80 ATLANTIC – Toronto, ON

Commercial/Industrial (Large) Award (sponsored by Mitsubishi Electric Sales Canada Inc.)

BPD Quadrangle

Jury Comment: In a market where commercial buildings of this size and type were once common, this project sends a signal that mass wood construction is once again a viable and highly desirable option. The warmth of the exposed wood and high quality of interior daylighting contribute to a beautiful working environment. With its glass exterior, the building makes a striking and poignant complement to its historic Brick and beam neighbor, reinforcing the idea that both aesthetically and technically, mass wood can be part of a more sustainable future.

Ontario’s first mass timber commercial building in a generation, 80 Atlantic sets an important precedent for the region and for this market sector. Located next to 60 Atlantic, a warehouse renovation and expansion by the same architect, the two projects now form the nucleus of a creative hub that is developing in Toronto’s Liberty Village.

80 Atlantic combines four storeys of office space, constructed in Canadian-sourced mass timber, over a single-storey retail podium, constructed in concrete.  The project goals were to design an office building that would build on the success of 60 Atlantic, demonstrate leadership in the rapidly developing field of mass timber, and to attract creative tenants. Motivated by recent changes to the Ontario Building Code allowing for commercial wood buildings up to six storeys, the team introduced a new ‘Post and Beam 2.0’ typology.

80 Atlantic mixes the warmth, beauty and large, open spans of a converted industrial building with the environmental and technological advantages of a Class-A office building, including airtight construction, energy efficiency, good acoustics and built-in technologies.

The project offers the materially raw and easily reconfigurable environment popular with new economy tenants, but without its deficits: the dust, draughts, poor acoustics, energy inefficiency, and the obtrusively placed pipes and cables. Punched windows echo the architecture of surrounding heritage buildings and maintain an overall window-to-wall ratio of 40%.

A south-facing curtain wall mitigates the building’s mass and scale, while showcasing the mass timber interiors to passersby. Rather than being exposed within the occupied spaces, HVAC ducts, integrated into the floor plenum, keep the air moving and temperatures comfortable. The electrical and telecommunications systems are also below the floor, resulting in a highly adaptable and uncluttered space. Unobscured by ducts or bulkheads, the natural wood columns and ceilings are on display throughout.

Building users have more control over their environment than in a typical office setting, thanks to operable windows which are easily accessible to 30% of occupants and interior shading control through user operated blinds.

Significant energy savings stem from an energy recovery ventilator with 88% sensible recovery serving the rooftop units and condensing boilers with a thermal seasonal efficiency of 90%. High-performance LED lighting and occupancy sensors reduce the energy required to light the space by more than 50% compared to the code referenced standard.

The buff-coloured surface of the Ceramitex® rainscreen and the scale of the punched windows honour the industrial brick vernacular of the area. The 19,455 sq ft. of thin sintered ceramic is manufactured with the fiberglass-reinforced mesh backing that is adhered to the Elemex® Unity® Attachment Technology, making it a durable and versatile choice.


  • Energy intensity (building) = 104KWhr/m2/year
  • Energy intensity (process) = 46KWhr/m2/year
  • Energy intensity reduction relative to reference building
  • under ASHRAE 90.1 – 2010 = 32.3%
  • Water consumption from municipal sources = 4,712 litres/occupant/year
  • Reduction in water consumption relative to reference building under LEED = 23%


  • Owner  Hullmark Developments Ltd and BentallGreenOak
  • Architect  BDP Quadrangle
  • General Contractor  Eastern Construction
  • Landscape Architect  Vertechs Design Inc.
  • Civil Engineer  R V Anderson Associates
  • Electrical and Mechanical Engineers  Smith + Andersen
  • Structural Engineer  R J C Engineering
  • Commissioning Agent  RWDI
  • Building Envelope Consultant  RDH Building Science 
  • Heritage Envelope Consultant  Philip Goldsmith Architect
  • Ceramitex® Facade Installer  Ontario Panelization
  • Ceramitex® Facade Manufacturer  Elemex Architectural Facade Systems
  • Photos  Doublespace Photography and Bob Gundu