Toronto-Dominion slightly warmer in the winter, and more

Toronto-Dominion
Centre

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Mies Van Der Rohe, Bregmann
and Hamman Architects, Pellow and Associates Architects

Completed between 1967 to 1991

LEED Platinum

 

by Silja
Walenius

 

1.              INTRODUCTION

 

                  The Toronto Dominion Centre in
Toronto, Ontario ranks among the greenest office complexes in the world, and is
the only multi building LEED Platinum certified complex in Canada. The complex
is made up of six buildings, the original two (TD Bank Tower (1967) and TD
North Tower (1969)) designed by Mies Van Der Rohe, the third, fourth and sixth
towers (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 also
includes the TD Centre Pavilion, which contains the main branch of TD Bank. The
complex achieved a total of 82 points in its LEED evaluation in 2015, and is
part of Cadillac-Fairview’s “Green at Work” program, requiring it to reduce its
energy use by at least 2.5% each year. TDC has been meeting or exceeded this
goal every year since 2010.

 

 

Climate Analysis

Toronto is located in a humid continental climate zone,
with cold winters and hot summers. This is moderated by its location next to
Lake Ontario, which creates a microclimate that is slightly warmer in the
winter, and more cool and humid in the summer than landlocked temperate climate
areas. In 2017, there was a total of 3464 heating degree days and 345 cooling degree
days throughout the year, meaning that properly insulating buildings in order
to conserve heat and energy is one of the most important aspects for Toronto
construction. The average winter temperatures (from December to February) range
from 1 to -11 degrees Celsius, and the average summer (June to August)
temperature range is 11 to 26 degrees Celsius. Wind speeds in Toronto average
about 6 m/s, with the fastest coming from the South West at a maximum speed of
22 m/s.

 

 

 

 

2.              SUSTAINABLE SITES

 

            The urban location of TD Centre is
extremely accessible to public transportation. It is located directly between
King and St. Andrew stations on the Toronto subway line, which makes it easy to
access by subway or streetcar. It is also connected to the underground PATH
system, which makes it accessible from Union and King station without having to
go outside. The centre provides bike storage for 430 bikes outside of the
towers, with additional locker storage in the underground parking lot, as well
as a free bike repair clinic in every lower lobby of the complex. Certain
offices in the complex also provide change rooms and showers for use by biking
employees. Oscar Peterson Square off of Bay Street contributes to the non-roof
heat island reduction category, with a large area of grass, trees and bushes
which is accessible to the public. The TD Centre pavilion, a smaller building
in the centre of TDC, serves as the main banking branch and has a grid
patterned, vegetated roof which retains and evaporates 50% of its annual
received rain water. The roofs of the towers are currently being replaced as
part of the revitalization project taken on by the centre, and will be made
white instead of their current grey-black colour in an effort to avoid solar
heat gain. TDC also switched to daytime cleaning services, in order to reduce
nighttime energy usage and light pollution.

 

 

3.              MATERIALS & RESOURCES

 

TDC only
achieved points in this category for sustainable purchasing of food and
lighting, and solid water management. The towers are made mainly out of steel,
travertine, and granite, which causes renovations and repairs to be difficult
to do with recycled or sustainably purchased materials. The use of steel as the
main structure means that if the buildings were to be taken down, a large
amount of material could be salvaged and recycled. On the interior, few wall
finishes are used. The steel structure is exposed on every exterior wall, which
saves drywall material and decreases waste for interior finishes, but also
creates an extremely large amount of heat bridges throughout every building in
the complex. Since the steel structure is completely exposed, and every part of
the exterior between the steel is glazed, no insulation was used to protect
against heat loss through steel, however the glazing on the buildings was
recently upgraded to double layered glass in an effort to increase the
sustainability of the complex without altering the appearance.

            TD Centre also makes an effort to
reuse or recycle any construction materials used during renovation, with
materials evaluated on site for their ability to be reused, and non-reusable
materials being returned to the manufacturer when possible. Wood, Metal,
Drywall, Cardboard, Masonry, and Rigid Insulation all have on-site reuse
procedures which are monitored by the centre.

 

4.              WATER

 

TDC uses a nano climate irrigation system
for all of the landscaping any the centre. Small wireless sensors are installed
in the vegetated roof and courtyard landscaping which keep track of soil
moisture and communicate the data to water valves. The plants are only watered
when the moisture content of the soil drops below 30%. In 2015, this allowed
the complex to decrease its landscaping water consumption by 60%, and save 1.3 million
liters of water. For the interior of the building, low flow taps with aerators
were installed into each washroom, and toilets and urinals have low flow
fixtures and automatic valve controls. Water audits are regularly conducted,
which scan washrooms in the building to look for areas where water use is above
average, or where it needs to be decreased.

 

5.              ENERGY & ATMOSPHERE

 

TD Centre does not generate energy onsite due to the lack of
space at the downtown location. Instead, the centre purchases certified wind
and solar energy from an offsite provider. Each year, roughly 100,000 kWh are
purchased, which makes up just over 60% of the total energy usage of the
complex.

             In place of air conditioning, deep lake
cooling is used to cool the buildings during warmer months. This process uses
water pumped from the bottom of Lake Ontario (which is usually around 4 degrees
Celsius) and takes it to a heat transfer station. The coldness of the lake
water is used to cool a closed loop water supply, which is then pumped to heat
exchangers in the TD Centre and other buildings and used to cool them. The
water returns to the Enwave heat exchange centre once warm, is cooled again,
and recirculated. The lake water used is potable, and is pumped into the
Toronto’s water supply after leaving the heat exchange centre, which prevents
heat waste in Lake Ontario. The switch to deep lake cooling reduced the
electricity consumption of the centre by 90%, and decreased their Carbon
Dioxide emissions by about 23,000 tones each year.

            As
part of the occupant engagement program at the centre, “Midnight Audits”
regularly take place in the building, which are scans of each building in the
complex at midnight to identify where energy is being wasted. The data from
these audits is sent to tenants of the building, in order to give them
specifics for how to reduce their energy use, as well as how high their energy
use is in comparison to other tenants. In total, the audits showed $70,000
(500,000 kWh) of potential energy savings. Mystery audits were also conducted
by 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 their
energy use. A second audit was then conducted, allowing the tenants, and TDC to
see if any improvement had taken place. Sub metering systems are also installed
on every floor of the centre, which allow tenants to see their individual energy
use at any time.

 

 

6.              INDOOR ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

 

            Window film
was strategically installed on specific levels of building facades which were
constantly exposed to direct light. The film protects against solar radiation,
and helps prevent direct solar gain, which causes there to be less need for
cooling systems within the building. The façade of the West Tower is completely
covered with the protective film, while 222 Bay Street and the Ernst and Young
Tower have none, as the taller surrounding buildings already provide shading
for them.

            Although the
glazed facades of the buildings provide views of the Toronto skyline, the
tinting on the glass decreases the quality of light allowed into the building. None
of the windows are operable, causing the interior environment to be controlled
entirely by heating and cooling systems. The perimeter of each floor of the
tower is taken up by offices, which does not allow much natural light into
communal spaces on the floors.

            Interior
lighting in all stairwells in the building is occupancy activated, and when not
in use is kept at 30% of its total brightness. Interior air quality is also
monitored and tested against ASHRAE standards, and washrooms, cafeteria
kitchens, chemical storage rooms and large printing rooms in the centre all have
access to exterior venting.

            80% of the
cleaning products used in the centre are environmentally friendly, and all
battery powered cleaning equipment is powered by gel batteries, which are a
less acidic alternative to normal batteries.  

            The new TD
Bank office space (project name TD23) at the TD Centre is the first project in
the world to be WELL certified. WELL works with LEED as a system of rating
interiors, but focusses on occupant health and wellness. Some of the programs
implemented 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 wellness
library. TD23 currently has a Gold WELL certification.

            The TD
Centre also offers a program to assist tenants in achieving the LEED Commercial
Interiors certification, a program which focuses on creating healthy and
productive workplaces with small environmental footprints. With the assistance
of this program, KingSett Capital achieved LEED CI Gold and TD Bank achieved
LEED CI Platinum.

 

7. INNOVATION AND DESIGN
PROCESS

 

            TD Centre
conducts regular thermography scans of their buildings. These scans use a heat
sensitive camera to identify areas of the building where heat transfer or air
leakage is occurring, allowing the proper knowledge to be gained so repairs can
be done. The scans are conducted once every two years on each building, and the
sealant and weather stripping on the exterior of the building is regularly
maintained and fully repaired anywhere the scans show leakage. TDC is currently
in the process of “revitalizing” the towers, which includes replacing the
single 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.

            Points
were also gained in this category for the innovation in the watering system of
Oscar Peterson Square and the pavilion living roof, as well as for changing the
cleaning schedule in the centre to take place during the workday instead of
overnight (which significantly decreases nighttime energy consumption), and
using environmentally safe cleaning products.

 

The Toronto Dominion Centre is continuing
to renovate and revitalize their buildings with a $250 Million project which is
expected to be mostly completed by late 2021. The goal of the revitalization is
to further boost the sustainability of the TDC, and to make more pleasant,
productive interiors for tenants. So far through this project, the ground
floors of the Ernst and Young Tower and TD West Tower have been restored, the
roof of the TD South Tower has been replaced, all single glazed glass has been
upgraded to double glazed on building facades, and all existing paving stones
in the outdoor plaza have been replaced and waterproofed. The revitalization of
the TD Bank Tower is currently in progress, and is expected to be completed by
late 2018. 

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