GWL Realty Advisors Wins Technology Innovator at Annual HOOPP LEAP Awards

Toronto, June 1, 2023. GWL Realty Advisors (GWLRA) took home the prestigious Technology Innovator award at the 2023 Leadership in Environmental Advancement Program (LEAP) Awards ceremony in Toronto, Ontario. The company earned the award in recognition of its innovative approach to retrofitting 840 Howe Street, a commercial office building co-owned by HOOPP and GWLRA’s managed Great-West Life Canadian Real Estate Investment Fund No. 1 (CREIF), located in downtown Vancouver.

Built in 1986, a multi-year plan was developed to make the building more sustainable. To help dramatically reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the team added a modular scroll heat recovery chiller (HRCH) to the chiller plant to recover waste heat and inject it into the building’s hot water loop. Combined with a new high efficiency electric heat pump, this approach will reduce natural gas consumption by almost 60% and significantly reduce on-site GHG emissions.

“The heat recovery chiller project is a great example of how we plan to leverage technology to make our buildings more sustainable,” said Randy Felty, Senior Property Manager. “We also plan to replace the gas-fired boiler and make-up air (MUA) units with electric versions in the coming years. By 2030, we expect these changes will reduce GHG emissions for the building by 97% compared to 2019 metrics.”

About the Awards

Established in 2012, by the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP), the LEAP Awards recognize property and asset managers within their portfolio for their work in sustainability, innovation, and leadership. GWLRA itself proudly manages close to $900 million in HOOPP-owned assets across the country. The LEAP Technology Innovator award recognizes the use of innovative technology in a capital project that has reduced the environmental impacts of buildings and that can be leveraged at other properties in the HOOPP portfolio.

Our Shared Commitment to Sustainability

Recognizing the urgent need for collective action to tackle the global climate crisis, in 2022, both HOOPP and GWLRA independently committed to achieving net-zero emissions in their portfolios by 2050. Both companies are working towards this multi-decade goal by setting carbon reduction targets that are aligned with a science-based approach.

“Creating sustainable assets and future-proofing existing ones are among the highest priorities for our company,” added Steven Marino, Executive Vice President, Portfolio Management. “We’re proud to invest and work with clients like HOOPP who share our sustainability goals. It allows us to pursue creative solutions to achieve meaningful change.”

Watch Steven Marino and Eric Plesman, Head of Global Real Estate at HOOPP discuss the role innovation plays in driving positive sustainability outcomes for commercial office buildings.

GWL Realty Advisors

GWL Realty Advisors Inc. is a leading North American real estate investment advisor providing comprehensive asset management, property management, development and specialized real estate advisory services to pension funds and institutional clients. GWL Realty Advisors Inc. manages a diverse portfolio of office, industrial, retail and multi-residential assets as well as an active pipeline of new development projects.