OSPE - The Voice - May 2019 - 24

CAREERS

TRADING
SPACES

HOW GHD TAPPED INTO THE BENEFITS OF DESIGNING A CREATIVE WORKSPACE

T

he Greater Toronto Area (GTA)-Waterloo corridor has
often been referred to as the "Silicon Valley of the north"
because of its conglomeration of talent and emergence as a hotbed for Ontario's tech sector. GHD is a professional services
company that operates in the global markets of water, energy
and resources, environment, property and buildings, and
transportation. With more than 10,000 employees across five
continents, and a large presence in Waterloo, the company was
looking for ways to stand out in this competitive environment,
and decided to optimize how work space design can influence
engineering design and encourage a high-performing culture.
"I've been at GHD for 20 years, and we've always talked
about having one big place where we all could be," said Chris
Hunter, P.Eng. and Regional Managing Principal - Ontario.
Up until 2018, GHD's 550 employees in Waterloo were spread
across six different locations due to the organic growth of the
company over time.
When Blackberry-maker Research in Motion (RIM) moved
out of several large office spaces in Waterloo's University
Technology Park, an area with direct visibility to the University
of Waterloo as well as the city's new Light Rail Transit, GHD
saw an opportunity to take over a vacant 100,000 square foot
space. "Being in Waterloo gives us access to new talent with the
universities and colleges in the region," said Hunter. "Five or six
major universities and colleges are within an hour distance. It's
24

THE VOICE

Summer 2019

a really strong environment to continue to build our future."
John Ferguson, P.Eng., a GHD Principal who manages
real estate, operations and maintenance for GHD's Waterloo
facilities, admitted it was hard to see the vision initially, but in
discussions with architects and others, the company knew it
was the right location. "We've always had a good commitment
and connection with this region and this city - our people are
committed to this community," Ferguson said.
"We looked at who we wanted to be as a company and had the
chance to build an environment that allowed that to happen,"



OSPE - The Voice - May 2019

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OSPE - The Voice - May 2019 - Cover1
OSPE - The Voice - May 2019 - Cover2
OSPE - The Voice - May 2019 - Table of Contents
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