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LadyDragon Project --->LadyDragon's Eco-House Laboratory


Friday October 16, 2015


LadyDragon was invited by the Montréal Space for Life to attend the presentation where the Canada Green Building Council awarded the LEED NC 1.0 Platinum Certification to the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium.

By LadyDragon

MONTREAL--( EST, LadyDragon wrote - Yesterday morning Monsieur Robert Ladouceur, Executive Director of the Quebec Green Building Council, unveiled the LEED NC 1.0 – Platinum Certification of the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium project.

For those unfamiliar with this area, it was known as the Olympics site where the Games of the XXI Olympiad were held in the summer of 1976.

It was an international multi-sport event.

Most people remember this Olympics because it was where, at the young age of 14, gymnast Nadia Comaneci of Romania scored seven perfect 10.0 and won three gold medals, including the prestigious All-Around.

The Olympics sites were uniquely designed.

The city of Montreal continues to be on the cutting of design with this LEED NC 1.0 – Platinum Certification for the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium.

The Platinum Certification is the highest certification that can be awarded for green buildings, whether they are new construction (NC) or major renovations.

The LEED system is both a design guide and a certification tool aimed at improving the well-being of building occupants and buildings’ environmental performance and operational efficiency.

Aiming ever higher the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium is a key piece in Montréal’s architectural heritage. This signature building not only meets the city’s sustainable policy for municipal buildings, but it also marks Montréal as a UNESCO City of Design and member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. All these new buildings must be certified at least Gold for their design methods, building practices and sustainable operations. The Planetarium surpasses these requirements.

A winning combination with a score of 55/70, the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium is the 4th building in Quebec to receive LEED NC 1.0 – Platinum certification and the 2nd in Montréal, after the Saint-Laurent Borough’s du Boisé library.

“Green” resource management means:

• Reduced energy consumption: The building’s envelope provides increased thermal resistance, improving energy efficiency; the Planetarium benefits from the Biodôme’s highly efficient energy-recovery and transfer systems which meet its air conditioning and heating needs, while the geothermal system reduces energy consumption considerably. The hybrid natural ventilation system also helps to reduce these needs, in addition to enhancing indoor air quality.

• Reduced drinking water consumption, less wastewater and less erosion:

Rainwater is collected and used for watering the outdoor gardens, while another holding tank supplies the toilets. During construction, the excavated soil was used for landscaping, including for the green roof, which helps absorb heat and moisture and breathe. The drought-resistant plants require minimal watering. The landscaping reduces the heat island effect.

• Abundant natural daylight: The natural lighting is the first thing visitors notice, and they greatly appreciate it – as do employees. The Planetarium is bathed in natural daylight, even the underground level, thanks to the windows onto the outdoor spaces under the Olympic Park slab. In addition, the lighting design, high-efficiency lighting fixtures and motion detectors all make it possible to cut consumption to nearly half that of a reference building. The centralized control system optimizes operating schedules, and outdoor light pollution is reduced, to comply with Dark Skies standards.

• Recycled and reused materials: Over 75% of the existing structures were recycled. For instance, the concrete was used as fill, the steel was reused and more than 95% of waste materials were diverted from landfill. In addition, 95% of the wood is FSC certified and most materials were locally sourced.

• Transportation: No additional parking spots were added, and a bike parking area was provided for visitors and employees. The site is also easy to access by public transit.

The Presentation

All the leaders of this project participated in addressing the audience.

"Its esthetically bold architecture is also exemplary in terms of ‘green’ resource management,” says Manon Gauthier, Montréal Executive Committee member responsible for culture, heritage, design, Space for Life and the status of women.

“The shows at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium combine science, art and emotion to reinvent the way we present astronomy. The elegant architectural creation, in perfect harmony with its surroundings, contributes to the Montréal Space for Life experience. We are proud that this achievement has received official recognition with LEED NC 1.0 – Platinum certification. It encourages us to dream even bigger for our future plans,” says Montréal Space for Life Director, Charles- Mathieu Brunelle.

- Robert Ladouceur: Executive Director, Quebec Green Building Council.

The LEED NC 1.0 – Platinum Certification was then unveiled by Monsieur Robert Ladouceur.

The Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium was made possible with the collaboration of the Olympic Park and the financial support of the Ville de Montréal, the provincial government, the federal government and Rio Tinto Alcan.

Key people who helped to realize this project,such as Cardin Ramirez Julien + AEdifica, the Montréal firm that won the international architecture competition, received commmorable plates.

The presentation was followed by a tour of some of the design features.

The first feature was very obvious in the amount natural light that was illuminating our surroundings.

We started in a room where we could experience the ventilation design.

It was unique in that instead of the air coming out of the walls or ceiling, it was coming from floor vents.

We could put our hands on top of these floor vents and feel how gently the air was flowing.

The tour finished on top of the roof where we had a magnificent view of the Olympic Stadium and the Biodome.

We were close to the two cones which are telescopic structures that are state-of-the-art facilities for space research.

Each telescope-like cone houses a distinctive theatre: the Milky Way Theatre, with its exceptionally clear sky, takes visitors on a captivating voyage to the stars, while the Chaos Theatre invites them to embark on a sensory, artistic and dreamlike odyssey.There is also a permanent exhibition on life in the Universe.

It was explained that the lawn that we saw on top of the roof was part of a complex irrigation system using recuperated water.

We were also shown the new Montréal Space for Life App.

With this new application for exploring Montréal Space for Life and the Planetarium’s LEED elements, Planetarium visitors will soon be able to follow a tour route with commentary on some of the LEED elements.

In keeping with the mission of Montréal Space for Life, i.e. “to help people enjoy nature to the fullest,” it’s an original and free way to make learning fun.

It will be available soon at the App Store and on Android.

The App will also work on tablets.

While in 1976, the Olympics site was an international multi-sport complex, it is now a multi-faceted Montreal Space for Life which truly wears its name well.

Not only is it an historical place to visit, Montréal Space for Life is an experience in a nutshell:

- The Biodome is where you can experience the Ecosystems of the Americas beginning in the lush Tropical Rainforest and finishing with a visit to the Sub-Polar Regions to enjoy the penguins.

Over 4,500 animals from 250 different species and 500 plant species are all under one roof.

- The Montréal Insectarium is home to a multitude of treasures just waiting to be discovered. Dazzling, jewel-like beetles, giant stick insects, butterflies with multicoloured wings, and furry spiders.

All these different insects are laid out in display cases, vivariums and carefully designed exhibition modules so that everyone can learn more about insects and arthropods. It’s a veritable temple celebrating insects from around the world.

- The Montréal Botanical Garden presents a remarkably diverse array of plants to visitors in all seasons.

On its 75 hectares, you can explore its beauty through themed gardens and its 10 exhibition greenhouses like the Chinese Garden and the Ducks at the Tree House pond.

- The Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium opened on April 6, 2013, and has had nearly 770,000 visitors. As a place for discovery and learning, it offers visitors a fascinating immersive experience of the Universe and is one of the city’s leading tourist and architectural attractions.

The building has received a number of prestigious Quebec, Canadian and international awards for its design and architecture as well as for its technical innovation and sustainable development in the areas of climate engineering, business, culture, museology, tourism and communications.


The Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, with this LEED NC 1.0 – Platinum Certification, not only provides a very harmonious place to visit and work, but is also a great inspiration for future green construction projects.

For more information, visit their website

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