Halifax’s Barrington Place might not be the biggest or newest building in Canada, but as the winner of this year’s Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Canada TOBY Award in the mixed-use category, it’s one of the best.
The five-storey building at 1903 Barrington St. was built in 1980 and includes 19,173 square feet of office space, 32,985 square feet of retail space and 138,556 square feet of hotel space, operated as the Delta Barrington. It’s owned by Crombie REIT (CRR-UN-T).
“These awards demonstrate our commitment to our buildings and our clients, and differentiate us from our neighbours,” said Crombie’s Atlantic director of operations Dan Bourque.
Barrington Place’s ease of mobility
Barrington Place is fully accessible and connected by indoor pedways to a variety of amenities that make it an ideal location for both commercial and retail businesses, including shopping, dining, banking, fitness, a medical clinic and drug store, hotels, storage and entertainment.
The pedway is also connected to the Scotia Square parkade, which features 1,700 stalls, dedicated carpool parking, 24/7 security monitoring, client assistance stations, electric vehicle charging stations and recently upgraded lighting. It also has a parking guidance system that shows the number of spaces available on each level in real time, which reduces harmful emissions from idling vehicles.
Barrington Place serves as a downtown hub for Metro Transit, as more than 13,000 riders use the depot at the complex each day and can now enjoy a new, heated indoor waiting area.
To complement the partnership with Metro Transit, Barrington Place has a bicycle storage facility that’s only accessible by card. It’s equipped with wall-mounted bike racks, repairs kits, an electric pump, lockers, showers, washrooms and change rooms.
Barrington Place’s environmental initiatives
Barrington Place has a BOMA BEST Gold certification and management has introduced a number of innovations that have had a noticeable effect on its sustainability and environmental impact and resulted in lower energy and water consumption. This isn’t always easy, considering the building’s mix of clients and their unique requirements and hours of operation.
“We are using an AEM Alerton Energy Management System, which offers night set back, supply air resets based on outside air temperatures, and programmable stop/start of all mechanical equipment,” said Bourque.
“Two dual-fired, cast-iron boilers provide all building heating requirements, along with domestic hot water for the Delta Barrington Hotel. One is a high-efficiency Viessman boiler and the other is a Smith boiler.”
Barrington Place participates in Efficiency Nova Scotia’s lamp recycling program. The building’s restrooms have electronic faucets on sinks, electronic flushometers on toilets and urinals, light occupancy sensors and motion-activated hand towel dispensers.
Barrington Place has a green purchasing procurement policy, upgraded LED lighting in all stairwells, a dedicated manager of engineering and sustainability who’s also a certified energy manager, and a BOMA BEST green committee.
Open communication and engagement
Management ensures energy conservation initiatives are communicated to employees and clients through memos and internal newsletters.
“We work collaboratively with our clients, which means identifying and acting on sustainable opportunities together,” said Bourque. “This helps us in consistently improving the quality of service and quality of our buildings.”
The Barrington Place team received the BOMA Nova Scotia Pinnacle Award for Customer Service in 2015 as a result of its unique client services program.
It involves conducting one-on-one check-ins with all clients, as well as anonymous online surveys to collect feedback on its operations and services, services provided by its contracted cleaning and security providers, and ways to improve the daily experience of everyone who visits the complex.
A premium is also placed on community — as well as employee, tenant and client — engagement.
“Our team participates in various events throughout the year, including the Canadian Cancer Society’s Daffodil campaign, Plaid for Dad, Bowl for Kids Sake, and more,” said Bourque.
“Our annual holiday campaign supports our local food bank, Feed Nova Scotia, while bringing our employees, clients and community together in an effort to raise food and funds for this cause.”