Bank of Canada Head Office Renewal Project

The Challenge

Retrofitting a heritage designation building designed by famed Canadian architect Arthur Erickson and constructed in the 1970s created significant challenges as to IT Infrastructure pathways and spaces.  The interior office spaces were originally designed with concrete “coffers” that extended from the slab above and were used to house the lighting for the floors.  These coffers created a very low working height (floor to ceiling), and while architecturally interesting in their design, were a significant constraint on all building services such as electrical and mechanical systems, as well as IT and wireless. 

Attain’s Solution

When the building was constructed in the 1970s, there were no IT systems in a typical office space, only phones.  The architect designed an in-slab floor raceway system to support the distribution of electrical and telephone cabling.  However, these pathways could not be re-used for the renewal project as they were now significantly undersized.  Working closely with the Architecture partner Perkins&WillAttain provided an innovative solution.  The use of a low-profile raised floor system that would sit on top of the concrete slab and allow for the distribution of electrical and IT cabling throughout the entire floorplate.   This solution solved many of the pathway and distribution problems for The Bank and allowed the limited ceiling space to be used for distributing mechanical heating and cooling systems as well as critical wireless access points for both client WiFi as well cellular distributed antenna system (DAS). 


Due to the extensive renovations needed to seismically upgrade the Head Office complex as well as all building systems meant that the Bank of Canada had to completely relocate to a temporary building during the construction period.  Attain worked with Perkins&Will and The Bank of Canada to re-build their critical IT Networking infrastructure at their downtown Ottawa “swing-space” building.  While temporary, this swing-space fit-up was highly complex and had to provide all the functionality of their original building to allow The Bank to continue its vital function as Canada’s central bank.  Attain’s team had to also work with the Audio Visual and Security consultants to provide all the critical networking and conduit pathways to support their systems requirements for both the swing-space as well as the modernized and refit Head Office building. 




Government of Canada, Bank of Canada

Property Type

Real Estate

Core services

IT, Smart Buildings, Wireless, Workplace Redesign


Downtown Ottawa

Size of building

835,000 square feet


Bank of Canada

Stage of development


Project Start Date

Project Status


People We Work With

Perkins & Will, BPA (Mechanical and Electrical Engineering)




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