Telus’s stunning and sustainable new headquarters have become the toast of corporate Vancouver


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INDOOR GARDEN | Overlooking Georgia Street, the lobby has mature trees, a koi pond and a custom-made Fazioli piano for local musicians under a sculptural canopy

Telus Garden was part of the company's strategy to reduce real estate costs

Telus’s chief sustainability officer, Andrea Goertz, couldn’t be happier with the way the company’s new 24-storey office tower in downtown Vancouver turned out. “Sometimes when you see the real thing, it’s actually a little bit less than what you’d hoped for,” she says. “This is the opposite of that. It’s so dramatic. It’s gorgeous.”

The tower is part of Telus Garden, a million-square-foot, $750-million development that also includes a 53-storey residential building and takes up a full block between Georgia, Robson, Seymour and Richards Streets. Designed by Henriquez Partners, it contains 450,000 square feet of office space and 65,000 square feet of retail space with a sculptural canopy covering a public plaza and forming the roof of the lobby. Telus itself will occupy 160,000 square feet of office space on nine floors plus 2,300 square feet at street level for its new flagship retail store.

The new office was part of a nationwide company strategy to reduce real estate costs and increase employee productivity. By the end of 2015, 70 per cent of Telus team members will work mainly from home and just come into the office for meetings–so the new space is planned around meeting rooms, mobile work stations, open areas, kitchens and gardens to encourage collaboration, teamwork and innovation.

The LEED Platinum building uses waste heat recovered from telecommunications equipment and redistributed throughout the development. Combined with 228 rooftop solar arrays and other efficiencies, the development’s on-grid energy consumption will be about 80 per cent less than conventional office buildings.

“If you think about our brand and everything it represents from nature and breaking down the barriers to technology through nature, we thought it would be an incredible thing for Telus to be a leader in sustainability and have our workspaces be very representative of that,” says Goertz.

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