GUELPH, ONT. — Co-operators has announced its new head office in Guelph, Ont., currently under construction, has earned Zero Carbon Building – Design Standard certification from the Canada Green Building Council.
When it opens in the summer of 2024, the 226,000-square-foot facility on Cooper Drive in Guelph will feature an all-electric design that will eliminate direct carbon emissions from any onsite source, meaning no retrofits or decarbonization plan will be required as the organization progresses toward its net-zero targets, stated a release. Any emissions will be offset through carbon-free renewable energy or other carbon offsets.
There is also a plan to offset embodied carbon emissions resulting from construction, manufacturing, transportation and disposal of all building materials.
Goals include 40 per cent greater energy and greenhouse gas savings beyond the Ontario Building Code’s all-electric baseline and 60 per cent heating load reduction beyond the code-minimum for new office builds.
A 282-kilowatt rooftop solar array will generate approximately nine per cent of the total annual building energy consumption and automatic tinting windows will eliminate glare and reduce energy consumption. High-efficiency water source technology will recover and redistribute heat throughout the building.
The new headquarters will have LED lighting equipped with occupancy. Daylight harvesting sensors only turn on when needed.
Co-operators, a financial services co-operative offering insurance and investment products and services, first became carbon neutral in 2020 and in 2021 announced its commitment to reaching net-zero emissions in its operations by 2040.
“Achieving the Zero Carbon Building – Design Standard certification for our national headquarters is a strong reflection of our values and vision to catalyze sustainability in our society,” stated Shawn Fitzgerald, vice-president workplace services at Co-operators, in a statement. “We have an important role to play in mitigating the risks of climate change in a direct and meaningful way, helping move Canada and the world towards a net zero emissions future.”