If you want a glimpse into the post-covid future of office building design, look no further than Portlands Commons located at the corner of Front and Portland in the heart of Toronto’s King West neighbourhood and overlooking the downtown Rail Corridor. This 15-storey, 560,000-square-foot “Smart” office building with a ground floor retail base, cantilevered in part over the roof of an adjacent heritage building, was designed with a focus on employee wellness, sustainability and personal control.
The developers are targeting LEED Platinum Core & Shell, WELL Building Gold Certification and WiredScore’s Wired Platinum Certification (for smart technology use) for this building. With an emphasis on indoor air quality the building features operable windows that contribute to the healthy ventilation of the building; modular raised floors throughout the office space allows for healthier and more energy efficient Underfloor Air Distribution (UFAD) which provides personal control of HVAC for each occupant by easily adjustable personal floor diffusers; The green roof and 13 outdoor terraces help to connect occupants to the outdoors, to natural daylight and fresh air for improved occupant health and wellness among other strategies. The upgraded HVAC system includes an air ionization system with hospital-grade MERV 14 filtration and UV light treatment to reduce bacterial and infection agent spread. In that same vein, the tower includes touchless access entries and touchless washroom fixtures. Portland Commons will be also be connected to the Enwave Deep Lake Water Cooling network via The Well, a large mixed-use complex HGC Engineering also providing acoustical consulting for.
We have been providing comprehensive acoustical consulting for Portland Commons from the outset. Many of these new wellness features create accompanying acoustical issues: the Raised Access Floor (RAF) with exposed ceiling slabs means having to deal with office acoustic challenges (reverb) and noise control of mechanical services on the floor above. The air distribution over this large floorplate has resulted in multiple small air handlers (Compartment Units (CU)) per floor to feed the UFAD. To conserve floor-space, they are small with minimal onboard silencing and are squeezed into a small room configured with silencers. Because we need the vendor to supply reliable factory test data on these CUs, they contracted HGC Engineering to do the measurements.
Finally, a noise and vibration study was conducted on the nearby rail corridor to assess its impact on the office building. Having operable windows next to a rail corridor meant greater focus on noise-related glazing considerations.
Acoustical Engineering Services Being Delivered Include:
- Building Acoustical Review
- Building Services Noise and Vibration control (HVAC Systems, Pumps, Compactors,Generators, etc)
- Acoustical Privacy Between Tenant Suites
- Window Acoustical Review
- Façade and Glazing Specification
- Design Review of Architectural Assemblies and Junctions
- Rail Corridor Noise and Vibration Impact Study