January 31, 2018
- Rating System/Standard
- LEED v4
- Certification Level
- Building Type
La Géode in Montreal’s Plateau-Mont-Royal is Canada’s first LEED v4 Platinum multi-family residential project.
Inspired by the hollow mineral mass with a crystal-lined interior that lends its name to the project, La Géode in Montreal’s Plateau-Mont-Royal neighbourhood is a striking example of artistic design, sustainable building, and urban renewal elements working together to produce an innovative end result. The five-unit, low-rise residential building is Canada’s first multi-family residential project to certify under the LEED v4 rating system, receiving its Platinum certification in February 2018.
CAGBC spoke with Jean-Philippe Grenier, urban planner with the project’s builder KnightsBridge, who shared some thoughts on how La Géode and its LEED v4 certification are contributing towards a more sustainable and livable Montreal.
Inspired by nature
According to Grenier, the project’s design is based on a geode’s structure, from the geometric patterns incorporated throughout the building’s layout, to the central courtyard framed by a monolithic structure that together emulate both the geode’s rock exterior and interior cavity. With the courtyard giving residents access to an oasis of greenery and enabling each unit to have its own private exterior space, La Géode evokes the interplay between plants and minerals seen in nature, Grenier added.
In fact, foliage is a prominent feature of the project, with trees and climbing plants located throughout the building, along with additional planters. Other environmentally friendly features include the use of energy-efficient design, construction materials and equipment, radiant heating, a white rooftop, and materials sorting and recycling.
Urban renewal through architectural innovation
Grenier noted the project is an “architectural and urban exploration” that thoughtfully incorporates not only the current best practices in sustainable building, but also the most innovative thinking.
For developer KnightsBridge, which is one of the partners in the Sustainable Montreal 2016-2020 community development plan, La Géode underscores a commitment towards making Montreal a greener, more dynamic and equitable city.
As such, Grenier added, it was important for La Géode to incorporate artistic, environmental and social elements that reflect “the energy and potential of Plateau-Mont-Royal with a vision of renewal for the central districts.”
A development philosophy with LEED at its core
La Géode’s LEED v4 Platinum certification also expands KnightsBridge’s existing portfolio of nearly 20 LEED Gold and Platinum certified buildings. The developer targets LEED Platinum certification for all of the condominiums it designs, “guaranteeing the quality of construction and durability that exceeds all industry norms,” said Grenier.
As such, the benefits of LEED certification are integral to the value KnightsBridge offers. The company makes it a point to highlight features that are directly attributable to its adherence to the LEED rating system, such as the longer lifespan of its properties; lower maintenance costs and higher resale value; reduced consumption of water, electricity and natural resources while generating less waste; and health and wellness benefits for inhabitants such as improved air quality and comfortable indoor temperatures.
He noted: “KnightsBridge has chosen LEED v4 to signify leadership in the industry while delivering a building that focuses on the health of its occupants and reduces the ecological footprint of its construction.”
Integrating green building principles from design to construction
The project demonstrates the successful field application of green building strategies that can still be highly theoretical for some sectors of the building industry, Grenier said.
In particular, he said, this meant a bit of a learning curve as the project team worked to figure out how to integrate the diverse expertise of different team members and bring all their ideas to life onsite.
“Many workers had to adapt their practices and learn about the installation of new materials, to integrate the principles of sustainable development,” said Grenier. He noted that this often necessitated a hands-on approach for the project manager and site superintendent in directly supervising team members and educating them on green building practices.
With this in mind, an integrated design approach was the natural course of action for the La Géode team in pursuing certification. From ensuring that both the construction and LEED certification teams are represented in planning and coordination meetings, to holding special training sessions, it’s important to bring everyone involved together to promote a full understanding of the requirements and criteria for LEED, Grenier said.
LEED SCORE CARD
|Rating System||LEED v4 for Building Design and Construction: Homes and Multifamily Lowrise|
|Total Points earned||80.5|
|Integrative Process||2 out of 2|
|Location & Transportation||15 out of 15|
|Sustainable Sites||4 out of 7|
|Water Efficiency||5 out of 12|
|Energy & Atmosphere||24.5 out of 38|
|Materials & Resources||9 out of 11|
|Indoor Environmental Quality||13 out of 16|
|Innovation||4 out of 6|
|Regional Priority||4 out of 4|