Westcliff rewarded by the Conseil du Bâtiment Durable du Québec

Westcliff rewarded by the Conseil du Bâtiment Durable du Québec

A first in Québec – Creation of the Durabilys awards and excellence Gala to recognize and reward projects, developers and players in sustainability planning and development in Québec.


The Durabilys awards, created by the Conseil du Bâtiment Durable du Québec (CBDQ), rewarded the players in the sustainability planning and development fields. Twelve prestigious awards were given at the excellence Gala held at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal on March 23, 2016.

The CBDQ wished to promote and highlight the exceptional performance of the people, companies and projects that have distinguished themselves in Québec in order to make this a yearly tradition.

La Maison de l’OACI, co-owned by the Westcliff Group of Companies and a partner, excelled in Category 4 – Existing LEED Building.

The project was completed thanks to the services provided by a solid team of expert consultants including Pageau Morel and Associates as well as Aedifica. Although the work was completed many years ago, the CBDQ emphasized the fact that it is the first building to obtain the LEED-EB Gold certification in Canada.

La Maison de l’OACI was built in 1994-1996 to accommodate the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) head office, a specialized United Nations agency whose head office has been in Montréal since 1945.

The approximately 40,000 m2 complex consists of two buildings. The first one has sixteen storeys in which reside the offices of the secretariat and the ICAO delegates. The second building has five storeys that contain a state-of-the-art conference centre as well as a commercial-type reprographics centre. Near 800 public servants, delegates and support staff work there on a daily basis.

At the beginning of 2006, a strategic analysis to evaluate the certification potential of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) was carried out to ensure that credits of the LEED-EB evaluation system met its requirements. Following the report results, a team undertook the required work which was completed at the end of 2007.

Challenges and solutions

With the help of guidelines and certification tools by a third party, LEED® aims to improve the well-being of the occupants, the environmental performance and the economic performance of buildings by using practices, norms as well as proven and innovative technologies. LEED defines what a "green building" is and is recognized by the industry.

To obtain the LEED®-EB v2 certification, the performance criteria, divided into five principal categories, are evaluated:

  • environmentally friendly sites
  • effective water management
  • energy and atmosphere
  • materials and ressources
  • quality of indoor environments

La Place de la Cité Internationale has had its ISO 9001 certification since 1998 and was already integrating good administrative practices that were readjusted and enhanced in accordance with the LEED-EB accreditation demands, notably including purchasing policies, operation and building maintenance. According to the studies that were made, the following work that was done led to the first LEED-EB certification in Canada:

  • Modification of the existing vegetation layout in order to reduce upkeep and watering
  • Bicycle stands and lockers for the cyclists
  • Plumbing changes made to enable the reduction in water consumption by 35%
  • Implementation of a process of continuous improvement
  • Dismantling of the existing energy-intensive lighting
  • Modification of the variable speed drive of the ventilation system resulting in substantial energy savings
  • Implementation of a multi-substance recycling system to maximise materials recovery of up to 70%
  • Purchase of ecological cleaning, hygiene, office supplies and construction materials
  • Development policy for interior upkeep using cleaning equipment and storage for the cleaning products

Finally, the project also gained points in the "Innovation" category following the analysis of the building envelope using thermography and the exemplary management of water and quality of air. The improvement in energy performance due to the LEED certification requirements represents an annual saving of more than $100,000.

This award is the second important recognition obtained by Maison de l’OACI/Place de la Cité Internationale. In fact, in the year 2000, the building won the BOMEX building of the year award on both provincial and national levels.

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