September 28, 2023


A Home Grown Success

Sustainability an integral component of design and renovation at McGill

The Donald E. Armstrong Creating has earned LEED Silver certificationPierre Arsenault

If you wander by the Donald E. Armstrong Building, on McTavish Street, you will detect a plaque – not long ago mounted – that formally attests to the LEED Silver certification the constructing was granted. The LEED certification follows the in depth renovation the former property of the McGill bookstore underwent in 2017. The creating was transformed to host the Desautels Faculty of Management’s master’s programs and supply the school an supplemental 48,666 square toes.

All through the transformation, initiatives ended up produced to significantly cut down the environmental effects of the undertaking, mainly by renovating and, thus, reusing the current setting up. In addition, the power effectiveness of the creating was enhanced by 37 per cent and h2o performance by 40 for every cent.

LEED, which stands for Management in Power and Environmental Structure, is the most widely made use of green setting up ranking technique in the planet. It is a framework for healthier, productive, carbon and expense-conserving eco-friendly properties. There are 4 stages of LEED certification: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

McGill has integrated LEED-equivalent benchmarks in its design and renovation projects for numerous several years. For illustration, the Lifetime Sciences Complicated, inaugurated in 2008, received LEED Gold certification.

“Current or modern assignments for which McGill is pursuing LEED certification include a new study facility at the Gault Nature Reserve, the new greenhouse underneath design at Macdonald Campus, the new central hub for the Alan Edwards Centre for Analysis on Suffering, and two other exploration facilities on the downtown campus,” states Emmanuelle Lapointe, Director, Design Services, Amenities Administration and Ancillary Solutions (FMAS).

McGill’s new Gold standard

In its Climate and Sustainability Technique 2020-2025, McGill recognized the necessity that all new construction and major renovation jobs be, at minimum, LEED Gold qualified.

Rising the selection of LEED-certified buildings contributes to McGill’s extended-phrase focus on of accomplishing a Platinum sustainability rating underneath the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Ranking System (STARS®, a framework used by universities and colleges).

LEED is the most greatly employed inexperienced setting up rating method in the environment

The LEED Gold necessity applies to the design of all new structures and renovations consisting of much more than 50 for each cent of a building’s ground space. In this regard, McGill is pursuing LEED Gold certification for two of its major infrastructure assignments: the New Vic and Fiat Lux.

For major inside in shape-outs, which means renovations of extra than 500 m2 of a creating and the modification of two or more building techniques, McGill aims for LEED Gold equivalency. Equivalency is outlined as the integration of LEED Gold standards without officially publishing the undertaking for certification.

“Due to complex constraints, confined scopes and/or financial constraints, it is not normally probable to post all of McGill’s tasks for certification,” describes Philippe St-Jean, Senior Sustainable Development Officer, Structure Products and services, FMAS. “For illustration, projects in historic structures that are not able to be thoroughly insulated for complex factors might fail to fulfill the electrical power functionality prerequisites.”

Nonetheless, McGill’s setting up design criteria are produced so as to apply greatest tactics connected to sustainability throughout construction and renovation tasks, such as relevant LEED demands, even with out pursuing certification per se.

Boosting the bar by setting up design and style requirements

McGill’s creating style and design specifications ensure consistency across projects. Produced in collaboration with the numerous FMAS groups, primarily based on every unit’s expertise, these benchmarks touch on each individual component of development and renovation.

In addition to sustainability criteria, McGill’s expectations also integrate elements associated to the wellbeing of constructing occupants, influenced by Properly requirements. The Nicely certification is a roadmap for advertising the actual physical and psychological wellness of occupants by means of style and design conclusions.

Specifications aimed at bettering sustainability and wellbeing involve all those that deliver rules for the choice of products and solutions and supplies, waste management, the elimination of refrigerants in HVAC gear, occupant accessibility to nature in or close to the constructing and daylight maximization.

A different vital aspect in decisions is the value of the materials or gear around time. “We call for an examination of what is named the Overall Price tag of Ownership [TCO] for all important development and renovation initiatives,” suggests St-Jean. “TCO, or precise value, quantifies the charge of the buy across the product’s or equipment’s total lifecycle, from paying for and deploying to use and retiring. For example, a piece of equipment may well be a lot more costly to obtain but much more durable or fewer costly to work.” The TCO analyses hence aid establish the solutions ideal aligned with a sustainable and successful management of McGill’s economical and human means, and of its actual physical infrastructure.