry’s journey to decarbonization as it is the first office tower to attain the Canada Green Building Council’s Zero Carbon Building – Design standard certification and the first high-rise commercial tower in North America built to zero carbon standards. The Stack is co-owned by Oxford Properties Group and CPP Investments.
Designed by Vancouver-based architect James K.M. Cheng, the 37-storey, AAA-class 550,000 sq. ft. office tower is situated in a premium location in the city’s downtown, enhancing the city’s skyline with its unique twisting, stacked box design.
By achieving zero carbon status, The Stack also plays an important part in the progress of the City of Vancouver and Province of British Columbia’s 2030 zero-carbon goals. The Stack was able to achieve this status through its implementation of innovative features that minimize both carbon emissions and energy intensity, including low carbon building systems and a high-performance triple-pane glazing system.
The Stack also deploys smart building technology to provide insights on energy management to optimize building performance and enable preventative maintenance. On-site renewable energy is achieved through a rooftop photovoltaic solar panel array that will generate 26,000 kWh of energy annually.
“The Stack is leading the real estate industry to new levels of sustainability and reflects Oxford’s commitment to integrating ESG best practices throughout our assets,” commented Andrew O’Neil, vice-president of development at Oxford Properties. “We’re incredibly proud to deliver a building that creates economic and social value for the city of Vancouver, and actively contributes to our partners and customers’ ESG goals. By being the first to achieve a zero carbon high rise office building, we can use the insights and learnings from this project across our portfolio and share best practices with the wider industry as we collectively tackle decarbonization as one of the most pressing issues of our times.”
Employee experience and wellness are also at the forefront of The Stack’s design, with architectural elements such as operable windows for natural ventilation, several outdoor terraces and a landscaped pocket park that features a public art installation by Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. To foster active transportation and promote wellness, The Stack features a 5,000 sq. ft. fitness centre, 250 bike parking stalls and health-club quality end-of-trip facilities for those who want to bike, jog, or walk to work.
In addition, with its 6,000 sq. ft. rooftop terrace available to all building occupants, The Stack’s customers can take in unobstructed panoramic views of English Bay, Stanley Park, Burrard Inlet and the North Shore Mountains from 530 feet in the air.
“With its architectural prominence, unrivalled suite of amenities and breathtaking views, The Stack redefines the workplace experience in Canada,” said Ted Mildon, vice-president of office leasing and operations at Oxford. “We have long foreseen the evolution of the office from simply being the ‘production floor’ where employees congregated to complete tasks into a destination that creates employee engagement, and drives collaboration, learning and mentorship for high performing teams.”
“In addition to the building’s achievements in sustainability and the workplace experience, we have also received a lot of compliments from our neighbours as to how well this project is fitting into the community, and how much they appreciate the Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun sculpture and the pocket park connecting to the existing network of mid-block passages and plazas,” added Cheng.