SP0156: LEEDing Operations and Maintenance

Status: COMPLETED Summer 2015 - May 2018

“LEEDing Operations and Maintenance” aims to pursue LEED O+M certification for one building from each of the four different building types at McGill (education, administration, housing and athletics), in order to implement and analyze sustainable building management practices beyond the initial construction and/or renovation of the building.  These four locations will be used as models to set building-type specific standards and goals for the rest of McGill’s downtown campus. 

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Currently, McGill lacks a holistic and highly structured approach to the reduction of the ongoing environmental impacts of operating and maintaining buildings on campus; where attempted, current approaches do not transcend all departments and are highly fragmented. The departments which do try to implement sustainable practices often use arbitrary targets without a standardized metric, thus rendering the McGill-wide institutionalization of sustainability in these matters almost impossible.

The SP0156 “LEEDing Operations and Maintenance” project has a vision to make McGill University THE institutional reference point for sustainable construction, operations and maintenance of buildings.  One step towards this vision is to institutionalize sustainable operations and maintenance practices across our downtown campus.  The project will apply for LEED O+M certification (an official designation) for one building from each of the 4 different building types on campus (education, administration, housing and athletics), while developing building-type specific sustainable operations and maintenance policies, which will help set sustainable-performance objectives to be implemented for all buildings on campus.

Under the SP0146 “LEEDing Change” project, major renovations and new construction projects have been identified as candidates for LEED BD+C, ID+C Silver level or higher certifications. These certifications look at the environmental impact of the design and construction of a project, but there is no subsequent evaluation of building performance or a follow-up to ensure that the elements included in the original construction plans have been implemented and made operational. Additionally, these certifications do not cover any of the sustainability-related aspects of future operations of a building, such as maintenance and procurement policies. By having the same specific goals and precise timelines across departments, the LEED O+M certification will promote a synergetic approach to the implementation of sustainable practices between departments. LEED O+M certifications will also ensure these practices have been implemented long-term as they must be re-awarded at least once every 5 years, based on the effectiveness of the sustainability-related aspects of operational maintenance.

Resources from the SPF will be used to implement automated systems and develop management policies for four McGill buildings. This process involves registering the four buildings for the ‘LEED Dynamic Plaque’ automated tracking and certification process, for which water meters will be connected to smart electric meters, and plumbing fixtures will be modified or upgraded to ensure consumption meets LEED O+M certification requirements.

A common platform through which every department can target its sustainable initiatives and communicate performance will be launched in the form of a digital display of the real-time building performance results (energy, water, waste, transportation and occupant experience). This display will be recreated on screens in the foyers of each of the targeted buildings, giving a medium from which to communicate progress, and raise occupant awareness of sustainability issues and performance levels.

Whereas the SP0146 LEEDing Change project introduced these concepts into the planning stage of project development, the SP0156 LEEDing Operations and Maintenance will be used to evaluate the sustainability of the operations and maintenance activities of buildings on an ongoing basis.  LEED O+M certification ensures that the application of sustainable building practices is in place over the course of a building’s life. It sets an example of operational standards from which all of McGill’s Facilities Operations and Management team can benefit. 

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Facilities Operations and Ancillary Management


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

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