Evolv1, Waterloo, ON

Commercial/Industrial [Large] Award | Stantec

Evolv1 is a commercial office building targeting net positive energy and net zero carbon. In order to achieve this standard, the building must produce 105% of its own energy requirements. The 10,000m2, Class AAA building is located in the David Johnston Research + Technology Park, within Waterloo’s Idea Quarter.’ The goal of the project was to inspire development of regenerative buildings by producing an economically-viable prototype that works within the real market. The building is targeting LEED platinum certification and has been certified by the Canada Green Building Council as the first Zero Carbon Building in Canada.

A multipronged low energy design approach was used to meet the client’s environmental goals, including a ground source open loop geo-exchange system, that significantly reduces the heating and cooling loads, and photovoltaic panels installed by VCT Group to produce more energy than the building was going to consume.

The team used an Integrated Design Process (IDP), taking advantage of collaboration between different disciplines, considering the advantages and trade-offs between performance, user comfort and costs from an early stage.

The design team knew what was achievable technically, but had to find ways to make it feasible in the marketplace in order to ensure widespread impact. The team used a proprietary parametric modelling tool that enabled them to analyze thousands of design scenarios simultaneously.

The choice of site was also important; being on the University of Waterloo campus and thus able to leverage the university’s culture of innovation and attract young, tech-savvy tenants. Proximity to the new LRT station was also an advantage. 


  • Energy intensity (base building) = 44.5KWhr/m²/year
  • Energy intensity (process) = 33.5 KWhr/m²/year
  • Energy intensity reduction relative to reference building under ASHRAE 90.1 2007 = 105%
  • Water consumption from municipal sources = 1,748 litres/occupant/year
  • Reduction in water consumption relative to reference building under LEED = 69%
  • Recycled material content by value = 28%
  • Regional materials (800km radius) by value = 49%
  • Construction waste diverted from landfill = 82.5%


  • Client:  Cora Group
  • Architect/Landscape Architect:  Stantec Architecture Ltd.
  • Civil/Elec/Mech/Structural Engineer: Stantec Consulting Ltd.
  • General Contractor  Melloul-Blamey
  • Commissioning Agent  CFMS West Consulting Inc
  • Photos  Jesse Milns

A large PV array installed by VCT Group on the roof and in the parking lot helps the building to produce 105% of its own energy requirements.

Part of the cladding is slat wall panels made of öko skin from Sound Solutions and consists of glassfibre reinforced concrete that can be mounted horizontally or vertically on a substructure in a rainscreen system.

The geo-exchange system: Water, at a fairly constant at 10°C, is taken from the aquifer 160m below ground, filtered, and sent to a heat exchanger to provide heating and cooling to the building all year round.

Passive strategies were used to reduce energy consumption, followed by active strategies and efficient equipment such as Mitsubishi Electric AC units and fan coils