Manulife Tower

Tower image

  • Client

    Manulife Financial Corporation

  • Region

    Calgary, AB

  • Budget

    $200 Million

  • Year Completed


  • Size

    550,000 sq. ft.

  • Sector


  • Sub-Sector

    Commercial Office

Key Personnel

Executive-in-Charge – Vince Davoli

Project Manager – Martyn Wesley

Superintendent – Harold Chisolm


• Direct link to existing LRT

• High profile

• LEED project

• Extensive / complex cladding

• Downtown / high traffic

• Construction Management contract

The Story

This project involves the demolition of three existing structures to facilitate construction of a new 26-storey prestigious, first class office building. This tower consists of office space and amenities, a public lobby space including a winter garden and five levels of underground parking.

The building substructure and core will consist of a reinforced concrete structure and the superstructure will utilize a traditional steel beam; and column system with composite slabs.

One bank of six passenger elevators serves the low-rise office zone; a similar set of six is dedicated to the high-rise offices. An additional swing elevator accessed from the ground floor loading area will serve as service a and firefighter elevators. There will also be an additional, dedicated freight elevator.

The ceiling and façade details will be designed to maximize the penetration of natural light. The lobby is designed to provide a generous 30-foot ceiling and finishes consistent with Class AA office building design. The winter garden at the west end of the ground floor is accessed through the lobby . The existing + 15 system will be connected to the building lobby.

Currently, Manulife is only responsible for the delivery of the core and shell of the building. The consultant will be designing the project using Building Information Modeling (BIM) tools. The composite model will be used to
produce construction documents during design development, working drawings and contract administration.

Construction Challenges

• Glazing Supplier - Based on our previous experiences there was concern from the tender stage when the glazing supplier was selected and announced the glass would be sourced from China. There were concerns about the suppliers' ability to perform the quality standards of the glass as the glass was specified as mostly triple glazed flat panels with custom convex and concave triple glazed panels. Additionally there were concerns that they would meet the delivery schedule. The price was considerably cheaper than the other suppliers in Europe. The Construction Management team and the consultants arranged a trip to factory in China to ensure that we were comfortable with the supplier’s ability to perform to specification. Coatings were required on the no 4 and no 7 faces of the glass typically, but were required to be on the no 4 and no 5 faces for the concave glass because the coating needed to be on the outside radius of the glass. Full size samples were set up for viewing in different lighting situations at the factory in China. Two different coatings were applied for selection. One coating was selected for the flat and convex panes but was rejected for the concave because it gave the glass a purple hue rather than the silver required. The factory played around with the chemistry and prepared more samples for just the concave. The architect then reviewed this in China and this modified coating was selected for the concave glass.

• Adjacent LRT Line - Monitoring of adjacent LRT track, platform and adjacent buildings for settlement during construction of below grade structures was identified early as a challenge to the project. EllisDon hired METI (Micro Engineering Tech Inc.) to monitor the status of movement for the LRT tracks, platform and adjacent structures (130 points total). We also made our shoring subcontractor monitor the secant pile shoring walls for movement and had their engineers provide us with a report after each set of data was provided. EllisDon has also been vigilant all the times in monitoring their status in relation to the LRT line. This include ensuring nothing encroaches onto the platform since this is a heavily used LRT stop.

• Site Restrictions - Site Restrictions included:

o Public/private buildings
o LRT platform on the property line north
o 5th Street SW on the west
o Narrow lane between existing buildings
o Existing building on the west.
EllisDon has ensured smooth operations on the congested site through developing detailed schedules of action plans and ensuring that all stakeholders are well informed of critical procedures and how they will be affected. Major deliveries have been kept to off hours including weekends and materials are not brought to site until they are ready for installation, as laydown area is a premium.