SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT CONSULTATION
Sustainable development is "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." Brundtland Report, World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987.
Independent certification programs help promote best practices in sustainable construction, and so contribute to the fight against climate change. In fact, according to the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), buildings produce one-third of the country's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Certification recognizes a building's environmental qualities: sustainability, smaller ecological footprint, reduced water and energy consumption, and improved air quality. As well, by emphasizing a building's added "green" value, certification increases its market value for both sales and rentals.
LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is currently the most widely recognized "green" certification program in the field of sustainable construction. Originally established in the United States by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), it has existed since 2005 here in Canada, where it is administered by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC).
The various LEED® rating systems are applied to each construction project submitted, in order to determine its level of certification (certified, silver, gold or platinum) based on the score achieved in the following categories: 1) Sustainable Sites; 2) Water Efficiency (consumption, losses, rainwater recovery, etc.); 3) Energy and Atmosphere (consumption, use of renewables, elimination of ozone depleting substances); 4) Materials and Resources; 5) Indoor Environmental Quality (natural light, selection of materials, ventilation); 6) Innovation and Design Process.
BOMA BESt (Building Environmental Standards)
BOMA BESt (Building Environmental Standards) is a unique, voluntary, national program designed to assess environmental performance and management of existing buildings, and is offered by the Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada (BOMA Canada) as a service to all commercial building owners and managers across Canada.
Today, BOMA BESt has evolved from simply identifying key best practices to providing common standards; an array of on-line assessment tools; and a four-level performance certification program. Since its launch in 2005, BOMA BESt has seen tremendous uptake, with over 3,500 buildings representing nearly one billion square feet of Canadian commercial real estate, having applied for certification or recertification to date. The growing trend toward building assessment and certification through BOMA BESt speaks to the value this Program has provided, and continues to provide, to the Canadian commercial real estate industry.
Software modelling of buildings and systems allows energy consumption and comfort parameters to be evaluated.
This figure illustrates finite-element modelling, using computed fluid dynamics (CFD), of ventilation in La TOHU performance hall.
Designing and constructing a bioclimatic building involves taking advantage of the climate and environment to maximize energy efficiency by recovering passive gains and limiting losses. Compared with traditional building design, a bioclimatic design improves energy performance by reducing heating needs in winter and maintaining a comfortable temperature in summer, with little to no air-conditioning. In a building designed according to bioclimatic principles, comfort and physiological well-being are ensured by natural ventilation and lighting, use of geothermal energy, and other means.
Ice tank and underground ducts at La TOHU.
Two underground ducts, each one metre in diameter, buried at a depth of over two metres, collect outdoor air and either preheat or precool it to serve the building's heating and air-conditioning needs. The air circulates naturally, yielding a 90% reduction in air-conditioning costs. This process, called passive geothermal, is highly cost-effective and, more importantly, generates no greenhouse gas emissions.
MECHANICAL SYSTEMS DESIGN
Mechanical systems consist of components, such as plumbing, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, that enable a building to perform as designed.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY OPTIMIZATION
MRA optimizes the energy consumption of buildings and processes, and works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
ELECTRICAL, LIGHTING AND COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS DESIGN
Martin Roy et Associés provides electrical engineering services for industrial, commercial and social projects. It designs medium- and low-voltage electrical distribution systems, from the supply grid to the end user. It designs indoor and outdoor lighting with a view to energy conservation. It promotes the use of efficient light fixtures and state-of-the-art controls. To ensure occupant comfort, it works closely with both architect and client in developing lighting systems.
MRA also designs generator-supplied emergency power, fire detection and lightning protection systems, as well as power distribution for such building services as access control, security alert, video surveillance, and telephone, computer and clock systems.
CONTROL SYSTEMS DESIGN
MRA designs and produces controls for mechanical and electrical systems, industrial processes and bioclimatic buildings.
COMMISSIONING AND VALIDATION
The MRA team performs electromechanical system commissioning and optimization. We check the building's basic components and systems, and ensure that they have been installed and calibrated to operate as designed.
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