Google’s new office in the Breithaupt Block, a redeveloped historic building in the warehouse district of downtown Kitchener, Ontario, has earned LEED v4 Silver for Interior Design + Construction (ID+C). The new project will save 500,000 litres of water per year, while maximizing health and wellness through other initiatives.
Google Phase 1 is also the fourth project in Canada to earn LEED v4. While looking to build its new office the company chose to target this certification because it is a globally-recognized leadership standard that encourages project teams to think outside the box and embrace innovation. Google Office Phase 2 will also target LEED v4.
“The pursuit of LEED v4 pushed the project team to create a better space, and the experience has honed everyone’s ability to solve problems and adapt,” says Ben Campbell, Service Area Manager of Sustainability for WSP, who were the LEED Consultants on the project.
Transforming the work environment
The 100,000-square-foot office is close to various transit opportunities and bicycle paths in a dense and well-developed business area, minimizing the impacts of vehicle use.
The project prioritized indoor air quality, with high levels of outdoor air ventilation provided, achieving 30 per cent over the ASHRAE 62 standard. Comprehensive sub-metering was also used to understand building energy use and uncover opportunities for future improvements. The project team also engaged the landlord and reduced the flush volumes of the building’s toilets and urinals.
Healthy materials are also a priority. For this project, every product and material went through a stringent selection process with the goal of eliminating the presence of toxicants in the space. The project earned many of its LEED credits through materials selection, including 20 products with Health Product Declarations (HPDs) and 20 products with Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs)
“We are very pleased to see a global innovator such as Google putting words into action,” said Thomas Mueller, president and chief executive officer of the CaGBC. “This project demonstrates how green buildings transform traditional work environments, in a way that reduces carbon impact and water usage, and improves employee health and wellness.”
Google further promotes wellbeing to its staff on-site through initiatives like their green cleaning program, health and nutrition programs, and a full service managed gym facility complete with climbing wall for occupants.