Montreal library racks up green building awards

Montreal library racks up green building awards

Photo by Doublespace Photography

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) have awarded Montreal’s Bibliothèque du Boisé with the annual Green Building Award for 2017.

Designed by the trio of Consortium Labonté Marcil, Cardinal Hardy and Eric Pelletier architectes, the library is situated in the city’s Saint-Laurent district, and received the distinction as an example of “buildings that are environmentally responsible and promote the health and wellbeing of users,” reports Arch Daily.

"The library offers a variety of beautifully lit and welcoming spaces throughout, maximizing daylight and views and the use of natural elements, such as wood, to create an environment that contributes to health and well-being,” members of the award jury wrote. “Their approach to high-performance building through whole systems design and strategy has resulted in an impressive achievement.”

This year’s Green Building Award comes as an addition to a number of international and national awards already received by the Bibliothèque du Boisé, which has also earned a LEED platinum certification. With a strong emphasis on a seamless integration of architecture and landscape, the 6,000-square-meter building incorporates additional programs, including administration, exhibit space and museum archives.

Serving not only as a library but also as a space for communal and cultural interaction, the building employs a number of sustainable design strategies, including an inventive passive heating system, which redistributes heat collected in a glass prism. Maximizing solar gain, 75 percent of the library’s floor area has access to natural light and significantly reduces energy usage. Duct requirements were also managed through the use of low-flow ventilation through the floors.

In terms of materiality, the architects emphasize the use of locally sourced, low-emitting and recyclable materials, primarily constructed from certified wood. The site was also minimally impacted through the preservation of existing trees and the planting of more than 100 more. Indigenous shrubs and climbing plants are also featured on the exterior, and a nearby wetland is maintained through a stormwater recovery system.


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