Posts Tagged ‘Office’



980 Howe open for business in downtown Vancouver

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The new Manulife Office Tower in downtown Vancouver at 980 Howe had its grand opening just a few weeks ago.

Designed by HDR | CEI Architecture Associates and Endall Elliot Associates, the highly sustainable 16-storey building is a model of clean, contemporary office design. The facility provides 245,000 square feet of leasable office space in downtown Vancouver.

Elegant contemporary design
“The client challenged us to create an all-glass curtain wall building,” said Alan Endall, architect and principal with Endall Elliot Associates.

The design team wasn’t sure that was possible at first, as an all-glass curtain wall structure would have a hard time achieving the energy efficiency standards required for the project, which is targeting LEED Gold.

“The team responded with an all-glass design that incorporates innovative features to reduce solar heat gain and ensure energy efficiency, while preserving transparency and a sense of openness,” said John Scott, Vice President of HDR | CEI.

A limited material palette and a subtle layering of light colours and textures helps the building achieve a simple, almost minimalist expression that contrasts with the more heavily articulated and solid buildings in the neighbourhood.

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Sustainable features abound
The design uses a triple-glazed curtain wall throughout the structure. Triple-glazing—essentially three panes of glass separated by argon gas—offers better insulation than the more common double-glazing. It also provides additional surfaces for low-e coating, which prevents interior heat loss and mitigates solar heat gain.

To address how light and shadow affect the building, the design team studied the position of the sun at different times of the day and during each season. This led to the use of ceramic frit patterns—ceramic baked onto the glass—with subtle variations in glass colour and patterning on the four orientations of the building to address the different amount of sun and shadow that each frontage gets.

The design team used a highly transparent low-iron glass on lower floors of the Howe Street facade, since that face tends to be in the shade and solar gain is not as much of an issue.

“It was another way that we were able to vary the appearance of the all-glass building along that frontage,” noted Endall.

Continuing the minimalist theme, interior finishes are kept simple, with white marble on columns and walls, granite paving, and wood introduced in the ceiling to help create warmth in the lobby.

“The entrance lobby is an important aspect of the interiors,” said Scott. “We introduced a double-height linear entry lobby with low-iron glass and structural glazing along the street to facilitate transparency.”

Building amenities include a fitness centre and a common meeting room on the penthouse level.

Additional sustainable features include:

  • A combination of high performance building envelope, high efficiency mechanical systems, heat recovery and lighting technologies limit energy use.
  • End-of-trip cycling facilities with ample covered bike parking, showers and change rooms
  • Preferred parking and charging stations for electric vehicles.
  • Landscaping strategies with rain gardens, boulevard structural soil trenches providing a reservoir to support shade trees, public education, and art celebrating water management.
  • Plantings featuring native species and hardy west coast plants to minimize maintenance and pest management.
  • The project mitigates the “heat island” effect by placing parking underground, incorporating street trees and plantings to help cool building surfaces, and using light-coloured landscape materials, both at the ground plane and roof level.

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CEI-designed office for FortisBC wins award

FortisBC’s Victoria Area Regional Operations Centre  won the 2013 Excellence Award (Office) at the 22nd Annual Commercial Building Awards. The awards are presented by the Victoria Real Estate board and are dedicated to the advancement of excellence in commercial property development throughout the Victoria area.

CEI completed the 22,000 square foot office building for the public energy utility company in October 2012. The project includes significant sustainability features, such as geothermal exchange loops and natural ventilation, and is targeting LEED Silver certification.

For more about the Commercial Building Awards and other 2013 winners, please visit



Ground breaks at Manulife building at 980 Howe Street


Construction has begun on Manulife Real Estate’s new downtown Vancouver office building, designed by CEI Architecture and Endall Elliot Associates.

The 16-storey, 250,000 square foot building will be targeting LEED Gold Certification, a feature that attracted Steve Hedberg, President and CEO of international engineering consulting firm, and future lead tenant, BGC. “We are looking forward to growing with Manulife at 980 Howe Street, especially being able to offer lifestyle choices in a sustainable, efficient working environment to our staff.”

Features such as a rooftop garden, on-site conference facility, fitness centre, and its close proximity to Robson Square, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Law Courts, add to the building’s appeal.

Completion of 980 Howe Street is planned for spring of 2015. More details and project renderings can be found here.



CEI selected for international exhibition

CEI Architecture was selected to exhibit our innovative 40-storey Wood Office Tower design in an international exhibition titled “The Architecture of Necessity” hosted by the Virserum Art Museum in Sweden. The project will also be published in a book of the exhibition.




Wood Innovation in Architecture

CEI recently hosted a roundtable discussion on the future of innovative wood buildings, featuring keynote speaker Hubert Rhomberg, Managing Director of Cree Buildings, Inc. and the Rhomberg Group in Austria. Cree has recently constructed, in record time, the worlds tallest wood office tower. Life Cycle Tower is an eight-floor wood/concrete composite building built in only eight days using Cree’s component structural system.


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Congratulations, Robert Cesnik!

CEI is pleased to announce our newest Associate, Robert Cesnik. Robert joined CEI’s Kelowna office in August 2010 with the acquisition of Bevanda Architecture. As a project architect at CEI, he has recently worked on the Lefebvre-Smyth Residence, Terravista Vineyards and Black Hills Wine Experience Centre.




The Greening of Vancouver

John Scott recently contributed to the NAIOP Industry Leaders Blog with an article called “The Greening of Vancouver.” It provides an overview of what can be expected for future energy use and savings requirements for new projects in Vancouver. Read on for his take on where things are headed.



CEI’s NAIOP Office Building of the Future entry receives Honourable Mention

CEI’s 40 storey wood office tower design has received Honourable Mention in an international design competition organized by the Commercial Real Estate Development Association.

The inaugural NAIOP Office Building of the Future design competition focuses on the evolution of the modern workplace. “This unique competition opened the door to thinking about what an ‘office’ may look like in the very near future,” said Thomas J. Bisacquino, NAIOP president and CEO.




Willingdon Park Phases 8 and 9 are LEED Gold

CEI Architecture is proud to announce that Willingdon Business Park Phases 8 & 9 have officially achieved LEED Gold certification. This project adds to our growing portfolio of sustainable projects including the recent certification of the University of Victoria Administrative Services Building, also LEED Gold. This final stage of Willingdon Park in Burnaby is the culmination of 25 years of design and development of one of Metro Vancouver’s most highly regarded business parks.

The twin buildings represent nearly 190,000 square feet of first class technology-oriented office space and now house a division of Fortis Energy.  The mirrored structures create a strong architectural statement framing a central plaza with massive panel-clad arches and featured light spires. Many sustainable design initiatives have been incorporated in the buildings to achieve the LEED Gold Certification, including:

– Private shuttle from the park to major transportation hubs.
– Bicycle storage and changing rooms.
– Preferred parking for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles.

– All lighting is concentrated to fall within the property to reduce light pollution.
– LED lighting targets more than 20% reduction in energy consumption.
– 21.1% reduction in energy use.
– Solar hot water panels supplying pre-heated water.
– High-efficiency glazed curtainwall.
– Renewable energy certificates will supply 70% of the building energy use for the next 2 years.

– High efficiency irrigation.
– Water efficient fixtures provide over 40% reduction in water use.
– Dual flush and low flow toilets and fixtures.
– Potable water use reduction targeted for 40% reduction.

Waste & Materials
– Achieved more than 80% diversion of construction materials from landfill.
– Over 10% of materials contain recycled content and be sourced regionally.
– Over 50% of all wood is FSC certified.
– Steel supplied through Heritage Steel with 98% of materials from post-industrial waste.

Working environment
– All paints, coatings and sealants are low-emitting formulas.
– Over 75% of spaces will have access to daylight.
– Over 90% of spaces will have a view to the outdoors.
– Cleaning and maintenance plan uses only healthy cleaning products.

With this final stage of development completed, Willingdon Business Park now provides a total area of nearly 1,000,000 square feet, as well as many on-site amenities to encourage a healthy, sustainable community and a campus-like feel. Amenities include service retail, cafes, meeting and conference facilities, as well as multiple fitness centres with lockers, showers and secure bicycle storage. Circling the park is the ‘Willingdon Mile’, a soft-surface jogging trail that winds through the natural surrounding landscape and borders Still Creek.

Willingdon Business Park Phases 8 & 9 have also recently won the Award of Excellence in the Office Category at the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver Commercial Building Awards, 2011.




Willingdon Park awarded best office

Phases 8 and 9 of CEI-designed Willingdon Park business campus was honoured last night as the winning entry in Office category at the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver Commercial Building Awards.

“This event is about celebrating innovation, talent and the spirit of collaboration in our building community,” said Rosario Setticasi, REBGV president. “These awards are a salute to professionals committed to meeting the needs of today without sacrificing those of future generations.”

Phases 8 and 9 are the culmination of CEI’s 25 years of design and development at Willingdon Park, which includes 1,000,000 square feet of premier, high tech office space. International tenants have included Motorola, eBay, Ericsson and Alcatel.

Completed in the summer of 2010, the twin buildings of phases 8 and 9 are targeting LEED Gold. The building itself is a strong architectural statement, framed by massive arches and attractive light spires: a modern office environment for the today’s changing business world.