How We Connect

Culture of Sustainability

This program began as a research project to collect data regarding creating a culture of sustainability within office buildings. The evolv1 building acts as a ‘living laboratory’ to understand how to engage those who work in sustainable buildings in sustainable practices. The program is designed to nudge people towards sustainable habits via the physical building design and by encouraging social sustainability. The Culture of Sustainability program is designed for and by the evolv1 community to connect tenants within the building and to increase awareness, knowledge and commitment to environmental sustainability and impact reduction. Over the past year we have engaged tenants in the program through monthly meetings with tenant organizations, social media including the @Culture. of Sustainability instagram, blog posts on the SWR website and the monthly COS Connection newsletter.

About Evolv1

evolv1 is a green office building located in the David Johnston Research + Technology park in Waterloo, Ontario. The concept of evolv1 was inspired by Sustainable Waterloo Region and is owned and developed by the Cora Group. evolv1 is Canada’s first net-positive energy commercial multi-tenant office building. The building prioritizes sustainability and clean energy production in its building design and operation. evolv1 is meant to motivate, inspire and educate the public and sustainable workplace design.


The Photovoice Project is an exhibition and research initiative that explores the experiences of people who work in evolv1. The work began from research completed by Wilfrid Laurier University and the VERIS Research Centre. The project applies an arts-based research method, Photovoice, to investigate the human factors in the evolv1 green office building.

Participants explore how the high-performance green building they work in influences their behaviour and well-being. Human factors included how people interacted with their environment and how the building influenced their sustainable values and practices. Reflections focus on how to continue to build a culture of sustainability.

Taking photos of their environment, six participants from four different companies in the building reflect on their experiences, elements they enjoy and what could be improved upon in the evolv1 building. Common themes and photos from discussion were selected for the exhibit which is installed in evolv1 and was also featured at THEMUSEUM. Themes represent participant experiences and suggestions for the future of evolv1 and similar buildings and workplaces that focus on well-being and sustainability.