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Visitors Flock to the Centre for Sustainable Development


On the morning of January 29, 2015, 11 South Korean students taking a course in environmental technologies and sustainability with Environment XM became the 500th group to take a tour of Montreal’s Centre for Sustainable Development.

By fortunate coincidence, their guide was Dr. Charles Thibodeau, the first person Équiterre hired as a researcher for the development of the building.

The Centre, the first LEED Platinum-certified building in Quebec, opened in August 2011 after 10 years of hard work by Équiterre. The mission of this non profit organization is to become a sustainable development hub and showcase some of the best modern construction practices.

Many people are curious about the innovations that make the Centre unique and find the tour a really rewarding experience. With its geothermal wells, five storey biofilter living wall, dual-duct under-floor ventilation system, ultralight green roof, century-old wood salvaged from rivers, experimental concrete slabs containing powdered glass, and built-in furniture made by troubled youths, the Centre gives sustainable development a whole new meaning!

Guided tours began when the Centre was still under construction (2010–2011); there have now been 500. Of these, 188 were organized and led by Hydro-Quebec and 312 by the Équiterre team. This means that 5,750 people now know more about one of the most ambitious sustainable building projects in Quebec.

The Centre also has a free permanent exhibition so you can learn more about the approaches that reduced the building’s and its users’ environmental footprint. This interactive exhibition also provides unique educational tools, such as real-time electricity and water meters and a spectacular display of eco-materials. You can find this information on the Web at

The 500 tours would not have happened without the invaluable contributions of Hydro Quebec, the Société des Alcools du Québec [Quebec liquor commission] and the Société d’Habitation du Québec [Quebec housing corporation].

To book a free Friday tour, click here.

To book a group tour (fees applicable), click here.

If you want to take a self-guided tour of the Centre, you’ll find the opening hours here.