Performance Court Official Building Opening: 21-Storey, 360,000 SF Class A LEED Gold Candidate Office Tower

A Jewel at the Crossroads of Sustainability, Business and the Arts in Downtown Ottawa

OTTAWA, June 18, 2014 /CNW/ - When Performance Court was in the conceptual design phase, there was a commitment to "performance" on multiple levels.

          Performance was built into the sustainable architecture and design to LEED Gold standards.
          Performance was at the core of businesses seeking high-efficiency workplaces.
          And, performance was driven by the arts community to engage people in public spaces.

Today, Morguard and its partners are delivering on that commitment.


"It's not your average office building," said Margaret Knowles, SVP Development at Morguard, who was responsible for managing the development on behalf of its investors, Morguard Corporation and Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP). "We meticulously thought through every detail to build a landmark in Ottawa that will define sustainable commercial real estate development for years to come."

Morguard is targeting a minimum certification of LEED Gold Core + Shell with measurable benefits for water efficiency, reduced energy consumption, optimal indoor air quality and low carbon emissions.

Performance Court will have one of the smallest carbon footprints of any multi-tenanted office tower in Canada. The 21-storey, 360,000 SF Class A Office Tower is targeting more than a 50% reduction in energy consumption relative to the Model National Energy Code for Buildings (MNECB), which is the base case used in the LEED program.  Based on preliminary studies, tenants at Performance Court will see more than $1 per SF in savings on utility costs.

For the first time, Morguard has joined forces with Bullfrog Power, a Canadian provider of green power that is injecting 100% wind and low-impact hydro power into the electricity grid to match the amount of power used in Performance Court's public spaces. "Morguard is demonstrating its commitment to renewable energy, another win for lowering a building's carbon footprint," said Peter Melanson, CEO at Bullfrog Power.  "By partnering with Bullfrog, Morguard is also contributing to the development of community-based renewable energy projects across Canada. We're thrilled to welcome the organization to the bullfrogpowered community."

HOOPP has a strong focus on environmental sustainability standards in its real estate portfolio. "Performance Court is a stellar example of HOOPP's commitment to invest in healthy, efficient and high-performing buildings that preserve the environment, while delivering quality product to tenants and long term value for our members," said Lisa Lafave, Senior Portfolio Manager at HOOPP. "Working with Morguard and the City of Ottawa has resulted in a unique development that fosters best practices."


Performance Court, located at 150 Elgin in the heart of Ottawa's downtown business district, is an award winning project from its very inception, having its conceptual design selected by the City of Ottawa in a formal competition.

"This world-class project is one of several that are helping usher in a new golden age for infrastructure in the nation's capital," said Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa.  "The building is at the crossroads of business, design, art, heritage and public space - it fits in perfectly with Ottawa's creative, innovative spirit as the best place to start and grow a business."

As one of the first tenants to sign a lease, the professional services firm of KPMG has been a supporter from the very beginning.  "With a full practice serving the Ottawa business community, we were looking for space to accommodate our recent and future growth," said Grant McDonald, Office Managing Partner at KPMG.  "Sustainability is key in terms of the way we work at KPMG, so Performance Court, a LEED Gold Candidate, met our needs and in fact gives us a head start to reach the highest environmental certification of any KPMG office in Canada.  In addition to all that - it's just a beautiful building," added McDonald, "exactly the professional image we were looking for, and we are very proud to have our KPMG name atop Performance Court."

E-Commerce company Shopify is one of the new tenants calling Performance Court home.  "When looking for a new office space, we had many requirements. A few being that it had to be located downtown, align with Shopify's culture, and be able to grow to three times our current employee count of 342 in a couple of years," said Daniel Weinand, Co-founder and Chief Design & Culture Officer, Shopify. "Performance Court not only met all of our requirements but we liked the fact that the building itself is environmentally sustainable."

Award-winning local restaurateur and sommelier, Stephen Beckta will be relocating his iconic Beckta Dining & Wine venue in the fall of 2014 to the historic Grant House.  The Grant House is a 140-year-old brick and stone home preserved during the build out of Performance Court. A cantilever was used to incorporate the heritage structure into the three-storey office atrium.  "The Grant House offers an amazing heritage stage for our flagship restaurant, and signals our faith and commitment to world-class fine dining in Ottawa," said Beckta. "This to me is the premiere address on Elgin Street, a street that I grew up on that is so near and dear to my heart."

The Arts and Public Spaces

Canada Council for the Arts was the first tenant at Performance Court and, in collaboration with Morguard, has worked to create a new cultural amenity in Ottawa's downtown. The public spaces of 150 Elgin are animated by art, design and culture.  Visitors to the space are welcomed by a three-storey interactive digital wall, for which the Canada Council is commissioning original, innovative and interactive digital art.

Moving through the ground floor, visitors enter Âjagemô, a 3,000 SF gallery that is home to curated exhibitions of some of the most outstanding Canadian contemporary artwork from the Canada Council Art Bank. The gallery's name, which means "crossroads" in Algonquin, was chosen to honour the building's location on traditional Algonquin land. This heritage is echoed in the installation of a traditional birch bark canoe made by Algonquin artist Daniel (Pinock) Smith.

"The appeal was simple. Performance Court successfully embodies many of our core values," said Robert Sirman, Director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts. "We are proud to be able to work with Morguard and leverage the convergence of common interests to grow our civic and cultural footprint in Ottawa, and invite residents and visitors alike to interact with the arts in new ways."

Performance Court was designed to provide interior and exterior public spaces for tenants, residents and visitors to engage.  The Winter Garden, located at street level, is a welcoming atrium with a patio, three-storey interactive digital wall and provides access to the Âjagemô Gallery and the historic Grant House.  Space can be reserved for receptions, shows, lectures and performances.

From the Winter Garden, take the elevator to the seventh floor to enjoy stunning panoramic views of Ottawa from the 6,000 SF public terrace. This outdoor terrace uses native and drought resident plant material to reduce the need for irrigation.  The building has built-in green roofs, rainwater harvesting and an underground cistern as part of its green design.

Official Building Opening

Morguard and HOOPP officially welcomed tenants to Performance Court today.  While the first tenants took occupancy earlier this year, other tenants are completing their fit outs for future occupancy.

From conception to completion the construction team, under the guidance of PCL Constructors and NEUF ARCHITECT(E), has achieved a landmark office tower in Ottawa that's all about performance.

About Morguard

Morguard Corporation (TSX: MRC) is a major North American real estate and property management company.  It has extensive retail, office, industrial, and multi-unit residential holdings owned directly and through its investment in Morguard REIT (TSX: MRT.UN) and Morguard North American Residential REIT (TSX: MRG.UN).  Morguard also provides real estate management and investment services to institutional and other investors.  Morguard's owned and managed real estate portfolio is valued at approximately $15.2 billion.

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About the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan

Created in 1960, HOOPP is the pension plan of choice for Ontario's hospital and community-based healthcare sector with over 470 participating employers. HOOPP's 286,000 members and pensioners include nurses, medical technicians, food services staff and laundry workers, and many other people who work hard to provide valued Ontario healthcare services. HOOPP has more than $51.6 billion in net assets and is fully funded. As a defined benefit plan, HOOPP provides eligible members with a retirement income based on a formula that takes into account a member's earnings history and length of service in the Plan. Once eligible members start receiving a pension, they receive it for life.  About 80 cents of every pension dollar paid out comes from investment returns. HOOPP is governed by a Board of Trustees with representation from the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) and four unions: the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Ontario Public Service Employees' Union (OPSEU), and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The unique governance model provides representation from both management and workers in support of the long-term interests of the Plan.

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SOURCE: Morguard Corporation

For further information:

Margaret Knowles, SVP Development

Martin Biefer, Director, Public Affairs


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