Energy Efficiency

Workers install geothermal wells, one of several technologies that help make the Centre one of the most energy-efficient office buildings in Quebec. Photo courtesy of Bernard Fougères.

Green roof

The building is covered by a 800 m2 green roof made from a pre-grown roll of InstaGreen vegetation consisting of 10 species of sedum, a group of plants well adapted to life on a Quebec rooftop.


Fewer, less intense heat islands. Reduced energy consumption. Reduced sewer overflow events at water treatment plants. Green roofs are also an attractive addition to an urban area.

Raised floor

The floors in the building’s office spaces are raised, leaving a 305-mm space between the exterior surface of the floor and the concrete slab below. This space, which is called a plenum, houses a ventilation system that delivers conditioned air directly to occupants. This system uses less energy than conventional ventilation because it  circulates air at a lower speed and from below, i.e., directly into the space occupied by the employee. 


Uses approximately 15% less energy, increases user comfort, and makes it easier to reconfigure network cables.


Gearless machine room-less elevators like the ones at the Centre for Sustainable Development generally use 25% to 35% less energy than conventional elevators. They take up less space, are lighter in weight, and require less motor power to operate. 


Saves energy and generates less heat, placing less of a strain on the cooling system.

Building envelope

The Centre for Sustainable Development has an ultra high performance building envelope with superior thermal resistance that significantly reduces weak spots in the insulation (known as thermal bridges). All windows are triple pane with two layers of low-emissivity coating. 


Significant energy savings. 

Geothermal heating and cooling system

The 28 geothermal wells that lie 152 metres underneath the Centre for Sustainable Development supply the building with 100% of its cooling needs in summer and 100% of its heating needs. For each unit of energy used to circulate the fluid in the system, three or four new units are created. There is also an auxiliary natural gas heating system, if necessary.


Significant energy savings, less maintenance, smaller machine room with less equipment.

Energy efficient lighting

Windows are positioned and sized to optimize natural light and outdoor views. Automated tools (light intensity and motion detectors) and efficient lighting devices with low mercury bulbs (T5 and LED) significantly reduce the amount of energy consumed in the building. Ecotect software was used to maximize and measure the amount of natural light in regularly occupied areas. The project also controls for light pollution. 


Saves energy.

For more information, check out the interactive exhibit on the building, sign up for a visit with a guide or take a virtual tour of the Centre [French only].