Libro Credit Union

London, Ontario

Libro Credit Union (Libro) is Canada’s corporate credit union and has a long-standing partnership with NewGround, dating back to 1990. Libro’s main office is a large multi-floor building that was once a major depot for the Canada Post. The building might have otherwise been razed, but has been recycled into a fresh and modern space for Libro Credit Union. In 2008, Libro purchased the building and worked with NewGround to establish their corporate main office inside the facility. This five-story building has approximately 170,000 square feet of total floor space. In 2008 and 2009, NewGround designed and built out administrative space on a couple of floors, but the building still had many existing tenants. Libro decided to grow into the facility as the tenant leases expired, creating a phased approach for renovations and allocation of space.

After Libro amalgamated with another credit union, Libro realized it needed to merge its technology departments, which meant the need for more space. The fifth-floor tenant had recently vacated, which fit with the phased plan to move into new floors as new space was needed. The NewGround strategy team confirmed this would be a feasible move with their space and personnel projections.

Southwestern Ontario has a booming tech sector, so Libro knew that they needed to create a cutting-edge work environment to attract and retain skilled talent. The NewGround/Libro team visited many of the high-tech employers in the area to understand what is attracting - but most importantly, retaining – top talent. The NewGround design team needed to design very specific work stations for different positions within the department such as hardware and software developers, IT, and network maintenance. Custom work stations were designed to make each of these stations functional for the employees working in them. A central meeting area, café, and lounge were designed with fun, vibrant elements with employee comfort in mind. Libro Credit Union has a strong community and employee-oriented brand and wanted this reflected in the space. Challenges facing the design included creating an engaging and attractive workplace without losing the brand and accommodating high-tech systems into a mature building.

Libro Credit Union’s design has been so successful that departments on other floors go out of their way to visit and admire its beauty. Employee birthday parties, meetings, and other events are all scheduled now to take place on the fifth floor to utilize its amenities.