Skip Header Navigation

About RBC > Community & Sustainability > News >LEEDing the Way in Green Real Estate

LEEDing the Way in Green Real Estate

At RBC, we're always looking at ways to reduce our operational footprint and more often this means choosing to lease or build office space certified to green building standards, including the predominate North American green building standard LEED. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and designates buildings that are designed and operated to meet certain energy and environmental standards. Nearly a third of our global office space, 2.5 million square feet, is LEED certified, and we're committed to increasing that number. To better understand what makes a building "green", the business case for building green and an overview of green building standards, download the RBC white paper: Green Buildings and LEED (opens PDF in new window).

A description of some of our green certified buildings can be found below:

RBC Centre (Toronto, ON)

Certification: LEED Gold New Construction and LEED Gold Commercial Interiors
Property Manager: Cadillac Fairview
Area occupied by RBC: 873,000 ft²

RBC Centre (Toronto, ON)In January 2012, the RBC Centre received the unique distinction of being certified as the largest LEED Gold for New Construction and LEED Gold for Commercial Interiors (CI) project in Canada. In order to obtain Gold certification, the building's design and RBC's interior space incorporated a number of features including: deep lake cooling; power conservation through indirect lighting and lighting sensors; light shelves that reflect natural light deep inside the building; use of Energy Star appliances; diversion of over 75% of interior construction waste from landfill; over 20% of the materials used to construct the interior space were made of recycled content; and a storage facility for bicycles. For more information visit: RBC Centre and LEED Certification.

RBC Plaza (Toronto, ON)

Certification: LEED Gold for Existing Building
Property Manager: Oxford Properties
Area occupied by RBC: 557,000 ft²

RBC Plaza (Toronto, ON)RBC's iconic corporate headquarters in downtown Toronto, RBC Plaza, was the first bank tower complex to achieve LEED Gold for Existing Building certification in Canada. A few of the initiatives that Oxford Properties implemented to achieve this include: energy efficient lighting that led to a 12% reduction in energy use per light bulb; mechanical upgrades which led a 15% reduction in cooling loads in the summer; low-flow toilets and urinals and hands-free faucets reducing water consumption by more than 37%; a comprehensive recycling program that diverts more than 70% of waste from landfill; and 60% of building energy use is offset with the purchase of green power from windmills, solar panels and micro-hydro projects.

Riverbank House (London, UK)

Certification: BREEAM Excellent
Area occupied by RBC: 108,000 ft²

Riverbank House (London, UK)Riverbank House, RBC's office on the River Thames in London, UK has achieved an 'Excellent' rating under the BREEAM green building rating system (opens external website in new window). BREEAM, widely used throughout the UK and the rest of Europe, is a building rating system that aims to quantify and reduce the environmental impacts of buildings. Combined with the use of advanced materials, triple-glazed windows and other features, Riverbank House emits 22% less greenhouse gases than local building regulation requirements. Some of the building's features include a rooftop solar energy system, a green roof, heat recovery systems and energy sub-metering.

RBC Plaza (Minneapolis, MN)

Certification: LEED Gold Existing Buildings, Operations & Maintenance
Property Manager: Brookfield
Area occupied by RBC: 277,000 ft²

RBC Plaza (Minneapolis, MN)RBC Plaza, located in the Central Business District of Minneapolis, achieved LEED Gold for Existing Buildings, Operations & Maintenance (LEED EBOM) in 2010. LEED EBOM is the preeminent designation for high performance, sustainable building management and operations. RBC Plaza's energy performance is in the top 10% of all comparable buildings in the United States. This level of performance translates to a 40% reduction in energy consumption, savings in excess of $800,000 and 5,350 fewer metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions compared to national averages. Washroom fixtures upgrades alone have already saved 400,000 gallons of potable water, translating into $4,800 in annual savings.

New Back Office Support Facility (Southwestern Ontario)

Certification: LEED Gold for New Construction
Area occupied by RBC: 400,000 ft²

New Back Office Support Facility (Southwestern Ontario)This state-of-the-art facility opened in 2011 and is designed to maximize energy efficiency and achieve an industry leading power usage effectiveness (PUE) value of 1.4. In addition to energy considerations, the facility was designed and constructed with a number of environmental features including: advanced monitoring systems to ensure water and energy consumption are reduced; innovative siting strategies that ensure existing non-developed areas around the facility remain as natural habitat; and the use of construction materials containing recycled content.

Park Place (Vancouver, BC)

Certification: LEED Gold for Existing Buildings, Operations & Maintenance
Property Manager: GWL Realty Advisors Inc
Area occupied by RBC: 55,000 ft²

Park Place (Vancouver, BC)Park Place was the first office tower in Vancouver's downtown core to receive LEED Gold for Existing Buildings, Operations & Maintenance. It achieved certification through several targeted initiatives including: an energy program that reduced overall building greenhouse gas emissions by 12%; water fixture upgrades that reduced water consumption by 30%; waste diversion program that is now achieving a 66% landfill diversion rate; and a comprehensive indoor air quality program that has significantly improved occupant comfort. With an Energy Star rating of 80, Park Place is more energy efficient than 80% of similar commercial buildings.

RBC Waterside Centre (Halifax, NS)

Certification: Targeting LEED Gold New Construction (under construction)
Property Manager: Armour Group
Area occupied by RBC: 35,000 ft²

RBC Waterside Centre (Halifax, NS)This nine-storey building will be the new home for RBC's Atlantic business operations, including its Atlantic Provinces Headquarters and its flagship downtown location. The RBC Waterside Centre retail store will be built to the bank's new retail design standards and will feature interactive advice areas, touch screen technology and an open "shopping" area for clients. RBC Waterside Centre is designed to achieve LEED Gold certification for New Construction with notable sustainability features that include day-lighting technology, and high efficiency air handling and heat recovery ventilation systems that will provide an extremely low cost operating environment.

RBC WaterPark Place (Toronto, ON)

Certification: Targeting LEED Platinum New Construction (under construction)
Property Manager: Oxford Properties
Area occupied by RBC: 565,000 ft²

RBC WaterPark Place (Toronto, ON)The new home to RBC's Canadian Banking operations plans to achieve LEED Platinum certification for the 930,000 square foot RBC WaterPark Place office development currently under construction in downtown Toronto. RBC WaterPark Place will incorporate numerous sustainability features including: highly efficient systems will drive building energy performance of less than 20 equivalent kilowatt hours / ft²; daylight sensors and state-of-the-art lighting controls; a water cistern and greywater re-use that will reduce water consumption and minimize stormwater impacts; and an 80,000 ft² green roof.