Harbour Centre

One of Vancouver's tallest and most iconic landmarks

One of Vancouver’s tallest and most iconic landmarks, Harbour Centre is a one-of-a-kind complex. The building offers a unique blend of business, retail, tourism, education and history, located in Vancouver’s downtown heritage district. Harbour Centre is also dedicated to supporting sustainable practices; proactively pursuing means of reducing its carbon footprint as a part of a commitment to operating in a sustainable manner. The unique challenges facing a building that is both a data centre hub and university housing did not stop Harbour Centre from achieving its sustainability goals.

Managed by Polaris Realty, Harbour Centre has been BOMA BEST certified since 2009. It has currently reached gold-level certification, showing demonstrable improvement over the years, earning them their highest score so far in the program.

How did we do it?

  • Energy Conservation:  Installing improved electrical and mechanical systems, such as light sensors in tenant and common areas, energy efficient lighting, electrical metres, low flow aerators on washroom faucets, water meters. Harbour Centre also takes part in the BC Hydro Power Smart program.
  • Tenant Engagement and Communication: Creating an open dialogue with tenants about sustainability by their online green team and implementing a green office tool to survey tenants about their sustainability practices in the office. The results highlighted areas in which tenants and management could improve their habits to be more sustainable.
  • Recycling: Running several recycling programs, including:, construction material (building materials), electronics (computers, monitors, keyboards etc.), and organic waste), in addition to general recycling (Paper cardboard, glass etc.).
  • Parking and Bicycle Compound: Harbour Centre provides three plug-in electric vehicle parking spaces. While the driver pays for parking, Harbour Centre takes care of the electricity costs, further incentivizing green transportation. In addition to parking, secured bike storage is provided for those who cycle to the facility.

Even facing the unique challenges of housing a data centre, Harbour Centre sets the standard for environmental sustainability. Using the BOMA BEST tool, the Polaris Realty team has been able to achieve their sustainability goals. “BOMA BEST is the most widely recognized in our industry and more attainable for existing buildings that can’t change a whole lot about their building” says Kit MacLeod, retail operations administrator at Harbour Centre. Kit says that “BOMA BEST recognizes our efforts for sustainability, and is a program that is recognized by our tenants. Working together with BOMA BEST will allow us to continue our path towards meeting our sustainability goals year after year”.

Created by Natalie Rekai | Wednesday October 9th, 2019 | Case Study