A Bayview Yards Master Class: Discover Sustainable Innovation 

by innovationcentre for INNOVATION CENTRE
A Bayview Yards Master Class: Discover Sustainable Innovation 

A profile picture of Hendrik Kohler, Building Manager, smiling, with Bayview Yards in the background.

By: Hendrik Kohler
12-minute read
2229 words

Welcome to a journey of innovation and sustainability that transcends both time and tradition!

Nestled within the walls of a heritage building originally constructed in 1941, Ottawa’s vibrant Innovation Hub, Bayview Yards, has evolved from a vacant City Works building into a harmonious blend of history and state-of-the-art technology.

Picture this: a sanctuary where business leaders converge, entrepreneurs forge ahead, cutting-edge tech startups take flight, and leading businesses find their home. Imagine stepping into a facility where innovation isn’t just a concept; it’s a way of life.

Bayview Yards boasts a harmonious fusion of the past and the future, evident in every detail of this historic building’s renovation. Within these walls, you’ll uncover sustainable green solutions utilizing top-of-the-line technology and innovations crafted by local entrepreneurs that have been seamlessly integrated into our daily operations. From solar-powered parking lots to innovative indoor gardening, each initiative is a brushstroke in a masterpiece of sustainability.

A journey through this amazing building will take you through a bustling bike room, energy-efficient lighting solutions, a smart mobility pod, and much more, all contributing to a thriving ecosystem of innovation and eco-conscious practices.

A Strategic Rebirth Becomes Ottawa’s Innovation Hub

The Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards is a beacon of transformation, repurposing a heritage-designated city works building from 1941 into a cutting-edge facility. Designed to empower creative entrepreneurs, the Centre is a launchpad for innovative products and services with a global vision. Hosting networking and educational events, it facilitates connections within the local and international business community.

Constructions and renovations transforming City Works Building #4An event taking place in the Foundry space at Bayview Yards.

Beyond its economic impact, the Innovation Centre celebrates Ottawa’s innovation legacy, reconnecting a former industrial area with the community.

Retaining over 85% of the original structure, the project incorporates sustainable features across ecological, economic, and social dimensions. Premium insulation and fenestration maximize thermal performance, while high-efficiency mechanical and electrical systems, guided by a comprehensive building automation system, adapt to varying building loads. The Hub embraces alternate transportation, urban agriculture, and green furniture.

Recognized for its commitment to sustainability, the renovation project achieved LEED Gold certification in 2018. This transformation breathes new life into a historic structure and paves the way for a future where innovation, community, and sustainability converge.

Bayview Yards stands not just as a physical space but as a testament to the power of repurposing, reconnecting, and redefining the role of a building within its neighbourhood and beyond.  Learn more about the renovation project here.

energy iconWhat is LEED Certification?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a green building certification program used worldwide. Developed by the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), it includes a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, homes, and neighbourhoods, which aims to help building owners and operators be environmentally responsible and use resources efficiently.


To showcase this amazing building at work, we’ve put together a list of 16 sustainable solutions you’ll find at Ottawa’s Innovation Hub.  Continue below to learn more!

Countdown: 16 Sustainable Solutions at Ottawa’s Innovation Hub


A vertical stack of four clear bins marked paper, plastic, metals, glass.


Bayview Yards’ commitment to environmental responsibility is showcased through its extensive recycling program, which is a testament to the collective effort of all onsite community members. From separating organics at the source to recycling cardboard, paper, and cans, we ensure that every facet of our operations is a step towards a greener future.

Notably, even food retailers like Food Works and catering contractors actively participate in this eco-conscious initiative, underscoring a community-wide dedication to sustainable practices. Going beyond the ordinary, Bayview Yards is taking strides in electronic waste management, providing a specialized E-waste and battery recycling program.


Building Manager Hendrik displaying a UV air purifier system that incorporates UV-C light, which can be seen in the image.


Bayview Yards prioritizes the well-being of its occupants by incorporating UV air purifiers, elevating indoor air quality to unprecedented levels. Harnessing cutting-edge UV light technology, these purifiers capture and neutralize airborne viruses and bacteria, ensuring a safe and healthy environment. The process involves drawing air through a filter and then exposing it to UV-C light within a compact internal chamber. This targeted exposure effectively eradicates air impurities, including mould and mildew, leaving the air pristine and purified. Integrating this innovative technology helps us deliver on our commitment to deliver an atmosphere where everyone can breathe in the cleanest, freshest air possible.


Building Manager Hendrik Kohler points to a monitor that displays the building automation system that tracks energy consumption.3. HARNESS THE POWER OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Did you know that Bayview Yards can perform a top-to-bottom energy audit in real-time? This allows our team to accurately identify areas where we can reduce energy consumption. Our Building Automation System allows us to track all the energy consumption throughout the entire year and make comparisons to determine where we can save more energy. We can even break down the energy consumption by meeting rooms, event spaces, and private offices to analyze trends and make informed, green choices!

An image showcasing the levels of energy consumption for Bayview Yards, as part of its Energy Display policy. Behold our Energy Display policy in action! A vibrant monitor in the lobby breathes life into our daily energy consumption, keeping the public in the loop on our green journey. It’s not just a display; it’s a commitment to openness. With two smart meters – one for electricity and the other for water – we’re not just measuring consumption; we’re amplifying awareness, one watt at a time!

 – An Energy Recovery Ventilation System

Bayview Yards elevates its environmental game with advanced building automation utilizing an energy recovery ventilation system. The central air handling systems boast a futuristic heat recovery wheel, ingeniously capturing and repurposing waste heat from building exhaust. This not only slashes energy waste but also propels Bayview Yards into a realm of unparalleled efficiency.



Discover the smart simplicity at Bayview Yards with our advanced LED lighting control system. Effortlessly automated, it brightens up spaces after hours and adapts to suite activity.

Forget about flipping switches; lights gracefully dim after 20 minutes of inactivity. It’s the subtle touch that makes Bayview Yards not just a workspace but a harmonious environment where innovation meets comfort.


An image showing the entrances to the eco-conscious washrooms at Bayview Yards. 5. UTILIZE ECO-CONSCIOUS RESTROOMS

Even the restrooms at Bayview Yards are a testament to sustainability. With waterless urinals put in place, we observe a remarkable 30% reduction in water consumption compared to conventional flushing systems in other buildings.

That’s right, every flush is a drop in the ripple effect of environmental responsibility!



The outdoor garden behind Bayview Yards, filled with a variety of veggies and flowers.

In the heart of Bayview Yards, two community gardens bloom, tended to by the caring hands of the Mechanicsville Association. During the summer, volunteers cultivate a variety of veggies—tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, carrots, and even sunflowers.

What makes it wonderful? 90% of this harvest goes straight to families in need within the community, through the Ottawa Parkdale Food Market. It’s a simple, heartfelt way we support in giving back to the community that nurtures us.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tours the Growcer Pod at Bayview.


Ever found yourself intrigued by the mysterious pod nestled at the rear of Bayview Yards? Brace yourself for a revelation – it’s none other than our cutting-edge vertical farm, a marvel that defies climates and transcends cultures! Behold the Growcer Pod, our very own on-site vegetable farm!

Born from a mission to make fresh, healthy food accessible to all Canadians, founders of Growcer built modular vertical farms. Now, anyone, anywhere can cultivate hyper-local produce, turning this futuristic pod into a beacon of innovation and culinary abundance!

Learn more about Growcer’s entrepreneurial journey with Invest Ottawa.


Plantaform's indoor smart garden, which looks like an illuminated egg, that has a plant supporting structure in the middle.8. VIEW SMART INDOOR GARDENING

The future of gardening has officially blossomed at Bayview Yards with the arrival of the world’s first smart indoor garden – introducing Plantaform! Using the magic of fog to cultivate green wonders within a sleek and compact structure, Plantaform is revolutionizing how we nurture our plants.

We’re proud to share that Plantaform has sprouted from the fertile grounds of Invest Ottawa’s IO Accelerator program, a space dedicated to fostering innovation and helping visionary founders and teams take their creations to the next level. We’re immensely grateful to Plantaform for gifting our Bayview Yards reception lobby with this cutting-edge addition, transforming it into a vibrant oasis of innovation and nature.


Two innovators stand smiling in front of what's known as The Box of Life - a composting solutions that uses worm power to transform food waste into powerful soil. 9. WORK WITH LOCAL INNOVATORS TO REDUCE FOOD WASTE

The local innovators at The Box of Life have gifted us with a revolutionary suite of composting solutions, turning food waste into worm castings that supercharge the soils within our gardens with carbon goodness. We’ve joined forces with social enterprises like Food Cycler to wage war on organic waste, striving for zero food waste at Bayview Yards’/. Picture the Worm Studio – a cedar haven where kitchen scraps magically transform into vermicompost, nature’s gold, in just under a month.

And yes, we’ve got the ultimate low-maintenance pets: wormies – adorable, smell-free, and the quiet champions of our eco-friendly mission!



Sunflowers peek above a garden netting.

Explore the serenity of our west-side green roof, where flowers and veggies bask in the summer warmth. More than just a pretty sight, this green retreat quietly combats the heat island effect, reducing air emissions and easing our energy needs.

It’s a simple, calming corner that brings a touch of nature to Bayview Yards, making sustainability effortlessly woven into our everyday surroundings.


11. SHARE IN ECO-FRIENDLY TRANSPORTATION SOLUTIONSAn image of a Communauto branded Toyota Yaris that's part of the car sharing program.

Discover hassle-free commuting for Bayview Yards employees and visitors with the Communauto program, offering an affordable community-based car share. And now, we’ve sweetened the deal by expanding our partnership, introducing a designated EV car share option.

It’s a practical solution that embraces eco-friendly commuting without compromising convenience, making every trip to and from Bayview Yards effortlessly green.



The Aurrigo pod from Area X.O sits parked in the main lobby at Bayview Yards.

At Bayview Yards, showcased within our main lobby, there is an autonomous vehicle Aurrigo pod from Area X.O, Ottawa’s smart mobility research and development facility!

In the spring of 2019, Aurrigo was one of the first companies to begin testing its vehicles at Ottawa’s custom-made private test facility. Leaders in first and last-mile autonomous technology, Aurrigo designs, manufactures and deploys autonomous vehicles globally.

Learn more here.


A staff member cleans a window wearing red gloves - and holding a blue spray bottle. 13. USE GREEN CLEANING PRODUCTS

At Bayview Yards, our commitment to a green environment goes beyond words – we use cleaning products that are not just effective but also environmentally friendly. Our arsenal includes biodegradable, ammonia-free, and phosphate-free solutions, ensuring a thorough clean without harming the planet.

Emphasizing our dedication, we exclusively opt for Green EcoLogo-certified products, aligning every purchase with our mission for a sustainable and eco-conscious workspace.


Three water refill stations are built into the wall and stand ready to provide hydration at Bayview Yards14. REDUCE THE NEED FOR SINGLE-USE PLASTICS

In the realm of sustainable practices, every detail counts, and at our facility, we believe in the power of these small choices adding up! That’s why we’ve embraced environmentally conscious alternatives, like using reusable mugs in our café.

Additionally, strategically placed water stations throughout the facility are crafted to reduce the reliance on single-use plastics, contributing to our ongoing commitment to a greener and more responsible environment.


Parking lot lights at Bayview Yards parking lot that operate with solar energy. 15. ILLUMINATE WITH SOLAR SOLUTIONS

Illuminating sustainability in every corner, our parking lot lights are powered by solar energy, crafted in the rugged conditions of northern Quebec to withstand even the harshest weather. The innovation doesn’t stop there – our parking metering system draws its power from sunlight.

Taking a step further, our parking lot proudly hosts four electric car chargers, not only catering to the needs of our tenants but also extending a convenient and eco-friendly service to members of our community.



The bike room at Bayview Yards is shown, with bike racks and lockers visible.

We currently boast a specialized bike room catering to over 50 cycling enthusiasts. Complete with lockers and private showers, we’ve curated a space that provides everything our guests require for a comfortable bicycle commute to Ottawa’s Innovation Hub.

From the initial stages of renovating Bayview Yards, a priority was placed on incorporating green solutions into the design, ensuring that sustainability is seamlessly woven into the fabric of our facility.


Building Manager Hendrik Kohler“As the Building Manager of Bayview Yards, I firmly believe that weaving sustainable and innovative green solutions into the fabric of our infrastructure is key to fostering a dynamic and forward-thinking environment.

This commitment to sustainability not only aligns with our values but creates the ideal backdrop for Ottawa’s budding entrepreneurs and innovators to thrive in a space that champions both creativity and environmental responsibility.”

  • Hendrik Kohler – Building Manager

As we wrap up our exploration of Bayview Yards, Ottawa’s Innovation Hub, it’s evident that this dynamic space stands at the forefront of innovation and sustainability.

From cutting-edge technology and energy-efficient systems to green initiatives like vertical farming, composting, and electric car charging stations, every aspect of Bayview Yards is meticulously designed to harmonize progress with environmental responsibility.

Our commitment extends beyond infrastructure to foster a culture of sustainability, where every tenant and visitor actively contributes to our green ethos. The impressive array of eco-friendly practices, from our waterless urinals to the vibrant green roof and solar-powered amenities, paints a vivid picture of a workspace that champions not just innovation but also a conscious, eco-conscious lifestyle.


Seize the opportunity! Lease a space at Bayview Yards where innovation and sustainability converge. Position your team for success in an environment nurturing creativity with a forward-thinking, green philosophy. Join us and be part of a community actively creating a better future.

Your journey to innovation starts here!

Learn more about tenancy opportunities and connect with our team today.


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