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Case Studies  > Mountain Equipment Co-op, Montreal
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The Mountain Equipment Co-op Montreal store is the Co-op's 8th retail store and the third (after the Ottawa and Winnipeg stores) to comply with Natural Resources Canada's C2000 Green Building Standard. It is the first C2000 compliant retail building in Quebec.

To achieve the project team’s commitment to environmentally sustainable concrete construction was chosen for the main structure. A blended cement containing 27% SCM was used to reduce the building’s CO2 signature. Although the project suffered significant delays due to abnormally cold winter conditions: any effect on curing time or workability of the high percentage SCM concrete was unperceivable. Concrete floors provide thermal mass for effective radiant heating and cooling. Rainwater from the roof is captured in an underground cistern and used for irrigation and flushing toilets. MEC is rewarded for all their efforts with a modeled 50% reduction in energy consumption.
The  wide scope of green features MEC employed included:
  • The site storm water retention system accommodates 4 times the maximum capacity required by municipal regulations and allows the retained water to be released gradually back to the water table instead of returned to the overburdened municipal infrastructure as is currently the practice in Montreal;
  • The landscape strategy differs substantially from the 'maximum building / maximum parking' model of the rest of the commercial complex: more landscaped area around the building and in the parking area, use of indigenous, drought resistant species and a green roof above the one-storey café by the store entrance; 
  • Water conservation strategies: roof rain water captured in underground cistern and used for irrigation and flushing toilets; low flow plumbing fixtures and waterless urinals;
  • Radiant heating and cooling with geothermal as the main energy source;
  • Natural day lighting through clerestory windows, a central light monitor and strategically placed, high performance curtain wall glazing at the entrance and behind the climbing wall.
  • Natural ventilation through the use of underground tunnels and controlled louvers integrated into the central light monitor (operable windows were not appropriate for the site or the store layout and are limited to the staff lunch room);
  • High level of insulation in an airtight building envelope (walls insulated to R35, roof to R40, foundations to R17/R24.5 slab to R10 and glazing to R3.4 and R5);
  • Use of salvaged materials (this proved to be a significant challenge in Montreal): BC fir from a distillery was used for the main staircase, entrance canopy, curved roof mill deck, soffits and interior fit-up; salvaged steel was used for the climbing wall structure and excavated materials including boulders were used in the landscaping;
  • No materials or equipment containing CFC's or HCFC's;
  • Use of low VOC content, non-toxic, and high recycled content materials;
  • Use of EcoSmartTM concrete;
  • Use of R407 refrigerant (the 'greenest' refrigerant commercially available in Quebec);
  • A waste management plan was implemented to divert 60% of non-hazardous solid construction waste from landfill sites. This target is ambitious in the current Quebec context but reflects the goal established by RecycQuebec, who partnered with the project team to use the Montreal MEC store as a case study towards the provincial waste management road map. One of the results of the building's environmental features is a minimum 50% reduction of energy consumption compared to that of a similar building as modeled with the Model National Energy Code for Buildings.

Project Team
Owner: Mountain Equipment Co-op
Architect: MTF Architects
Structural Engineers: Saia Deslauriers Kadanoff Leconte Brisbois Blais
Mechanical Engineers: Pageau Morel and Associates Inc.
Construction Manager: Broccolini Construction Inc.
Civil Engineer: Vinci Consultants
Landscape Architects: Williams Asselin Ackaoui and Associates Inc.
Waste Management: Jacques Whitford Environment Limited

Click here for a detailed case study of the use of Ecosmart Concrete.