TOBY winner profile: CIBC Building

Halifax’s CIBC Building achieved a BOMA BEST Gold certification while the team behind it received the BOMA Nova Scotia Pinnacle Award for Customer Service earlier this year.

CIBC Halifax Now the Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada has given it The Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY) Award for structures from 100,000 to 249,999 square feet.

“We have an experienced and talented group of managers, each of whom are specialists in their fields, and they’re committed to taking each of our properties to their fullest potential, whether that’s by the level of customer service we offer every day or the special energy-saving projects we work to implement,” Crombie REIT marketing and client relations manager Elizabeth Engram said in reference to the recognition bestowed upon it at last month’s BOMA Canada Awards gala in Québec City.

The 16-storey CIBC Building is owned and managed by Crombie (CRR.UN-T) and located at 1809 Barrington St., where it’s connected to seven office buildings and four hotels in the heart of Halifax’s central business district.

Improvements since 1977

The CIBC Building was built in 1977 and has seen many cosmetic and mechanical upgrades since. Recent improvements to its HVAC and lighting systems, upgrading to SMARDT chillers, and partnering with Bullfrog Power to provide green electricity in the parkade have helped reduce energy consumption by 1.6 million kilowatt hours per year since 2008.

A popular amenity is a bicycle facility featuring storage racks, repair kit, lockers and showers that are free for everyone working within the complex.

Angus AnyWhere software was introduced in 2011 to manage all client and preventive maintenance work orders. It also gives Crombie the ability to send communications regarding building operations and notifications to clients during emergency situations.

A fully furnished boardroom, complete with washroom and kitchenette, is available for tenants to rent on a short- or long-term basis. Quarterly newsletters highlight current projects and often include articles on new businesses.

The newsletters also provide an opportunity to educate clients on “green” initiatives and offer implementable solutions to increase efficiency.

One-on-one attention

“We give our clients a lot of one-on-one attention,” said Engram.

“It makes a huge difference in the way we work together, because they know that we take their needs seriously. Based on the nature of each client’s business, a manager is selected from our team to be their dedicated go-to person.”

Crombie this year was named one of Nova Scotia’s and Atlantic Canada’s top employers, and also one of Canada’s top small and medium employers for creating exceptional workplaces with forward-thinking human resources policies. It also promotes loyalty, as nearly 20 per cent of Crombie employees have been with the company for at least 25 years.

“The best way to invest in our people is to provide opportunities for them to continuously grow, whether through supplemental training of trade skills or soft training of customer-service practices,” said Engram. “We believe in helping our employees develop in a well-rounded fashion.”

Community involvement

The Crombie team looks out for the community at large as much as it does its employees and tenants. A centrally located booth hosts fundraising activities for a variety of non-profit organizations nearly every day. They range from craft shows and bake sales to the annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event for YWCA Halifax.

“We also support community events, such as the annual holiday parade and Nocturne: Art at Night, an annual, local art festival that encourages Haligonians to explore our city in a different light,” said Engram.

Steve is a veteran writer, reporter, editor and communications specialist whose work has appeared in a wide variety of print and online outlets. He’s the author of the book Hot…

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Steve is a veteran writer, reporter, editor and communications specialist whose work has appeared in a wide variety of print and online outlets. He’s the author of the book Hot…

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