Recipients of BOMA Canada National Awards unveiled

The host city for this year’s BOMEX conference was well represented within the BOMA Canada National Awards that were handed recently as part of the occasion.

Six of the 17 awards went to Ottawa recipients. Ottawa buildings also won four of the 11 TOBY (The Outstanding Building of the Year) Awards.

LaSalle Academy

For historical buildings, the winner was LaSalle Academy on Sussex Drive, owned by Public Works and run by SNC-Lavalin.

LaSalle Academy’s main tenant is the Canada School of Public Service. Mark Jalbert, an assistant facility manager for SNC-Lavalin in Ottawa, said the front portion of this complex, across from the National Gallery of Canada, was a house built in 1844, while the attached portion known as Block B was built in 1852. Jalbert said the facility is maintained to be both a modern and comfortable workplace while also keeping its historical character.

“The exterior stone work is the main thing . . . and on fifth floor there’s a beautiful tin roof,” he said, adding that interior historical aspects, such as an original staircase, have also been maintained.

The East Memorial Building

The East Memorial Building on Wellington Street, not far from Parliament Hill, won for best government building. It is also owned by Public Works and Services Canada and managed by SNC-Lavalin O&M.

The East Memorial Building, which is currently home to the Department of Justice, was initially built in the mid-1950s to house the Department of Veterans Affairs and provide care services to veterans of the Second World War. In the 1990s, renovations turned the main level into an atrium, where it was once an outdoor space, overlooked by several refurbished boardrooms.

“It’s a very unique building,” said SNC-Lavalin facility manager Rob Lafleur. “They have a couple of murals in there that are very significant to the building – very historic in quality – that were painted by veterans back in 1955.”

Telus House

Telus House at the corner of Slater and Bank streets in Ottawa, managed by Morguard Investments Ltd., won in the category of buildings between 100,000 to 249,999 square feet. For buildings between 250,000 and 499,999 square feet, 180 Kent St., which is owned and managed by Minto Group, was tops.

Telus House is a nine-story office structure with ground-level retail completed by Broccolini Construction in 2007. The building managers cite its use of natural light, a green roof and plug-ins for electric cars in its parking area as among the many highlights.

Steve Hebert, general manager of the building, also pointed out the “huge break room” on the top floor that provides access to the green roof. “The building was built to make it a home away from home,” he said. “It’s a very relaxing building.”

180 Kent Street

A website for 180 Kent says it was designed to be “Ottawa’s greenest office ever,” being the first in the city to target LEED Gold status. It was completed in 2009. Minto said in a statement in response to its TOBY win that it is striving to make the 19-storey building LEED Platinum. It said its water and energy usage are less than half of what a same-sized office building built according to the national energy code would be.

Infrastructure Canada is among the tenants at 180 Kent.

The TOBY Awards

On its website, BOMA describes the TOBY Awards as “the most prestigious and comprehensive program of its kind in the commercial real estate industry, recognizing quality in commercial real estate buildings and rewarding excellence in building management.

“During the competition, all facets of a building’s operations are thoroughly evaluated. Entries are judged on everything from community involvement to environmental and sustainability management.”

The Chairman’s Award

Tom Sullivan, senior vice-president of portfolio management and finance for GWL Realty Investors Inc. in Calgary, won the Chairman’s Award, given for “longstanding leadership and commitment in service,” according to a BOMA statement.

Three Pinnacle Awards

Two of the three Pinnacle Awards, which go to service providers in the real estate industry, were from Ottawa — Bee-Clean Building Maintenance in the category of “above and beyond” and Turnbull Design Consultants Ltd. in the area of “innovation.” The third Pinnacle winner was Cadillac Fairview Corp. Ltd. of Toronto, also for innovation.

The Earth Award

Earth Award Winners were 25 York Street in Toronto in the category of office buildings, and the Erin Mills Town Centre in Mississauga for shopping centres.

Other Building Winners

Other TOBY winners included: Centennial Place in Calgary in the category of more than one million square feet; 145 King St. W. in Toronto for 500,000 to one million square feet; Bow Valley Square in Calgary for renovated buildings; the AeroCentre in Mississauga, Ont., for suburban office space; Maple Leaf 2 in Mississauga for corporate facilities; the Park Place Shopping Centre in Lethbridge, Alta., for shopping centres; and 3760 14th Avenue in Markham, Ont., for buildings smaller than 100,000 square feet.

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