A historic piece of the Waterloo streetscape is preserved, restored, and brought into the next century with a full gut retrofit and energy upgrade. The new building uses almost 70% less energy than its previous incarnation.

This gorgeous solid brick 120 year old building had been neglected for decades. Originally a furniture store and undertaker's, the building had been subdivided, cut into, poorly insulated, and generally ignored for over 50 years. Now home to Whiting Design (3rd floor behind the arch-top windows) and 8 other Waterloo based small businesses in a shared space concept office facility, with common kitchen and boardroom.

The project focuses on revealing and celebrating the original design. Natural light is abundant, none of the offices use artificial lighting during daytime, amounting to a significant energy use reduction. Existing structure is exposed and re-used, with a new steel frame installed through the centre of the space to reinforce and upgrade to new engineering standards. Floors are locally and sustainably sourced hardwoods, a combination of elm and black walnut, for long term durability and a warm, quality aesthetic.

Windows are replaced with high performance, full height, operable units, creating a bright airy environment which is a joy to work in. Considerable repairs to the triple brick walls, a new roof, siding and flashing contribute to the durability strategies. A new steel parapet conceals the 6 inches of continuous polyiso roof insulation, and the entire interior is continuously spray foamed to a minimum of 4 inches for exceptional air tightness and energy performance, outperforming the original building by over 70% and allowing us to reduce our carbon footprint by over 50%, under our Gold pledging agreement with Sustainable Waterloo. Traces of a derelict fire escape stair and door are visible on the side, as well as the old 2nd storey rail delivery window, consciously preserving evidence of the building's almost 140 year history beside the tracks.