OTTAWA — A public library in suburban Montreal that is said to combine high-performance standards with design quality and responsiveness to community needs will receive the 2017 Green Building Award.
The award, given by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and the Canada Green Building Council, recognizes outstanding achievement in buildings that are environmentally responsible and promote the health and well-being of users, notes an RAIC media statement released April 11.
The Bibliotheque du Boise in Montreal’s Saint-Laurent borough, inaugurated in 2013, was designed by Cardinal Hardy, Labonte Marcil and Eric Pelletier architecte in consortium.
The result of an architectural competition by the City of Montreal, the library contains a large collection to serve an ethnically diverse area, the RAIC said. The LEED Platinum-certified building covers 6,000 square metres and brings together multiple functions including a library, administration, exhibit space and museum archives.
Sustainability strategies mentioned by the RAIC include an innovative integration of mechanical systems, with a passive heating system that uses the heat accumulated in a glass prism for redistribution through a geothermal loop. Low-flow ventilation through the floors reduces the number of ducts required. The building relies mostly on natural light, combined with task lighting, for energy savings — 75 per cent of the library’s floor area receives natural light. The project used certified wood and recycled or regional materials, said the RAIC.
On the exterior, the project preserved trees and planted over 100 new ones, as well as adding 5,000 shrubs, ground cover and climbing plants, all indigenous to the area. A stormwater recovery system supplies water to an adjacent wetland.
"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," said the three-member jury in a statement. "Their approach to high-performance building through whole systems design and strategy has resulted in an impressive achievement.
"Not only does it have a remarkable dialogue with the urban site and natural habitat, but it also does so with a striking form."
The award will be presented at the RAIC/OAA Festival of Architecture which takes place May 24 to 27 in Ottawa.