evolv1, Canada’s First Zero-Carbon Building, Officially Opens Its Doors

EY, TextNow to collaborate with leading research & industry partners in sustainable living lab project

Nov. 29, 2018 (WATERLOO, ON) – The Cora Group, a premier developer and manager of Class A office space located in the Waterloo Region, officially opened the doors to evolv1, the first-ever zero carbon office building in Canada. The building’s tenants include globally leading professional services firm EY, TextNow, one of North America’s fastest growing tech companies, as well as, the evolvGREEN partnership comprised of Sustainable Waterloo Region, the Accelerator Centre, Wilfrid Laurier University, and the University of Waterloo.

Located in the heart of Waterloo’s Idea Quarter district, evolv1 is part of the David Johnston Research + Technology Park (R+T Park) at the University of Waterloo. This unique, central location, allows companies to easily tap into the talent, startups, and research capabilities of Canada’s most innovative university.

In that regard, it was also announced today that evolv1 will be home to a new R+D Lab for Borealis AI, one of Canada’s leaders in artificial intelligence. Borealis AI is an RBC Institute for Research dedicated to achieving state-of-the-art machine learning advances. The company is also a significant partner and sponsor of the Waterloo Artificial Intelligence Institute at the University of Waterloo. The new Borealis AI lab will be led by Professor Pascal Poupart with the aim of seizing opportunities to lead AI research and application in emerging areas.

evolv1 has already proven to be a leader in sustainable design. Designed and engineered by Stantec, and targeting LEED Platinum status, the project generates more energy than it consumes through an innovative geothermal well system and over 2,000 solar panels. The 110,000 square foot building has been the recipient of prestigious awards, certifications, and accolades, including being the first building to earn the Zero Carbon Building – Design certification by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) and capturing the first-ever Zero Carbon award, also from the CaGBC.

But the building was truly designed to put people first, offering spaces filled with natural light, a 3-story living wall to clean and filter air, creative collaboration spaces, a coffee shop, ample free parking, more than 20 EV charging stations, and close proximity to the Region’s new light rail transit system and extensive trails network.

The new evolvGREEN innovation space within that building will house a community of local startups, government officials, academic institutions, and industry partners that are committed to supporting a sustainable economy and workplace wellness, as well as accelerate the growth of entrepreneurs looking to make waves in the clean-tech space.

Planning is currently underway for evolv2, which will be located across the street in R+T Park.


“Sustainable Waterloo Region is so proud of the role we have played in making evolv1 a reality. From idea conception through to the development of evolvGREEN, we have seen this community come together to change the development industry and to create a hub for clean economy development. In the evolvGREEN, we are thrilled to be working with our partners to build the clean economy through clean-tech start up innovation, supporting transformation in existing businesses, and conducting research to move both buildings and citizen behaviour towards a more sustainable future.”

Tova Davidson, Executive Director of Sustainable Waterloo Region

“As TextNow grows, it is important we are in a space that reflects who we are as a company.  evolv1 is not only a cool workspace, it is the perfect place for us to collaborate with other growing Waterloo companies that share our values of taking risks and building cool stuff together.  The icing on the cake: we can feel good about being in a building with a zero carbon footprint.”

Derek Ting, Co-Founder and CEO of TextNow

“EY is thrilled to call evolv1 our new home!  We have built a collaborative, innovative and cool workspace that will allow us to attract and retain the best and brightest talent and address the changing ways in which we work. We love that we have done this in an environment that focuses on sustainability and that should become the blueprint for how office space is designed in the future.  This is one way in which we are living our purpose of building a better working world.”

Cynthia McIntyre, Partner, Business Tax Services and Managing Partner, Waterloo Region Office

“We are thrilled to officially open the doors of evolv1. Years in the imaging, planning, and making, we have set a new benchmark for green building design and construction. Today, we celebrate and acknowledge the collaborative efforts of The Cora Group and our many partners and stakeholders who made this vision a reality.”

Adrian Conrad, COO, Cora Group

About The Cora Group

The Cora Group Inc. is a premier developer and manager of Class A office space in the Waterloo Region. Our properties, predominantly situated within Waterloo’s emerging Idea Quarter, are built for sustainability using state of the art LEED building principles. They are perfectly suited to entrepreneurs, growing technology and professional services companies and are tailored to the needs of today’s millennial workforce.

About R+T Park

The David Johnston Research + Technology Park houses thousands of professional and researchers developing cutting edge innovation across healthcare, robotics, quantum computing, AI, engineering, aviation, and more. R+T Park is committed to fostering innovation by working with organizations to commercialize research emerging from the University of Waterloo – Canada’s most innovative university; access a pool of globally recognized, top-calibre talent; and tap into the highest density of startup companies outside Silicon Valley.