Feb. 26, 2024

Sustainable Design Excellence: École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) Student Housing Facility Earns LEED Gold Certification

by Alex Gross

Images courtesy of voirvert.ca.

The École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) in Montréal, Canada, has reached a significant milestone in sustainable architecture with its student housing facility earning LEED Platinum certification from the Canada Green Building Council. Situated in the vibrant neighborhood of Griffintown, this five-story building not only provides essential resources for the ÉTS student community but also sets a new standard for environmentally conscious design in Montréal.

Designed with sustainability as a guiding principle, the ÉTS student housing facility embodies innovation and efficiency. Its layout encompasses a range of amenities aimed at enhancing student life, including a study café, a graduate lounge, offices for student services, the Professional Development Department, as well as computer rooms and classrooms. Additionally, the ground floor features rental spaces occupied by a pharmacy, a financial institution, and a medical clinic, providing convenience and accessibility for both students and the wider community.

One of the standout features of the building is its emphasis on maximizing natural light and promoting a connection with the outdoors. The massing of the structure has been carefully sculpted to create a dedicated space for a park extension, seamlessly integrating outdoor and indoor environments. This thoughtful configuration not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the building but also contributes to energy efficiency by reducing the need for artificial lighting.

The electromechanical engineering firm GBI (Beaudoin Hurens) designed this project. They are well known for their highly sustainable designs. They are working on a new project in Montréal called Royalmount, which is an innovative eco-community where experiential attractions, retail, office space, and accommodations are rooted in nature, restoration, and sustainability. Much like the ÉTS student housing facility, nature is woven into the whole design.

The interior spaces of the ÉTS student housing facility are designed to facilitate the flow of daily activities while prioritizing comfort and functionality. A pathway connects various areas, each meticulously crafted to provide optimal acoustics and lighting conditions. The atrium serves as a central hub, characterized by a ceiling adorned with cherrywood slats and an impressive steel truss that supports a cantilevered tier, further enhancing the connection with the outdoor space to the south.

In the construction of the ÉTS student housing facility, an Uponor radiant system played a pivotal role in enhancing sustainability and contributing to the overall wellbeing of the student population. Uponor, a global leader in innovative plumbing, heating, and cooling solutions, provided Wirsbo hePEX™ piping and TruFLOW™ brass manifolds, which align with the project’s commitment to environmental stewardship. Through advanced technology and focus on efficiency, the Uponor system not only provided high performance and comfort, but it also minimized environmental impact and promoted energy conservation.

The design approach adopted for the ÉTS student housing facility sets a precedent for sustainable architecture, demonstrating that environmental responsibility can be seamlessly integrated with aesthetic appeal and functionality. By achieving LEED Platinum certification, the building underscores ÉTS’s commitment to sustainability and innovation, positioning it as a leader in green building practices within the educational sector.

From sustainable piping systems to innovative heating and cooling solutions, the contributions from Uponor reflect a shared commitment to sustainability and excellence in construction practices. Uponor is proud to have played a part in the realization of the ÉTS student housing facility, knowing the products contribute to creating a healthier and more sustainable living environment for the student community.

As Montréal continues to evolve as a hub for sustainable development, the ÉTS student housing facility stands as a shining example of what can be achieved when sustainability and design excellence converge. Through its thoughtful design, the facility not only provides a conducive environment for learning and collaboration but also embodies a vision for a more sustainable future.