A new office building in Waterloo has been designed to be self-sufficient – and then some.

 “We are designed to produce 105 per cent of our energy needs on-site,” says Adrian Conrad of The Cora Group.

The Cora Group is the developer behind evolv1, a new, 110,000-square-foot building on Wes Graham Way. It’s the first building in Canada to receive a zero-carbon certification from the Canada Green Building Council.

“We need more buildings like this today, so in the future we’re well-positioned to address climate change,” says Mark Hutchinson, the council’s vice-president of green building programs.

Creating a zero-carbon building that could easily be replicated was the idea Stantec lead architect Richard Williams grappled with as he designed evolv1.

Typically, buildings which produce little carbon have been designed for institutional uses – meaning they’re often purpose-built and difficult to adapt for other organizations.

“This was to … be able to be replicable for other developments,” Williams says.

Conrad says duplicating evolv1 can be done at market rates – meaning it won’t set developers back financially by a significant margin.

“What we’re proving is that there’s no longer an excuse not to develop with a high level of sustainability,” he says.

Evolv1 is expected to be completed this summer. It will be divided into space for multiple tenants, and is already mostly leased out.

According to Hutchinson, buildings are responsible for 20 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.

With reporting by Krista Simpson