June 24, 2009
Quebec playing catch-up on LEED adoption
With LEED and green construction having gained a solid foothold in the Canadian building environment, it’s now a question of how long it will take Quebec developers to catch up with the rest of the country.
While LEED is doing well in Ontario and British Columbia, Quebec is still behind the curve.
“In Quebec it is still not very common to see LEED-accredited buildings,” said Bruno Landry, Director of Quality Assurance with the Aecon Group (Quebec). “There are a few buildings in the province right now. But more buildings are pending. In Quebec, the first couple of buildings were private endeavors.”
In 2007 Aecon built a three-storey, 54,000-square-foot LEED-accredited office building on the site of the former Angus Yard in East End Montreal. The developer is attempting to build a green commercial and residential development.
It should be one of the first projects in North America to achieve a LEED-ND (Neighborhood Development) status.
Landry said that constructing a LEED building is not so different from conventional construction, save that there is more paperwork and an obligation to follow instructions in terms of construction techniques, materials used, disposal of construction waste and other specifications.
“What we need to know as a builder is mainly how much does it cost to do that,” said Landry.
LEED and green construction, said Landry, will gain traction when general contractors are brought in early into the planning stage for the project.
“For the Angus Yard project,” he said, “we were hired before the consultants and professionals were brought in.
“We were able to work with the client to determine the lifecycle costs of the building and what they wanted to do exactly as a green building.
“When we are involved earlier,” he added, “there are certain things you can do to ensure that a building will be greener.
“If you select products that have a longer lifecycle, even though they cost more in the short-term, in the long-run it saves money for the client and helps save the environment.”
Aecon’s Quebec office has a division that is developing a waste management plan to come up with solutions to deal with construction and municipal waste. The Quebec office also has in-house resources to provide green solutions and options to developers.
Landry noted that while a building material or infrastructure product may be ‘green,’ it’s performance that counts in green construction.
This spring, Magil Construction Corporation recently completed Phase 1 of the two-tower residential project Le Vistal on Nuns’ Island in Montreal.
“It’s in the process of being LEED accredited,” said Marc-Arthur Laplante, Magil’s Preconstruction Director, who also assists in business development.
The developer is seeking LEED Gold accreditation for the 25-storey tower that will be completed this fall.
Magil is currently working with another owner/developer to develop another LEED project in downtown Montreal.
“There are existing buildings that would be demolished and replaced with a mixed commercial/residential tower,” said Laplante, who noted that the first 11 floors would be commercial, with the remaining 18 plus floors as the residential component.
“It would be LEED accredited for the residential portion and they are looking for Silver for the office component.”
When the project gets the green light, Laplante said the mechanical, electrical and plumbing aspects will be design-build in terms of their specification.
“Having previous experience with LEED criteria and the project checklist, we’re sitting down with our teams and establishing which credits would be reasonable to attain,” he said.
When working on a LEED building, Magil’s game plan is to immediately identify credits that can be easily achieved and those that require an investment, and to determine what the client is willing to spend.
“In the case of co-ownership,” said Laplante, “perhaps in this market, LEED can be an attempt to galvanize sales. People are becoming increasingly sensitive to the sustainable development issue.”
Reduced operating costs, he adds, are an additional benefit; and because a good working environment can help to maximize employee performance, it allows building owners to maintain current rents in a competitive market.
Laplante says LEED is more attractive to developers who choose to own their buildings in the long-term. “When you have ownership, we find that some of the LEED components can be financed at a better rate given that they will be amortized and can lead to certain subsidies.”
|MOST POPULAR STORIES|
- OPG $1 billion proposal to bury nuclear waste up for comment
- Hundreds of workers to be out of work as Caterpillar Inc. is set to close Toronto factory
- Construction on pedestrian tunnel to Billy Bishop Airport continues to make progress
- Ontario prompt payment bill to get second reading today
- Proposed Ambassador Bridge twinning draws Windsor mayor’s ire
- 20 Most Popular Stories
|TODAY’S TOP CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS|
These projects have been selected from 316 projects with a total value of $2,787,806,637 that Reed Construction Data Building Reports reported on Friday.
$90,000,000 Richmond Hill ON Prebid
$82,000,000 White River Twp ON Tenders
$40,650,000 Markham ON Prebid
- VIDEO: Competing in the trades
- Multi-employer approach needed in apprenticeships
- New Perspective
- ACEC’s input helps develop global engineering guidelines
- Clerk of works position gives peace of mind on projects
- World Trade Center developer’s plan for a 926-foot tower moving ahead
- Call for action after MOL says workers are responsible for their own safety
- Cold spring and weak construction hurt Deere’s 2013 predictions
- CanBIM reschedule June session
- More green roofs top Toronto buildings
- Witness recants testimony in Montreal corruption case
- Construction Site Arson
- Journal of Commerce Update for the week of May 20th, 2013
- Industry reacts to surprise B.C. Liberal majority
- Calgary Airport Tunnel
- Worker at centre of union sign up allegations speaks out
- Calgary program aims to get more people into the trades
- Midrise in the City
- Veterans battle barriers into the trades
- Government makes changes to online tendering
- SNC-Lavalin maintains that new bribery allegations have been resolved
- B.C. faces a tough battle for top talent
- Keyano College building state of the art training facility
- Essential skills can play a vital role in an apprentices' success
- Taking a closer look at the risks in green building for contractors
- Colleges conduct construction research in addition to teaching
- Skills Canada BC Competition
- Lower Mainland high school trades program is unique
- Construction Learning Forum aims to educate
- High schools looking for more industry participation
- Industrial construction supervisor program takes off
- Saskatchewan bill passed
- Edmonton garners support for regional cash for arena
- Feds pledge $5 million for Vimy memorial
|ALEX’S ECONOMICS BLOG|
Reed Construction Data Canada’s Chief Economist Alex Carrick discusses current developments in the North American economic environment with emphasis on the construction industry.
- An Overview of Prices and Sales in the Diverging U.S. and Canadian Housing Markets (April 25, 2013)
- Canada’s Precarious Dependence on the Commodity Price Super-Cycle (April 22, 2013)
- Twenty major upcoming residential and transportation terminal construction projects - April 2013 (April 15, 2013)