Reflective of the ever-transforming King East neighborhood in the heart of downtown Toronto, Carttera’s 65 King East represents the next-generation workplace while holding on to its original architectural roots.

How was this striking,18-storey office tower built to foster Carttera’s core values of collaboration, productivity and tenant health and wellness? From the bidding stage through to construction, PCL leveraged technology to provide innovative solutions to our client and add value and efficiency to everyday construction practices.

Blending history with contemporary architecture, 65 King East integrates the distinctive brick façade of five existing buildings with the elegant design of the curtain-wall exterior. The revitalized heritage façade maintains the original structure’s history while helping the client repurpose its assets for new use.

65 King East was built with sustainability and tenant well-being in mind and has achieved Gold Certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) from the Canadian Green Building Council. The design focuses on creating a healthy and safe place that enhances the tenant experience. Floor-to-ceiling windows are key elements that enhance natural sunlight and stunning views. Additionally, highly efficient dimmable LED lighting with daylight occupancy and motion sensors help reduce energy consumption throughout the building. Eight private terraces, rare to most high-rise structures downtown, are a standout feature of the tower, along with a green roof. The design also integrates in-floor heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) with exposed concrete ceilings to improve air quality throughout the building. 

Communicating project scheduling between contractors, clients, consultants and trade partners can be a challenge. PCL needed an effective way to communicate plan revisions to all project stakeholders. By engaging a full suite of building information modeling (BIM) outputs, the team was positioned to better communicate plan revisions and scheduling.

Four-dimensional scheduling played a large role throughout the project, helping PCL forecast potential challenges in order to communicate to the client how they could impact the schedule. Three-dimensional structural lift drawings were key in coordinating, pre-planning and conveying information to resolve conflicts prior to construction and reduce mistakes. Clash detection ensured there were no conflicts between mechanical, electrical and structural parts of the project, which eliminated short- and long-term problems along with expensive rework.

“BIM is a great visual tool. It helps us understand what we are doing on-site and reduces mistakes going forward. If someone can visualize something, it helps them wrap their head around our processes,” says Dion Duff, senior superintendent at PCL Toronto. “As a superintendent, lots of the information is in my head. BIM helps translate that information into a common language that everyone can understand as opposed to them trying to interpret what I say.” 

Building a high-rise tower in the heart of downtown Toronto is no easy feat. The tight construction site and high traffic nature of the neighborhood required PCL to think outside the box in order to create an optimal working space for the workforce. To accommodate the changes in the floor plate throughout the project, integrating a self-climbing core system provided the team with more free space to work. The wall forms remained suspended in place instead of being removed while the system climbed up the tower.

While 65 King is known for is its eye-catching curtain-wall system, its installation came with many challenges. With tight logistics on-site and a hoist location that did not service the roof, completing the building’s top-level curtainwall presented a costly method. To mitigate this issue, PCL collaborated with trade partners to create an alternative system that would solve the problem while being financially efficient.

In solution-provider fashion, PCL installed extra Davit bases at the catwalk to use this system as a curtainwall hoist arm. Multiple elements were required to see this through, including a modified base support by Venture and Harris Rebar and Pro-Bel’s Davit arm to accommodate the 1500-pound frames, exceeding the original 1,000-pound working load for each component. To lift the wall into place, a custom solution would have exceeded the budget. To stay on budget, the team inverted a swing stage motor and attached it to the Davit arm itself.

“We have benefitted from working with a forward-thinking client that has embraced innovation and technology in construction,” says Marc Pascoli, PCL Toronto’s senior vice president and district manager. “We worked together to overcome unique and challenging obstacles, showcasing how strategic planning and preparation can contribute greatly to delivering a quality project.”