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PwC Tower among Canada’s most advanced IP-networked commercial buildings


October 7, 2011
By Anthony Capkun

October 7, 2011 – Cisco and EllisDon announced completion of PwC Tower’s technology infrastructure, which is based on Cisco Smart+Connected Real Estate solutions. Located at 18 York Street in Toronto’s Southcore Financial Centre, PwC Tower is one of Canada’s most advanced commercial developments, say Cisco and EllisDon.

“The construction and real estate industry is in transformation, and the IP network is playing a critical role in building and managing buildings,” said Stephen Foster, director of ICT services, EllisDon Corp. “A one-network approach, like we’ve developed at PwC Tower, enables better facilities management, overall better experiences for landlords and tenants, and drives asset value. We are proud to be driving that change as we incorporate IP network solutions in all our future-ready buildings.”

Developed by GWL Realty Advisors on behalf of owner British Columbia Investment Management Corp. (bcIMC), the new tower comprises 650,000 sf on 26 floors and opened its doors in September. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) is the primary tenant, occupying 16 floors. Utilizing Cisco Smart+Connected Real Estate solutions, PwC Tower is one of the first commercial buildings in Canada with an end-to-end building information network.

All building systems communicate over the Cisco IP network and are managed by a central management system, which acts as the central nervous system of the building, optimizing building performance, reducing building energy footprint and providing services and features that enhance the occupant experience.

“PwC Tower clearly demonstrates that building objectives such as sustainability, energy management, increasing operational efficiencies or innovation in the workplace, all start with using the network as a platform to transform the built environment,” Rick Huijbregts, VP Smart +Connected Communities, Cisco Canada. “Our partnership with EllisDon and PwC has resulted in a building which truly embraces these elements and is focused on delivering next-generation building services.”

The building is connected via a single, intelligent Cisco infrastructure, providing multiple services across one IP network… delivering data, voice and video, and connecting all building systems and controls, as well as third-party applications for lighting, security, blinds and audio visual.

A central management system provides access to third-party applications for fault detection of all building systems, including HVAC, performing continuous analysis, and predicting building performance. The data collected can also be used for preventive maintenance analytics.

Utilizing a third-party application on their Cisco IP Phones, PwC employees will be able to control lighting to personalize offices, conference rooms and quiet areas. No longer just a dial tone, but a room controller, the Cisco IP Phone replaces light switches as well as offering voice, video and data over the converged network.

By removing traditional siloed approaches to building design, data from previously disparate building systems can now be collected over one IP network, helping owners, landlords and tenants monitor and improve the performance of buildings.

In 2009, EllisDon and Cisco began a strategic collaboration designed to accelerate the development of a next-generation, connected building strategy to bring the power of network convergence to building construction. PwC Tower represents the first completed commercial building collaboration between Cisco and EllisDon.