Carling Campus

carling campus image - high angle

  • Client

    Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions

  • Region

    Ottawa, ON

  • City


  • Budget

    $517 Million

  • Year Completed


  • Size

    2,153,000 sq. ft.

  • Sector


  • Sub-Sector

    Public & Government

The Story

The Carling Campus project involved refitting the former Nortel Carling Campus into a modern office space to accommodate the headquarters of Canada’s Department of National Defence (“DND”) and Shared Services Canada. The project involved the construction of 12 interconnected buildings (climate-controlled enclosed walkways/tunnels), associated parking lots and parkade structure, maintenance compound, recreational fields, forested lands, ponds, and wetlands.

For DND, the project consolidated over 40 offices with 8,500 employees in the National Capital Area. EllisDon was contracted to manage over 10,000 sq. ft. of tenant fit-up work completed for multiple retail spaces, including Tim Hortons, Subway, Bento Sushi and Expressmart, as well as a dental clinic, pharmacy, physiotherapy clinic, and barbershop. Carling Campus is best described as a self-contained community, with employees having little need to leave the campus during the workday.

New building works included:

• Base building upgrades of mechanical, electrical and architectural components to ensure compliance with accessibility, life safety and fire protection codes and standards;
• Base building upgrades to address DND requirements for communications technology and security;
• Conversion of manufacturing laboratories into useable office space;
• Refit of office space, administration space and special purpose space to meet Workplace 2.0 Fit-up Standards;
• Refurbishment and installation of furniture, fixtures and equipment;
• Installation of IT infrastructure and equipment; and
• Building security and site security including fences, guard houses and road modifications.

Carling Campus was completed in three phases that achieved 59 separate occupancy milestones over a six-year period. The existing urban site and buildings were fit-up over the three phases of work, each consisting of site works, interior fit-up and FF&E, and buildings. The project mandated multiple teams working collectively on these various phases of the project to ensure an Integrated Campus Master Plan was attained. Phase I has been certified LEED® Gold, and Phase II and Phase III have achieved LEED® Silver. This refitted campus provides the secure headquarters DND needs to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations.

Environmental Sustainability

Carling Campus is served by multiple bus routes with several bus shelters located along the ring road that circles the campus. The bus route is fed by a new transitway located just outside the campus, home to the new Ottawa Light Rail Transit Line that will complete the transit hub when finished in 2023. When complete, 8,500 Defence personnel will occupy the Carling Campus representing the largest single-tenant move in recent history.

Also, EllisDon worked with Public Services and Procurement Canada and the National Capital Commission to develop a new vegetation strategy intended to reduce the impact on the environment and the community. Vegetation, including trees, removed from the perimeter to allow for the construction of the security fence, was scheduled around the 2016 nesting season as part of this strategy. An overall average tree replacement ratio of 3:1 (three trees planted for every one removed) was implemented, as was a Wildlife Management plan. Furthermore, as employees are encouraged to bike to work, where possible, or use their bike to enjoy 12K of bike trails, indoor and outdoor storage was provided in all the buildings for 1,000 bikes. OC Transpo’s Rack and Roll program permits employees to bring their bike to work for enjoyment during their lunch break. The Carling Campus bike paths connect to the surrounding communities. It was important to the client that the bike paths remain open during construction. A well-developed Traffic Management Plan ensured closed paths were well marked and operational paths were safe for pedestrians and bicycles.


• 2019 REmmy Award, Workplace over 50,000 sq. ft.