Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 92.73
Liaison Emmanuelle Jodoin
Submission Date Oct. 24, 2022

STARS v2.2

Université de Sherbrooke
OP-3: Building Design and Construction

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.95 / 3.00 Chantal Couture
Director General
Building Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total floor area of newly constructed or renovated building space:
26,461 Square Metres

Floor area of eligible building space designed and built in accordance with published green building codes, policies, and/or rating systems:
Floor area
Certified at the highest achievable level under a multi-attribute GBC rating system for design and construction (e.g., LEED BD+C Platinum or Certified Living Building) 0 Square Metres
Certified at the 2nd highest level under a 4- or 5-tier, multi-attribute GBC rating system for design and construction (e.g., LEED BD+C Gold) 0 Square Metres
Certified at mid-level under a 3- or 5-tier, multi-attribute GBC rating system for design and construction (e.g., BREEAM Very Good) 0 Square Metres
Certified at a step above minimum level under ar 4- or 5-tier, multi-attribute GBC rating system for design and construction (e.g., LEED BD+C Silver) 0 Square Metres
Certified at minimum level under a multi-attribute GBC rating system for design and construction (e.g., LEED BD+C Certified) 0 Square Metres
Certified/verified at any level under a multi-attribute, non-GBC rating system for design and construction, a green building code, or a single-attribute rating system for design and construction 0 Square Metres
Designed and built in accordance with a multi-attribute green building code, policy, guideline, or rating system, but not certified/verified 13,595 Square Metres
Designed and built in accordance with a single-attribute green building code, policy, guideline, or rating system, but not certified/verified 12,866 Square Metres
Total 26,461 Square Metres

Percentage of newly constructed or renovated building space certified under a green building rating system for design and construction:

A list of new construction and major renovation projects that indicates the green building code, policy/guideline, or rating system that applies to each building:

Sustainable development is an integral part of the day-to-day building space management overseen by the Building Services. Whether it is integrating sustainable design principles into new construction projects or renovating outdated systems to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the University is increasingly integrating the principles of sustainable development into its construction and renovation projects.


The Université de Sherbrooke's construction standards (https://www.usherbrooke.ca/immeubles/projets/standards-de-construction) include guidelines for the design of all construction projects. These standards are evolving and, as a result, additional sustainable development criteria are integrated into projects according to the specific context and opportunities of each project.

These additional criteria are generally selected in collaboration with the project-specific architectural and engineering professionals according to the specific context of the project. This multi-attribute approach takes into account a number of parameters in various areas, including location and access to transportation, site development, energy efficiency and GHG emission reduction, the selection of certain materials, the quality of the interior environments, and the well-being of occupants.

Specifically, the university's construction standards include, but are not limited to, the requirement to integrate bicycle racks near entrances, the planning of spaces for the collection of residual materials including recyclables and organic waste, the LED lighting (which consumes less energy and contains no mercury compared to fluorescent lamps), and strict requirements in terms of energy performance and GHG emissions. The new projects are in such a way as to increase the density of the campuses, which are already developed near a multitude of services and are well served by public transit and bicycle networks. The University benefits from a well-developed indoor (tunnels) and outdoor pedestrian network as well as a cycling network that promotes the use of active transport. The addition of new buildings is frequently associated with the extension of the tunnel network to ensure the connectivity of the different buildings on campus.

Recharging stations for electric vehicles are regularly planned in the parking facilities, as well as urban lighting that limits light pollution (new model of streetlamps is selected to be integrated into the standards). In all the projects carried out, the introduction of green spaces is also a priority for the Université de Sherbrooke. In terms of materials, a selection of regional materials is frequently considered in projects depending on the nature of the project. Attention is also paid to the selection of materials that simplify maintenance and optimize the life cycle. In terms of indoor environmental quality, thermal comfort, greater natural light, and acoustic criteria are considered in the design of every project. In sum, it is common for construction projects to achieve even higher levels of performance than those prescribed by building standards.

Lastly, the Université de Sherbrooke advocates inclusion within the university community. In recent years, this value has been reflected in project interventions, including gender-neutral facilities and an emphasis on the importance of universal accessibility in all projects. Other elements to ensure safety and promote respect for people are also considered where possible. For example, adjustments required in order to prevent and fight sexual violence can be provided for in certain elements of a project (e.g., adding lighting in nerve centres, windows in doors).


1. Impacts on the surrounding site

The Université de Sherbrooke is recognized for its green spaces, which provide a healthy, pleasant, and motivating environment conducive to training and work. Several projects or initiatives from the university community emerged in recent years that contribute to enriching the quality of the environment on the three campuses. The Stratégie d’aménagement des espaces verts 2018-2022 [EN: Green Space Planning Strategy] aims to build a positive impact on the surrounding sites, especially through better planning and preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity.


2. Energy consumption

The university’s energy efficiency program aims to comply with the Stratégie de gestion de l’énergie et des gaz à effet de serre 2018-2022 [EN: Energy and Greenhouse Gas Management Strategy] which requires improving the energy efficiency of construction projects by exceeding the requirements of the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2015 (NECB).



3. Building-level energy metering

The university’s building standards stipulate that any new construction or renovation must comply with the latest edition of the energy-saving regulations for new buildings and the standard required meters connected to the university’s control system.


4. Usage of environmentally preferable materials

A willingness to reuse and recycle materials is often incorporated into construction projects in addition to a responsible sourcing effort for the acquisition of certain materials.

5. Compliance with the principles of the Québec wood charter


6. Indoor environmental quality

The Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) [EN: Québec Building regulations] and the Construction Code require minimum ventilation rates and other measures for new and existing buildings to ensure indoor air quality that is acceptable to the occupants and minimizes adverse health effects.


7. Water consumption

Recognizing the importance of integrated water resource management, the University implemented numerous measures in 2000 to protect and enhance this resource. The university’s water management plan includes:

• Installation of low-flow, motion-sensing fixtures on the Main Campus
• Equipment using continuous water supply is gradually phased out
• No outdoor watering allowed, except in exceptional cases
• End of the use of potable water for vacuum pumps in science research laboratories
• Transfer of the cooling system from the cold rooms to the closed loop of cooled water system
• Installation of a water line in the tunnel to avoid the use of a problematic underground section
• Reduction of steam consumption, thus reducing the consumption of make-up water.


8. Water meters at the building level

Water meters help to identify leaks and reduce water consumption on campuses. Since 2000, the University has put in place measures to ensure sound water management, supported by water meters, particularly on the Main Campus.


1. Construction of the Institut quantique [EN: Quantum Institute] (D9)

The Quantum Institute is a new building on the Main Campus of the Université de Sherbrooke located near the Faculty of Science.

• Showers were built to accommodate users of active transport.
• A light-coloured roofing membrane has been specified to help reduce the heat island effect.
• GHG emission reduction targets were considered from the design stage of the project.
• Particular attention was paid to the selection of the fenestration in order to integrate into the project a clear window that optimizes the light contribution and that also performs well in terms of the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) to contribute to a better energy performance of the building.
• Early planning allowed for anticipated energy savings of 42% by conducting an energy simulation of the building relative to the reference building corresponding to the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB) 2011 criteria.
• This three-storey project, which includes laboratories and work areas, is characterized by the integration of an innovative wood structure. In addition to coming from a rapidly renewable resource, the wood for this structure was extracted, manufactured, and purchased in Quebec.
• In the design, the well-being of the users was considered, particularly for the quality of the interior environments. Thus :
- Low V.O.C. emission coatings have been specified.
- Temperature sensors and individual controls have been provided to ensure the thermal comfort of users.
- The occupants of the spaces benefit from a generous amount of natural light and pleasant views of Mount Orford.
- The furniture was selected to contribute to the flexibility and dynamism of the living spaces and also to the ergonomics of the various work areas with the selection of height-adjustable tables. Quebec products were chosen for the acquisition of the furniture.

2. Construction of the Greenhouse with implementation of a chilled water plant (D10)

The greenhouse (D10) is a new construction that includes a service building on the main campus. This project is connected by a footbridge to the pavilion D8.

• The greenhouse was built on an existing asphalted parking lot.
• Electric vehicle charging stations were added to the parking lot as part of this project.
• New LED streetlamps have been installed outside to reduce the energy consumption associated with lighting. These lights do not direct any light towards the sky and therefore limit light pollution.
• A roof with a high Solar Reflectance Index was also integrated into the service pavilion roof, which reduces the heat-island effect.
• Inside the greenhouse, an irrigation system with humidity sensors allows the consumption of potable water to be limited according to the needs of the different crops.
• The greenhouse is by definition a type of building with a large window area to provide sufficient light for plant growth. In return, this type of building is generally energy intensive due to the large area of glazing. In order to reduce the energy consumption of the greenhouse, a High-Temperature Heat Pump was installed in building D8. This Heat Pump provides efficient heating for the greenhouse. The mechanical unit was installed indoors to save energy.
• Prefabricated panels were also used for the envelope of the service pavilion. In general, the use of prefabricated materials reduces the amount of residual materials generated on site.

3. Renovation of the School of Music (C3)

The School of Music is a renovation project in the pavilion C3 on the main campus.

• A bus stop is located directly on the way 1 in front of this pavilion.
• The project features a changing room with showers and a secure covered bicycle shed.
• Triple-glazed windows were selected to improve the thermal resistance of the envelope and increase the air tightness of the building. The addition of windows in the existing building also increased the amount of natural light in the common areas.
• From an energy consumption point of view, geothermal wells and a heat wheel have been integrated into the project. The building does not emit any GHGs and even produces energy at certain times of the year.
• Specific criteria for humidity control and acoustics were integrated into the project as they were directly related to the need defined for the use of the spaces (sensitivity of certain musical instruments to humidity, listening and recording rooms, etc.). The integration of these criteria also contributes to the comfort of the users.

An ASHRAE Technology Award was received for outstanding achievements in the application of heating, refrigeration, and air conditioning technologies in this project:

“(…) An innovative aspect of this project was the exclusive use of the recovered heat to provide humidification and heating loads. In fact, in the province of Quebec, winters are extreme, resulting in high heating requirements. The ability to heat the entire building through the sole use of heat recovered from interior spaces and ground heat was an important element of the project. Another innovative aspect was the transfer of heat recovered from the geothermal wells in the music pavilion to the rest of the campus via the energy loop when the needs of the music faculty are less than the capacity of the installed heat pump. This design allows the full potential of the geothermal wells to be used as long as there is a need for any building on campus. In addition, the building retrofit project generated 100% natural gas savings and 34% of electricity savings. (…)

The design of this project has produced impressive results: a very energy-efficient building, high air quality, simplified maintenance, elimination of steam, substantial reduction in GHG emissions, optimal use of geothermal energy and the possibility of transferring cleaner energy to the rest of the campus through the energy loop.”

Source : https://fnx-innov.com/fnx-enerpro-awarded-at-the-last-ashrae-gala/

4. Construction of the Studio de création [EN: Creative Studio] (C4)

The Creative Studio is a new building used by the Faculty of Engineering on the Main Campus. The pavilion combines workshop spaces and other areas for collaborative work.

• This building was built on an existing paved parking lot adjacent to a preserved wooded area. Its location provides users with easy access to the Mont Bellevue trails. A terrace has been created on a section of the building's roof to incorporate a work of art from a collaborative community project. Eventually, native plantings will be incorporated into the design.
• The furniture will be created by a local artist who works with wood and will reuse aluminum parts that are no longer used in the industry.
• A shower has been introduced into the project to accommodate users of active transport.
• A section of the tunnel connects this pavilion to the university's network of tunnels, allowing for year-round pedestrian circulation. The tunnels also provide a means of transporting some services to the C4.
• A triple glass curtain wall was selected to improve the performance of the building’s shell. This element contributes to the reduction of annual GHG emissions linked to the building. Annual GHG emissions for this building are estimated at 20 tonnes, which is minimal considering that this figure is approximately equivalent to the annual GHG emissions of 22 passenger vehicles.
• The layout of the building provides interesting views of the wooded areas near the building or the mountains in the area. The amount of glazing also brings an abundance of natural light into the spaces.
• All the spaces have been designed to encourage collaboration and interaction. The choice of furniture contributes to the flexibility of the use of the spaces.
• A monumental staircase is highlighted in the entrance hall and encourages users to use the stairs as an alternative to the elevator, especially to promote physical activity and well-being.

5. Renovation of the Student Life Pavilion (E1)

The Student Life Pavilion on the Main Campus (E1) serves several purposes for the university community (radio, student associations, living spaces, student services, etc.).

• Bicycle racks and showers have been included in the project.
• An outdoor patio was set up.
• The basement level was modified to confer more pleasant and accessible living spaces.
• The existing windows were replaced with more efficient windows with increased thermal resistance. Specific details were also included to improve existing thermal bridges. These interventions to the shell to make it more efficient have made it possible to improve the energy performance of the shell and reduce the GHG emissions linked to this building built in the 1960s.
• An existing staircase has been showcased and upgraded to standard.
• Temperature controls and control zones were incorporated into the design to improve thermal comfort for users.
• Windows were added to the existing spaces to maximize the amount of natural light in the redesigned spaces.
• The layout of the spaces was designed with the idea of optimizing the occupation of the spaces by offering flexible premises that can be used for several types of users and purposes at different times of the day.
• Elements such as the adjustment of the level of the sidewalk, the width of the circulation spaces, the addition of banisters and an elevator have been provided to make the spaces universally accessible.
• Refrigerators dedicated to the non-profit organization Frigo Free Go, which provides a network of self-serve refrigerators to combat food waste, were incorporated. A pantry and storage area have also been provided for this purpose.
• A triple-stream station has also been provided for the sorting of residual materials.
• Gender-neutral washrooms have been installed.

A full list of major construction and renovation projects over the last five years is provided in the attachment.

An inventory of new construction and major renovation projects that indicates the green building code, policy/guideline, or rating system that applies to each building:
Website URL where information about the institution’s green building design and construction program is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.