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New building in the downtown business district


The Hélène Desmarais Building has integrated sustainable development principles since the very first steps in its collaborative design, and will continue to do so long after it opened for business. It is a space for innovation and a model in terms of sustainability, one that also helps to bolster the collective influence of a strong network of community players.

A collaborative design approach

The design of the Hélène Desmarais Building included a series of discussions with neighbours and the local community.

  • Collaboration with the St. Patrick Parish Fabrique
  • Discussions with neighbours (from 2016 to 2021)
  • Co-design workshop (January 2017)
  • Consultations with different instances and experts

An exemplary building in terms of sustainable development

The project respects provincial sustainable development requirements and has been registered with the Canada Green Building Council: the goal is to obtain LEED Gold certification.

LEED (Leadership in energy and environmental design) certification is awarded to a “green” building, as a way of enhancing the well-being of occupants and the building’s environmental and economic performance through proven and innovative practices, standards and technologies.

Some LEED features

  • 20% of construction materials with recycled content (by value)
  • 30% of construction materials locally sourced (by value)
  • Materials with low volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions
  • 92% of worksite waste reused or recycled
  • Light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, with detectors, to cut related electricity use in half
  • Windows cover nearly 36% of wall surfaces and are located to create a pleasant environment connected to the outside
  • Building envelope 30% more efficient than the reference envelope
  • Geothermal system consisting of 30 wells, each 150 metres deep

Landscaping to boost biodiversity

  • No loss of green canopy: new trees, shrubs and perennials planted
  • Greened laneways, benches and outdoor patios
  • 3 green roofs

These features and the elimination of the outdoor parking lot help to reduce a large heat island.

Promoting sustainable mobility

The site is just a few minutes’ walk from the main office buildings downtown. It is easily accessible thanks to various public transit, active transportation and car-sharing options.

  • Square-Victoria – OACI metro station, Central Station, numerous bus stops and the upcoming Réseau Express Métropolitain (REM)
  • BIXI bicycle-sharing stations, bike racks; access to showers and change rooms
  • Dedicated parking spots for car-sharing electric vehicles, and charging stations


431.5  tonnes

of CO2
Annual reduction of greenhouse gases
(compared to reference level)


55 %

Estimated energy savings
(compared to reference level)


$ 150000

Related annual savings

Photos of the worksite

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New building in the downtown business district > Sustainability