A First for Vancouver LEED
When it opens in 2017, The Exchange may be the city's most sustainable tower. Pretty impressive considering it will incorporate an 85-year-old building.
The $240M, 31-storey office tower will rise above the old stock exchange building on Howe Street and become Vancouver's first LEED Platinum heritage conversion. SwissReal CEO Franz Gehriger, the project's mastermind, tells us The Exchange will have a stormwater retention system; radiant cooling and heating; motion-controlled occupancy sensors; a raised floor plenum that distributes fresh air throughout the building; and a triple-glazed curtain wall with extended mullions that will reduce the amount of sunlight that hits the tower.
The Exchange is designed by Vancouver-based Iredale Group and lead architect Harry Gugger (who oversaw renovation of London's Tate Modern gallery and was lead architect on Beijing's Bird's Nest Stadium). It will include 370k SF of AAA office space—room for 1,700 workers (or 1,699 if Leroy is in a mood)—with retail in the podium, including pre-existing tenant Iris eyewear. Floor sizes will range from 12k SF to 14k SF. The heritage building has been gutted, a $20M job that saw removal of ceilings, floors, internal separations, plumbing, and electrical systems.
The project is the first B.C. venture for Credit Suisse, which partnered with SwissReal. No new leasing deals have been signed, but Franz says he's been pointing out the virtues of a healthier, more sustainable work environment—increased productivity and reduced absenteeism as a result of employees not being in cramped quarters with recirculated air. The updates enable a 50% reduction in energy consumption and an 85% drop in carbon emissions compared with conventional buildings, Franz says.