Green Building

ÉTS receives the first LEED Platinum certification for a student residence in Québec

May 28, 2018
A first in Québec, ÉTS's student residence building, phase IV, has just received LEED Platinum certification. Everyone who worked on the project—architects, engineers, general contractor, managers and LEED coordinator—marked the achievement last April 25 by looking back on the experience to highlight the key elements that contributed to this certification.

Julie-Anne Chayer, Chairman of the Board of the Canada Green Building Council, Québec Chapter, and Jonathan Mosaurieta, ÉTS engineer coordinating the certification initiative.

A $31.5 million project delivered in 18 months, the building boasts 286 housing units, in both studio and 3½ formats, for ÉTS's students and visiting professors. It was designed to integrate with the adjoining residence while bringing a contemporary touch to the ensemble. The project's core aim was the maximization of green space, energy and environmental efficiency and occupant comfort.

High energy efficiency
Like the ÉTS campus, the building boasts exemplary energy efficiency. Its energy consumption is in fact 63.3% lower than that which is indicated in the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB).

This performance is attributable to numerous measures: the installation of a white polymer membrane on the roof, the use of cassette-based heat recovery equipment, and a central control system for electromechanical equipment, HVAC systems and lighting.

The project's most innovative and distinctive feature is the use of the surplus energy from the geothermal loop of the neighbouring building (which houses the phase III residences) to preheat the building's air and domestic hot water. This heat influx is possible thanks to highly efficient CO2 thermopump technology, and the use of CO2 rather than other refrigerant gases further mitigates environmental impacts.

Together, these various measures achieve a 59% reduction in energy costs with respect to NECB guidelines.

High environmental performance
Located in the heart of Griffintown, the building has a high occupant load. The project integrates several measures for mitigating the building's environmental footprint:
  • The site requires no irrigation, maximizes green spaces and minimizes heat islands;
  • The landscaping makes use of indigenous plants that require less watering;
  • A white polymer membrane on the roof and ground cover with a high solar reflectance index (SRI) help reduce the formation of heat islands;
  • Wastewater retention equipment collects contaminants and reduces the load to the sewer system;
  • Low-flow sanitary fixtures diminish potable water consumption;
  • The exterior shell consists of prefabricated concrete panels sourced in Québec, thus reducing contaminant emissions during construction and transport;
  • Half the wood used in the building's construction is FSC certified, while 75% of construction waste was sent to a recycling facility;
  • The interior fenestration with low-emissivity, argon-filled, double-glazed units maximizes natural light and solar gains;
  • The ventilation system helps recover heat from the exhausted air.
  • The paints, adhesives, floor coverings and sealants used have low VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions.

Interpretive panels on the building's sustainability
To make occupants and visitors aware of the building's eco-friendly features, an innovative educational program on sustainability has been developed. Strategically placed panels inside the building inform residents and suggest practical steps they can take to play their role in reducing the ecological footprint.

Pour information
Julien-Pierre Lacombe
Sustainability Officer
514 396-8800, poste 7233

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