A passive-active design brings urban beautification
By Maryse Laberge
Designed both as a visitor centre and as a showcase for environmental education, the Parcours Gouin Welcome pavilion integrates sustainable design strategies, such as site preservation, potable water conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, local materials, and health and wellbeing. The Net-Zero project is certified LEED Gold.
The two-storey, 460m² building is located in the wooded Basile-Routhier Park, Montreal’s only riverside park accessible by Metro. The ground floor includes a community room that can accommodate various events, while the upper floor includes a large multi-purpose room, an office area for community organizations, the mechanical room and access to an exterior deck.
The site offers a variety of accessible services and facilities promoting outdoor activities, nature interpretation and healthy lifestyles, whether through nutrition or physical activity. The sustainable strategies used in the construction and operation of the building are demonstrated and explained to visitors. In addition, the biophilic design approach and the connection to the surrounding landscape are apparent throughout the building and contribute to the enjoyment well-being of the users.
Energy and Water
The ambition to achieve a Net Zero building is realized through a combination of strategies which include a high-performance building envelope, high-efficiency mechanical and electrical systems, and an array of 120 photovoltaic panels capable of generating 31.8 kilowatts of renewable energy.
Thermal comfort is achieved by minimizing thermal bridging through the highly insulated envelope, and the use of a radiant heating system embedded in the concrete slab. A ventilation and air conditioning system, controlled by occupancy sensors, also ensures excellent air quality and comfort. Operable triple-pane windows allow for natural ventilation when the weather is mild.
Water-saving appliances are used to reduce primary consumption. The domestic hot water is preheated by a solar collector on the roof (in which a heat transfer fluid circulates) before going into a holding tank. Rainwater management includes a rainwater collection tank for watering the gardens. Various stormwater management measures are integrated, such as permeable paving, bio-retention basins and rain gardens, and all are designed to fit harmoniously within the overall aesthetic of the building and its surroundings.
The energy-efficient curtain wall by Unicel Architectural contains triple-glazed sealed units, low-E film and interior wood mullions.
Maryse Laberge is Senior Principal at Beirtz Bastien Beaudoin Laforest (Groupe Provencher Roy).
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