Toronto-Dominion Centre’s (TD Centre) 222 Bay St. tower is the first existing building in North America to achieve a Gold-level certification under the WELL Building Standard (WELL).
TD Centre previously earned the world’s first v1 WELL certification for an interiors project at TD Bank headquarters, a feat celebrated last year. Cadillac Fairview oversaw this new Core & Shell certification process in response to growing research showing the business case for office buildings that support health and well-being of occupants.
The WELL Building Standard is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying and monitoring features that impact human health and wellbeing, through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.
“Buildings are living and breathing human environments that have a material impact on the mind, body and spirit of people who live and work in them,” said David Hoffman, general manager, TD Centre. “Through smart investments in building design and operations that enhance human health and wellness, TD Centre is delivering significant new value for our tenants, supporting the productivity and competitiveness of their businesses.”
According to the World Green Building Council, buildings with improved air quality and ventilation not only mitigate the health risks of exposure to CO2, VOCs and other indoor air pollutants, but can also improve employee productivity by up to 11 per cent.
“Today’s top employers understand how real estate can impact the performance of their employees,” said Barbara Ciesla, senior vice-president at Jones Lang LaSalle, who consulted on the project. “TD Centre’s achievement of WELL Certification lays a strong foundation for tenants looking to pursue further strategies of health and wellness in their workplaces.”
Buildings that promote physical fitness of their occupants also help reduce absenteeism.
“With staff wages and benefits typically accounting for 90 per cent of a business’ operating costs, any improvement in employee health and productivity can have a profound effect on the bottom line,” added Sal Iacono, executive vice-president, operations, Cadillac Fairview.
Pursuing this Gold-level certification required meeting the standard’s 30 preconditions and additional optimization features. Some key features that were added include:
- Building HVAC systems and operational protocols that enhance air quality delivered to tenant spaces, including high grade air filtration, HVAC maintenance protocols, ongoing commissioning of building systems that impact air quality, and controls around the introduction of indoor air pollutants from building materials.
- Promotion of stairwell use and upgrades like painting, lighting and installation of motivational nature scenes to provide pleasant vertical paths of travel for occupants. Occupants are also able to join classes that provide exercise techniques for getting the most out of stairwell usage.
- Supporting occupants in healthy food choices during the work week through lunch n’ learns, expert assessment of healthy meal options at TD Centre, and a series of nutritional communications installed in lobbies, posted in elevators and shared with tenants for distribution to their employees.