The Research Centre for Structural and Functional Genomics (CSFG) received Gold status this September under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building rating system certified by Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), reinforcing Concordia’s successful adoption of energy efficiency.
The centre is part of Concordia’s Strategic Research Plan, an initiative to increase research activity in different faculties. At the CSFG, researchers have access to a shaker, laminar flow hoods, ultrapure water systems, and icemakers, for further studies in the areas of cellulosic biofuels, alternative energy sources, and biomass conversion.
“We were originally seeking for silver,” said Peter Bolla, associate vice-president of facilities management.
In order to be recognized by LEED, the project must undergo a strict and methodological process of validation that proves it is indeed sustainable. Although the CSFG was completed in 2011 as a 5,400 square metre expansion of Loyola’s Richard J. Renaud Science Complex, it took CaGBC two years to acknowledge its design, construction, and operation as “green.”
Official information assures that the building “consumes 57 per cent less energy than the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings.” Moreover, 11 per cent of construction and furniture materials were recycled, and 65 per cent of wood-materials concur with Forest Stewardship Council Canada (FSC-CA) standards, which is a non-profit organization that certifies forestry companies as environmentally, socially and economically responsible.
Air quality enhancement and efficient plumbing are listed among the building’s green features.
According to Bolla, the CSFG was equally funded with $29.3 million in 2008 between the Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP)—Canada’s $2 billion Economic Action Plan to stimulate the revitalization of higher education facilities across the country— and the ministère du Développement économique, de l’Innovation et de l’Exportation (MDEIE)—one of Quebec’s departments responsible for research and innovation.
This is not the first time Concordia has received a LEED certification. In 2012 gold certification was given to the PERFORM Centre, and silver was given to the JMSB building.
“[I]t is important that we provide our faculty and students with facilities that will support innovative research,” said President Alan Shepard, in a Sept. 26 press release.
In fact, Concordia as a whole was recently classified for the 16th time as energy efficient, ranking number one out of six of the largest universities in Quebec, including McGill University.