Hard Hats On: Peek inside Cisco Canada’s New Office Space in “The Smartest Building in North America”

On February 13, Cisco Canada hosted a Hard-Hat Tour for local media and analysts, to give them a behind-the-drywall look at our new offices slated for move-in in May 2015 at RBC WaterPark Place, located at 85 Harbour Square. Bernadette Wightman, president of Cisco Canada, welcomed the attendees and Rick Huijbregts, Vice President of Industry Transformation at Cisco Canada, led the group through active construction zones.

We were also joined by our ecosystem partners for RBC WaterPark Place: Oxford Properties, EllisDon, CBRE, and HOK.


The tour started in Cisco’s soon-to-be Internet of Everything Innovation Centre on the second floor, with all the attendees appropriately hard-hatted and booted. As part of her welcome, Bernadette commented, “Cisco is proud to call our new home the smartest building in North America.” This was no mere exaggeration: WaterPark Place is a LEED Core and Shell Platinum building employing the absolute highest standard in sustainable practices at every level. It is also the first large scale commercial high-rise with converged/integrated Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) LED lighting and HVAC in the Americas.

Cisco will occupy the 26th through the 29th floors along with the Innovation Centre.  We are not only one of the lead tenants but we’re also a crucial stakeholder in the base building infrastructure planning and design of the entire building. The backbone of this leading edge smart building is comprised of a single converged IP network. Network IP convergence future proofs the building and leverages major current technology trends and provides today’s collaborative workforce with the best possible tools and resources. At its very basic, the IP network allows for the easy adoption of TelePresence, WiFi, personal occupant control and Internet Connectivity – features that will be present throughout Cisco’s new office space.

As we led the tour throughout the new office floors, however, we were able to demonstrate some of the really innovative and exciting things the converged IP network will enable. Possibly the most exciting feature of our new office is the PoE LED lighting, a revolutionary system that will undoubtedly change the construction industry. PoE lights run completely off the IP network and not off traditional electric cables, saving considerable amounts of energy. They can last for nearly 25 years without replacement, and allow optimal light level output when turned on. For example, users can adjust the light level based on their preferences from the control panel, and eventually, even off their own tablet or smartphone.


The converged IP network also allows us to monitor external daylight levels, temperature and occupancy in real-time. Everything runs on one network so we can tie lights to access control to heating easily, in order to provide personal comfort control. For the HVAC Solution, Variable Air Volume Air Controllers (Delta Controls) located in ceiling plenum also run on the IP network and will allow Cisco full control over the HVAC system across our offices in order to effectively reduce energy consumption and attain consistent temperatures.

All of these features have been designed to not only provide efficient energy consumption and lower operating costs, but also to provide employees with the most comfortable and practical working environment possible.

Cisco Canada is very excited to partner in this tremendous project and look forward to moving in!

About Bill MacGowan

Bill MacGowan is a Vertical Solutions Architect (VSA) for Cisco’s Smart + Connect Real Estate and Smart + Connected Communities Business Team in Canada. Bill has been involved in the new construction and retroft industry for the better part of 30 years. Bill is a former Project Leader in product development for General Electric and the former Energy and Automation Manager for Dominion Food Stores. Bill worked as the Commercial Sales Manager for Honeywell and became the VP of Sales and Marketing for Toronto based Enera Controls in 1989. Bill worked in the Building Automation Systems market in the Toronto area for a number of years and joined Delta Controls, one of the global leading manufacturers of Building Automation and System Integration Platforms in 1994. Bill has been intimately involved with the progress of open communication standards and the promotion of Delta Controls product on a global basis. Through the practical experience of building and positioning an independent controls company and then focusing on customer needs (performance, sustainability, energy) on a national and global basis, Bill has developed considerable knowledge in the arenas of Converged Building Systems, Enterprise Integration and the Delivery of High Performance Business Value. Bill is an honors graduate of the Queens University Electrical Engineering program (1976) and is a Certified Energy Manager (CEM) with the American Energy Engineers (AEE) Association. Bill resides in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Bill MacGowan est architecte de solutions verticales (VSA) pour l’équipe professionnelle Immobilier intelligent et connecté et Communautés intelligentes et connectées Cisco au Canada. Bill a participé activement au secteur de la construction de nouveaux bâtiments et des rénovations durant près de 30 ans. Bill fut chef de projet du développement de nouveaux produits chez General Electric et responsable du département de l’énergie et de l’automatisation de Dominion Food Stores. Bill a ensuite occupé le poste de directeur des ventes commerciales chez Honeywell et, en 1989, il fut nommé vice-président des ventes et du marketing de l’entreprise Enera Controls basée à Toronto. Bill a travaillé dans le marché des systèmes d’automatisation de la construction dans la région de Toronto durant plusieurs années pour accepter un poste à Delta Controls, un des premiers fabricants internationaux de plateformes d’intégration des systèmes et d’automatisation de la construction en 1994. Bill s’est impliqué personnellement dans l’amélioration des standards de communication ouverte et dans la promotion des produits Delta Controls de manière générale. Grâce à son expérience pratique dans la création et l’établissement d’une société de contrôles indépendante, et grâce à la priorité accordée aux besoins du client (performance, fiabilité, énergie) à une échelle nationale et internationale, Bill a acquis des connaissances considérables dans les domaines des systèmes de construction convergents, d’intégration d’entreprise et de valeur commerciale à hautesperformances.Bill est diplômé spécialisé du programme d’ingénierie électrique de la Queens University (1976) et est titulaire du certificat Certified Energy Manager (CEM) auprès de l’Association Energy Engineers (AEE) des États-Unis. Bill vit à Toronto (Ontario) au Canada.
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2 Responses to Hard Hats On: Peek inside Cisco Canada’s New Office Space in “The Smartest Building in North America”

  1. Pingback: Gen X 3.0: No more Middle Child Syndrome | Cisco Canada Blog

  2. Pingback: Génération X 3.0 : fini le syndrome de l’enfant sandwich | Blogue de Cisco Canada

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