Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

CTBUH Canada: Harbour Plaza Construction Tour
August 18, 2016

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TORONTO – The CTBUH Canada Chapter has been busy with end of summer tall building and urban habitat events. Just five days after hosting the Twilight Walking Tour of downtown Toronto, the chapter put on a construction tour of Menkes Developments’ Harbour Plaza. This mixed use development will soon be an anchor location of the emerging Southcore Financial District in downtown Toronto. Key features of the three-tower development include:

•    The façade at the ground level, which is an 18-meter high tension cable glass wall;
•    A 35-story office tower (Sun Life Financial Tower). The office tower has approximately 800,000 square feet (74,300 square meters) of leasable space and is pursuing LEED Platinum status;

•    Two soaring residential condominium towers at 66 and 62 stories. The west tower to be measured at 224 meters tall and the east tower at 233 meters tall. The residential use area of the project comprises more than 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 square meters);

•    Connection to Toronto’s Underground PATH Network at the northwest corner of the building.
The Sun Life Financial Tower features an 18-meter high tension cable glass wall. The Harbour Plaza development will feature three towers in total once completed.

Altogether, 42 members and guests participated in the construction tour. CTBUH Canada Secretary Mark Garland, LCL Builds, opened the orientation session in the ground floor lobby of the Sun Life Financial Tower. The three executives from Menkes Developments Ltd., who are responsible for the development, Jared Menkes, Guy Belanger, and Joe Francavilla, presented summary details about the land acquisition, leasing and sale programs, and unique design characteristics of the large mixed-use development.

Following the orientation, the tour participants split into three groups for interactive education sessions in a round robin manner at each of three different
stations in the buildings. Overall the 66- and 62-story residential towers are a few weeks from topping out, each with window installation complete to floor 50.

For some of the construction aficionados among the group, it was admirable to observe the posts for the decorative balcony guards being used for the strong backs for the construction safety fence. This approach is very efficient, utilizing no rental or temporary materials, except the fence itself.
On level 39 of the west tower, Francavilla explained the details of the unique balcony guards. These are the guards that give the buildings their braided appearance. The guards are constructed out of perforated aluminum sheet and powder-coated white. Menkes Developments performed many mock-ups of the balcony guards, paying particular attention to wind noise and see through visibility for homeowners. It was interesting for the tour participants to view the transparency first hand.

On level 49, Mark Mulvenna, a Menkes construction superintendent on the project, presented other features of the residential towers. The stair and elevator reinforced concrete cores are surrounded again by 500-milimeter-thick concrete shear walls, inside which serves as a service corridor. Even with the stout structure, Menkes will be commissioning each building with tuned mass dampers to mitigate any potential building sway. For HVAC, Menkes has gone top market with vertical four pipe fan coils throughout the buildings.

The third stations started with travel back down the man hoist, then up the office building low-rise elevators to floor 15, the only un-tenanted floor left in the building. Belanger, who is the development executive in charge of the office building, explained the many custom features serving the class-A office space:

•    Central plant is provided by a subterranean connection to Enwave’s steam and chilled water loop;

•    Floor-by-floor air handler units then deliver tenant controlled air circulation;
•    Concrete tread, raised-floor systems are provided throughout every level of the office building;

•    The soffits of the flat slab, reinforced concrete floors are painted white, which give the office tenant a ready-made choice for exposed structure for ceilings, enabling a clear height of 10–11 feet (3–3.35 meters);

•    Floor to ceiling windows throughout, with a knee-height cross bar for visual comfort;
Altogether, 42 members and guests participated in the tour.
The three tour groups then reconvened in the main lobby of One York. Robert Quattrociocchi, Building and Materials Sciences Manager of EllisDon Corporation, closed the session with “thank yous” to the tour group chaperones. Together with Menkes, EllisDon was the general contractor for the basement and podium of the development.
CTBUH Canada used the ticket sale proceeds to host a networking social at the Watermark Pub on Queens Quay, a short one-block walk from the construction venue. Nearly all of the tour participants joined in at the waterfront bar. Included in the tour groups were several representatives of RESCON, the construction employer association for residential builders in Ontario. RESCON is sending 13 people to the CTBUH 2016 International Conference in China in October. The upcoming conference in October generated a lot of lively discussion.
The two Harbour Plaza towers are seen under construction.
CTBUH Canada’s next local event is an MEP breakfast seminar to be held on October 4 at the University of Toronto Faculty Club.
Feldman, Adam architectsAlliance
Azez, Emad Brookfield Multiplex
Parakh, James City of Toronto
Grassia, Joseph Concert Properties
Golara, Jalapour Dialogue Design
Ko, Simon Dialogue Design
Brodigan, Mike EllisDon
Gaglione, Mark EllisDon
Ida, Mohammed EllisDon
Lewington, Herb EllisDon
Martin, John EllisDon
Quattrociocchi, Robert EllisDon
McCoubrey, Merv Great West Life
Schneiderman, Adam Great West Life
Foo, Joel Kinetica
Guo, Jack Kinetica
Montgomery, Michael Kinetica
Pant, Deepak Kinetica
Bohemier, Marc LCL Builds
Garland, Laura LCL Builds
Garland, Mark LCL Builds
Belanger, Guy Menkes Developments
Defilippis, Domenic Menkes Developments
Evanetz, Michael Menkes Developments
Francavilla, Joe Menkes Developments
Menkes, Jared Menkes Developments
Mulvenna, Mark Menkes Developments
Athey, Brian Morguard
Tong, Derek Mott Macdonald
Saliba, Mike Plaza Corp
Izadnia, Yas Project Core
Kazemi, Sami Quadrangle
Marenco, Will Quadrangle
Cullen, Saundra Stephenson Engineering
DiPietro, Ivano Stephenson Engineering
Li, Fisher Stephenson Engineering
Mitchell, Catherine Stephenson Engineering
Nevison, Greg Stephenson Engineering
Tanasijevic, Zoran Stephenson Engineering
Giancola, Bruno Tridel
White, Craig Urban Toronto
Ramcharan, Robin