Modern Niagara is proud to position ourselves as a sustainable and innovative contractor. Our teams can combine their efforts to provide full-service solutions to all our clients and partners. By leveraging our core values and pursuing new techniques, we’re building the spaces where Canadians live. These skills were recently employed in our partnership with long-standing client Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE), as they prepare to welcome Canadians back to their buildings.
This project focused on two of MLSE’s facilities in Toronto’s downtown core: Scotiabank Arena and MLSE LaunchPad. Scotiabank Arena is a multi-purpose arena which hosts numerous events every year including NHL and NBA games concerts, and other events. The facility opened to the public in 1999, however, it has been temporarily closed since 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
MLSE LaunchPad is a sports and recreational facility with the goal of providing a space where youth facing barriers can use sport to recognize and reach their potential. The facility consists of two floors, with the main floor housing a large, 20,000 ft² multi-purpose court. Similar to Scotiabank Arena, this facility has been closed since early 2020.
To provide assurance to its occupants, MLSE wanted to take all necessary measures to welcome fans to an environment deemed safe by all levels of government and public health officials. As a result, MLSE decided to pursue the WELL Health-Safety Rating seal for LaunchPad and Scotiabank Arena.
The WELL Health-Safety Rating was launched in early 2020 by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. With the goal of creating and certifying spaces that advance human health and well-being, these certifications will help buildings reopen with stronger public health measures. They are new concepts, especially compared to more widely known building designations such as LEED. Modern Niagara was tasked with guiding MLSE through the WELL Health-Safety Rating process and providing recommendations for air and water quality management best practices, based on reputable resources that also aligned with the WELL Building Standard. The rating consists of five main concepts, plus a ‘bonus’ innovation concept that can count towards the rating. Not including the innovation category, the five high-level concepts are:
- Cleaning and Sanitization Procedures
- Emergency Preparedness Programs
- Health Service Resources
- Air and Water Quality Management
- Stakeholder Engagement and Communication
When this partnership was first initiated between Modern and MLSE, Ronak Mozayyan (Business Lead, Energy Solution, Modern Niagara Toronto) began exploring the WELL Certification and the rating. It became clear to Ronak that this was something that would gain traction in the commercial space. Ronak quickly understood the importance of WELL given the focus around occupant health and safety, and that Modern Niagara would need to have an in-depth understanding of WELL to serve our clients in a meaningful way. Ronak received approval and great internal support from the team to pursue the WELL AP designation and began the process in tandem with our MLSE projects. In studying for the exam, Ronak gained a thorough understanding of the requirements of WELL Building Standard and ultimately helped guide our team in Toronto over the course of the project.
Modern Niagara conducted a thorough site visit, assessing and inspecting equipment and facility operation such as MUAs, rooftop units, dehumidification units, cooling towers, exhaust fans, pumps, boilers, BAS, etc. We also reviewed supplemental information provided by MLSE, including as-built drawings. Based on our full assessment and analysis, we developed a comprehensive report that provided recommendations and solutions on what was specifically required to achieve the WELL Rating for both facilities. This consisted of operational changes and retrofits, with a focus on energy consumption and thermal comfort.
The project duration was a function of coordinating with MLSE to schedule site visits and retrieving supplemental information. For LaunchPad, the project commenced at the beginning of October 2020 for a duration of approximately three weeks. The Scotiabank Arena project, given the scale of facility, commenced mid-November and was completed approximately five weeks from the starting point. Overall, the project lasted from October 2020 to February 2021. LaunchPad received the rating in January 2021, while Scotiabank Arena received the rating shortly after in February 2021. MLSE is now an early adopter of this rating and Scotiabank Arena is the first facilities of its kind in Canada to receive this seal through the IWBI.
There are few companies that provide the unique service offered by Modern and there may be even fewer in the contracting space. Modern Niagara’s Energy Solutions group has in-depth expertise and knowledge in conducting retrofits, so it was a natural fit for the team to add WELL to our suite of services. As companies and organizations around the country are becoming increasingly aware of the need to ensure the health and safety of their buildings and facilities, Modern recognizes the growing importance of WELL Certification and our team in Toronto looks forward to offering this building rating for our future clients.