When Capital One wanted to consolidate its Toronto offices under one roof, the biggest challenge was time. They had just under a year to get through the design and construction of 120,000sf over 5 storeys as well as move their staff from the old space to the new.
To meet that challenge, the Govan Brown team focused on the elements of the project we could control—and how to make those as efficient as possible. To start, we got involved early with the design team to work through five months of preconstruction, during which we fine-tuned the budget and value-engineered some of the higher-end features.
One of the easier decisions came with the furniture. Because the new offices were designed to maintain the aesthetic of their existing offices, Capital One agreed that they could reuse much of their furniture in the new space—which would be a big time and money-saver. Govan Brown helped them come up with a phasing plan that would best accommodate the move with the least interruption to Capital One’s internal operations.
Phasing was, in fact, the operative word for the entire project. First, each floor’s technology infrastructure had to be ready well ahead of move-in. That meant not only building out the MDF and IDF rooms and installing all the racks, UPS equipment, security panels, etc., but also having them properly commissioned. Capital One hired a third-party commissioning agent to handle the commissioning, and Govan Brown developed a schedule and list of tasks to help keep the entire team on track.
Phasing the move itself was also a major focus for the team. The new space occupies the 16th through 20th floors of 161 Bay Street, an active office tower in the heart of downtown. The first move-in was targeted for the end of May. Since construction did not begin in earnest until mid-December of 2017, the team had a tight window for phasing the turnover of each subsequent floor, leaving just two weeks between each phase.
From the preconstruction right through to close-out, preparation, teamwork, and having the proper resources to manage each task made all the difference.