OUR GREAT MINDS

    by Tina Olivero

    Rick Hansen’s Vision for Accessibility and Inclusion For All

    September 10, 2019

    Accessibility advocate and “Man In Motion,” Rick Hansen, announced that Husky Energy’s downtown office and the building in which it is housed, 351 Water Street, received an ‘Accessibility Certified Gold’ rating under the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC) program. These are the first two gold certifications in Newfoundland and Labrador.

    “East Port Properties has always designed buildings with the users in mind and with attention to comfort, efficiency and sustainability,” said Judy Wall, President, East Port Properties. (Top right)
    RHFAC is the first program to rate meaningful access, based upon the holistic user experience of people with varying disabilities affecting their mobility, vision and hearing. To date, over 1,200 buildings across Canada have been rated through the program.

    Encouraged to have their sites rated for accessibility through a challenge led by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA Canada), Husky and 351 Water Street both rated highly enough to achieve the prestigious Gold certification, both demonstrating their commitment to removing barriers and improving access for people of all abilities. Owned by TD Greystone Managed Investments and managed by East Port Properties Ltd., 351 Water Street provides improved accessibility within the building, which benefits the over 555 people who work there each day as well as many visitors. Tenants and building owner-managers need not both apply for RHFAC, but in this case, both did.

    One hundred and thirty-three sites owned and/or managed by BOMA members across Canada have registered to be rated through the RHFAC program including BentallGreenOak (Canada) LP, Ivanhoe Cambridge Inc., QuadReal Property Group, Shape Property Management, The Cadillac Fairview Corporation, and Triovest Realty Advisors Inc.

    Husky Energy’s downtown office and the building is housed at 351 Water Street, where this building received an ‘Accessibility Certified Gold’ rating under the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification? (RHFAC) program.

    “Congratulations to Husky, East Port Properties (351 Water Street) and thank you to all 133 BOMA Canada member sites who participated in this accessibility challenge,” said Rick Hansen, Founder, Rick Hansen Foundation. “When both tenants and building owners and managers work together, we can create real change. One of the most significant barriers people with disabilities face is access to their built environment, and nowhere greater is this felt than in the workplace. Accessible and inclusive workplaces mean that persons of all abilities can live without physical barriers, and I’m delighted that these organizations are committed to removing barriers and leading the way towards improving accessibility for people living with disabilities in Canada.”

    “Husky wants to be considered an employer of choice, where all employees can deliver their best at work,” said Trevor Pritchard, Senior Vice President for the Atlantic Region. “In designing our office space we took that to heart and engineered with the end-user in mind and that included a focus on an inclusive and collaborative work environment.”

    Debbie Hanlon, Councillor at Large, for the City of St. John’s welcomes Rick Hansen to this milestone event.

    “East Port Properties has always designed buildings with the users in mind and with attention to comfort, efficiency and sustainability,” said Judy Wall, President, East Port Properties. “The true pride in receiving this certification, however, is the confirmation that we are providing a safe, comfortable and usable workplace for all people. Having a tenant like Husky, whose workplace values coincide with ours, is a winning combination for everyone.”

    “The Canadian commercial real estate industry recognizes the role we can play in driving the accessibility agenda in Canada,” said Benjamin Shinewald, President and CEO of BOMA Canada. “By providing meaningful access to the buildings we own and manage, we not only provide better service to our customers, but we drive our most important values. BOMA Canada is proud to partner with the Rick Hansen Foundation to move this important cause forward in our industry, and we congratulate 351 Water Street and Husky Energy.”

    Benjamin Shinewald, President and CEO of BOMA Canada. 351 Water St. is a legacy building designed to support inclusion and accessibility. Building features are designed with people with special abilities in mind. It is an outstanding mission and contribution to the community.

    The Husky Energy office and 351 Water Street have a broad range of accessibility features that led to their gold ratings including:

    • A design space which utilizes a “right to light” methodology, meaning workstations are situated towards the exterior of the building and natural light is allowed to flow towards the interior core. A well-illuminated space that utilizes an automated system often referred to as daylight harvesting, to increase or decrease light depending on what the conditions are outside.
    • Entry doors into spaces and washrooms with power operators on them.
    • Wayfinding: Every floor in the office building has colour coding to match glazed walls, signage and furniture, indicating what floor you are on.
    • Individual ergonomic workstations have height-adjustable desks, task lights and monitor arms, offering an unlimited number of setups and arrangements for all users.
    • Generous aisle widths and interior circulation spaces.
    • Large kitchens on all floors with varying seating arrangements and heights for people of varying abilities.
    • Coffee stations are outfitted with recessed sinks for persons in wheelchairs.
    • Meeting rooms with a small electronic “room view” device on the outside which indicates if it is in use, free, booked, etc. Users can also tell if it is occupied if the device is red or green if unoccupied.
    • A telephone room was recently converted into a wellness room, to provide employees with some private space.

    For more on the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility CertificationTM program, please visit www.rickhansen.com/RHFAC

    About the Rick Hansen Foundation

    The Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) was established in 1988, following the completion of Rick Hansen’s Man In Motion World Tour. For nearly 30 years, RHF has worked to raise awareness, change attitudes, and remove barriers for people with disabilities.

    About the Husky Energy

    Husky Energy is a Canadian-based integrated energy company, with headquarters in Calgary, Alberta. The Company operates in Western and Atlantic Canada, the United States and the Asia Pacific region, with Upstream and Downstream business segments.

    About East Port Properties Limited

    East Port Properties is the leading development company for workplace real estate in Atlantic Canada. Since 1981, East Port has developed millions of square feet of office, commercial, research, industrial warehouse, parking, and recreational facilities, primarily in Halifax / Dartmouth and St. John’s / Mount Pearl. For more information: eastportproperties.ca.

    About BOMA Canada

    BOMA Canada is the voice of the Canadian commercial real estate industry. A national not-for-profit association, with strong associations in each major region in Canada, BOMA Canada is comprised of over 3200 members, representing close to 2.1 billion square feet of commercial space in the country. Members include building owners, managers, developers, facilities managers, asset managers, leasing agents and brokers, investors, and service providers.

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