SP0146: LEEDing Change

Status: COMPLETED Summer 2015 - April 2018

The LEEDing change project aims to update building standards at McGill by reviewing existing practices and institutionalizing cultural change with key stakeholders so that building to green building standards becomes ‘business as usual’ instead of additional, optional work.

Read the full project description

After extensive consultation with the McGill community over two years, McGill’s Sustainability Strategy was approved in spring 2014. Green Buildings was retained as one of the priority actions (Action 8).

The green building standards and its associated business plan (see Appendix) have now been approved by the Associate Vice-Principal (University Services). However, implementation challenges include:

  • Lack of knowledge of key stakeholders (architects, engineers, professionals) about the new green building standards;
  • Few LEED-accredited professionals on McGill staff with institutional knowledge of green building experience;
  • Insufficient resources to ensure standards are being followed and to collect data with regards to impacts (ex. waste diversion rate, water and energy savings, etc.);
  • Culture: projects are done with an ‘on time, on budget’ mindset, with green building practices considered as optional.

The LEEDing change project aims to update existing practices and institutionalize cultural change with key stakeholders so that building to green building standards becomes ‘business as usual’ instead of additional, optional work at McGill.

The LEEDing change project will help build a culture of sustainability through:

  1. Education: provide LEED training to project managers and appropriate project key stakeholders (e.g., building directors) and accompany them during the culture change transition period.
  2. Communication: develop communication tools advising key stakeholders of the new standards, when and how to apply them. Document projects and study cases for reference for future project teams and the McGill community (website). Share the experience with students in architecture. Organize a Sustainability Talk/lunch and learn type of event with MOoS. Explore the possibility to organize a more formal event with TISED and the School of Architecture.
  3. Monitor and report: on projects and indicators to assess the degree to which standards are being followed by stakeholders and to make recommendations for improvement, when relevant.
  4. Applied student research: identify opportunities to involve students and faculty in projects to provide hands-on experience with green building planning, research, and techniques.

At the end of the SPF grant period, the project group expects that the culture of sustainability will have been ingrained within the mindsets of existing University Services staff as well as external stakeholders (engineers, architects, contractors, etc.), in addition to a closer collaborative relationship with McGill faculty and students, effectively institutionalizing the project without requiring further support.

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Design Services McGill, University Services McGIll

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philippe.st-jean [at] mcgill.ca (Philippe St-Jean)
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