Public Works and Government Services Canada

Public Works and Government Services Canada

June 09, 2006 10:35 ET

Government of Canada Opens New Green Building in Montreal 25% Less Water, 50% Less Energy, 35% Less Money to Maintain

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - June 9, 2006) - The Honourable Michael M. Fortier, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, today officially opened the Government of Canada's new energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly building at 740 Bel-Air Street in Montreal. The opening of this building reinforces the new Conservative government's commitment to "greening" government operations.

The building officially opened today will be named for Normand Maurice, in honour of his exceptional contributions in the area of sustainable development. "The building is a fitting tribute to the memory of the man who bestowed his name to this address", says Minister Fortier. "In the demolition of the old building, 100% of the steel, 82% of the wood and 92% of the brick were saved and reused on the new facility."

As a result of this $46 million project, which began in fall 2002, operating costs for the building will be approximately 35% lower than for conventional buildings, representing a savings of $5 million over 25 years. Such savings demonstrate that in adopting greener, more energy-efficient construction methods, the Government of Canada is putting taxpayer dollars to good use.

From beginning to end, the project incorporated the "greenest" techniques, from the use of proven methods for soil decontamination, to the use of geothermics and solar energy for heating and air conditioning. These green techniques will result in a nearly 50% savings in energy costs in comparison to conventional buildings, representing an annual energy savings of $200,000.

Public Works and Government Services Canada created the Office of Greening Government Operations (OGGO), with a mandate to accelerate the greening of government operations by working closely with other federal government departments. "The OGGO will be called upon to play a growing role in my department, because in addition to depollution and energy efficiency, its mandate also includes two elements in which I am a firm believer: the greening of government buildings and green procurement," said Minister Fortier.

Minister Fortier stated that under the new Policy on Green Procurement, which came into effect on April 1, 2006, federal departments must integrate environmental performance considerations into the procurement decision-making process, and report on their green procurement plan every year.


Normand Maurice Building

740 Bel-Air Street, Montreal

- Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) is officially opening a new building in the heart of Montreal. The Normand Maurice Building meets the needs of several federal organizations, and it incorporates innovative and eco-efficient sustainable development criteria, based on the highest industry standards. Nearly $2 million of the $46 million invested went toward sustainable development components.

- To go green, the new building's heating and air conditioning systems use geothermal (using the earth's heat) and solar technology. Natural light and ventilation reduce electricity consumption and improve personal comfort; rainwater is collected for the toilets. The flow of rainwater to the municipal sewer system is also controlled to avoid flooding.

- Using green technologies results in energy savings in excess of 45% compared to conventional construction. The building was reconstructed on PWGSC-owned land that was decontaminated before new construction began. Many of its original structural elements were salvaged, recycled and reused (in this project or other projects), and new materials were selected with sustainable development in mind.

- This new Government of Canada building houses four federal departments and agencies: the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) and the Department of National Defence (DND) Naval Reserve.

- Under one roof, the multi-use facility houses office and storage space, as well as armoury space for the HMCS Donnacona from DND's Naval Reserve Division. (DND provided upfront funds towards the construction of the armoury, in order to save on leasing costs for 25 years.) Sharing facilities, such as meeting and training rooms, and heating and lighting systems, will allow all tenants to benefit from economies of scale. Additionally, the green building approach will allow them to meet their own corporate sustainable development objectives.

- In 2003, the 740 Bel-Air project won the trophy for best practices in sustainable development from Contech, a well-recognized organization in the Quebec construction industry.

- In 2005, the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) gave the Bel-Air project its 2005 Award of Excellence in the "Green Building" category for the use of steel in integrating sustainable development concepts in several parts of the building.

- The 740 Bel-Air project is a candidate for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold certification in 2006; LEED is a system of standards used to classify green buildings. There is currently only one building in Quebec that has obtained this certification. The Normand Maurice Building is the first large-scale project in Quebec to incorporate LEED parameters in the invitation to tender for a contracted project. The Greenstone Building in Yellowknife is another Government of Canada building on the list for this distinction.

- The construction of this multi-purpose building incorporates aspects of social, economic and environmental development.

Ce texte est egalement disponible en francais.

PWGSC news releases are also available on our Internet site at

Contact Information

  • Office of Minister Fortier
    Press Secretary
    Nicole Babin
    (819) 997-5421
    Public Works and Government Services Canada
    Media Relations
    (819) 956-2315