Concordia Center for Applied Sciences obtains LEED Gold

Concordia’s Applied Science Center has been LEED Gold certified. The facility has successfully met the rigorous LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards of the Canada Green Building Council, which reviews projects based on considerations such as the well-being of community members and the reduction of environmental impacts.

“From conception to funding, including official opening, the Hub team had to be innovative – and not just because we ended the project in the midst of a global pandemic,” says Michael Di Grappa, vice -President of services and sustainability.

“We have created a facility where researchers can collaborate across disciplines without sacrificing the demands of their own highly specialized fields. Thanks to the District 3 BioHub, we have also set up an incubator where graduates turn great ideas into new businesses. “

Famous design

Opened a year ago, the Hub has two underground research levels and four upper levels. They connect to the Richard J. Renaud Scientific Complex by a footbridge, making it easier for researchers to travel between the facilities.

The Hub also includes an amphitheater, multidisciplinary laboratory spaces, spaces for collaboration and ideation and aquatic installations.

Architectural firms Menkès Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux and NFOE architecture have already won awards for their collaboration on the Hub, in part thanks to the integration of key energy efficiency advice from the engineering consortium Pageau Morel and SNC Lavalin. The companies received a INT Grand Prix du Design in July and a Master of Architecture Prize in November.

“They really took up the challenge. It is not easy for a research-intensive facility like the Hub to be as energy efficient as institutional or commercial buildings, ”explains Marie-Claude Lavoie, Associate Vice-President, Facilities Management.

“Due to vital research components – like the 100 hoods and their complex systems – we had to aim even higher elsewhere. We did it with 100% LED lighting, heat recovery methods and on-demand ventilation.

Effective ventilation doesn’t mean less. The Hub’s systems exceed industry standards for fresh air by 30%, earning it a LEED point. Performance is even higher in laboratories where fresh air requirements are particularly stringent.

Reduce, recycle and replant

The Hub has also earned LEED points for the use of recycled materials, low emissions of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and locally produced materials. He also marked for the reduction of landfill waste in the construction process.

The use of water was considered both inside and outside the building. Low-flow options were installed indoors, while landscaping decisions focused on native drought-tolerant plants.

Another positive point is the amount of green space maintained: the Hub project easily exceeded the 40 percent of the land required to be considered “exemplary” by LEED.

“We believe that moving from grass to more biodiversity is a step in the right direction. And by continuing to collaborate with Concordia researchers, we hope to transform the grounds of the Loyola campus into a living laboratory that they can use in their work, ”notes Di Grappa.

The council also awarded certification points due to reflective roofing and paving materials that reduce heat island effects, the installation of new bicycle racks and electric vehicle charging stations.

Green financing

Since innovation and sustainability can lead to higher upfront costs, the university created a new funding model for the Hub: in 2019, Concordia became the first Canadian university to issue a sustainable bond.

“We were serious when we signed the Principles for responsible investmentSays Denis Cossette, Chief Financial Officer of Concordia.

“The $ 25 million senior unsecured bond provided us with the capital for our share of the funding for the Hub. It also allowed us to break the ice on the integration of the principles of financing sustainable development in the financing of major initiatives.

Visit the
Concordia Campus Master Plan Webpage to learn more about why to expect more of these accolades in the years to come and to participate in the process as the university continues to assess its buildings and outdoor spaces.

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