Centre for Sustainable Development

Optimizing an efficient building

  • Improved O&M
  • Reduced operating costs
  • Smart asset renewal
  • Reduced energy use
  • Improved comfort

Completed in 2011, Montreal’s Centre for Sustainable Development (Maison du développement durable) is a model for sustainable construction, balancing occupant comfort with environmental impact. As the first LEED® PLATINUM New Construction certified building in Quebec, it houses 18 environmental and community organizations.

In its first five years, despite high efficiency technologies such as heat recovery and geothermal heating, energy performance was below expectations. In addition, the building was expensive to operate and there were frequent complaints about comfort.

To improve the building’s efficiency, management partnered with Ecosystem to leverage the building’s existing innovative technologies. In a holistic approach, the team reviewed the configuration and sizing of systems, as well as their operating sequences. Addressing interactions between the building’s HVAC systems resolved operating issues that allowed for significant improvements at minimal cost. Even in an already efficient building, the team was able to lower electrical demand by a third while reducing energy bills by 35%.

The project demonstrated two important points:

  1. A building’s energy performance can be improved even when it was designed to meet the highest recognized environmental standards.
  2. Building operations must be reassessed continually to maintain optimal performance and comfort.

  • 2021 ASHRAE Technology Awards, Commercial Buildings Recommissioning: First Place, Existing Building, Region II
  • 2020 BOMA Real Estate Energy Challenge: Energy Performance Improvement, Retail and Office Buildings

Customized Performance Measures

  • Geothermal network
  • LED lighting conversion
  • Ventilation system optimization
  • Centralized controls optimization