Built to serve Saint-Laurent’s diverse community in Montreal, the Bibliothèque du Boisé has collected another honorable accolade. Today, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada awarded the public library with its 2017 Green Building Award. The award will be presented during the RAIC/OAA Festival of Architecture in Ottawa on May 24 to 27.
After winning the City of Montreal’s design competition, the Cardinal Hardy + Labonté Marcil + Eric Pelletier architecte consortium designed the 6,000 square-meter LEED-Platinum library, which was inaugurated in 2013. (Eric Pelletier architecte and Cardinal Hardy merged with Lemay in 2013 and 2014, respectively.)
With ample natural lighting and warm touches of wood, the building comprises various cultural and community spaces: the library, administration, exhibit space, museum archives, meeting rooms, youth areas, and a cafe.
As for sustainability strategies, the building has an integrated passive heating system that uses the heat accumulated in a glass prism and is then redistributed through a geothermal loop. Seventy-five percent of the library’s floor area receives natural light, and natural lighting is combined with task lighting to help save energy. The building is designed with certified wood, low-emitting materials, and recycled or regional materials. A storm water recovery system also supplies water to a nearby wetland.
Outside, trees were preserved and hoards of native plants were added, including over 100 new trees and some 5,000 shrubs, ground cover, and climbing plants. The three-member jury noted the library’s “striking form” and its “remarkable dialogue with the urban site and natural habitat.”