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Montreal’s Sun Life Building earns LEED Platinum certification

One of Montreal’s most iconic office complexes, the Sun Life Building, continues to pile up the h...

IMAGE: The Sun Life Building in Montreal. (Courtesy BentallGreenOak / Groupe Petra)

The Sun Life Building in Montreal. (Courtesy BentallGreenOak / Groupe Petra)

One of Montreal’s most iconic office complexes, the Sun Life Building, continues to pile up the honours. The century-old building has been awarded LEED EB Platinum certification by the Canada Green Building Council.

Platinum certification is the highest level of recognition for LEED Green Buildings, a standard which is known around the world.

The Sun Life Building also becomes the first North American building more than 100 years old to obtain triple platinum certification for excellence in environmental performance and digital connectivity. It had already earned BOMA BEST Platinum certification from BOMA Canada and WIRED Platinum certification from WiredScore.

The building is owned by Sun Life and a consortium led by Groupe Petra.

“We are extremely proud of this exceptional result, which can be attributed to the remarkable work done by the property management team at BentallGreenOak, the willingness of the tenants to adhere to our environmental programs and the commitment of all of the owners to improve environmental performance,” said Robert Dumas, president and CEO of Sun Life in Québec, in a release.

“This certification is in keeping with the values adopted by Sun Life, which has prioritized sustainable development in its efforts to build healthy and sustainable communities for more than 150 years.”

“Heritage buildings can be green”

The LEED system measures a building’s performance and efficiency in five sectors that are critical to human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

“This recognition proves that heritage buildings can be green and sustainable when everyone works together,” said Patrice Bourbonnais, president and COO of Groupe Petra, in the release. “Our partners outdid themselves and delivered outstanding environmental performance. This certification makes for a nice Platinum trio, and represents a first for a century-old building in North America.”

BentallGreenOak’s tenant accountability program focuses on energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions, waste diversion, water conservation and maintaining a healthy working environment in the properties that it manages.

“The success of our sustainable development program at the Sun Life Building hinges upon our conviction that the management of this property is most effective when we concentrate on improving its environmental performance,” said Yves-André Godon, managing director for Québec at BentallGreenOak, in the release. “Our practical approach focuses on sustainability data. Our team is unflinchingly committed to improving the social and environmental impact of the buildings that are entrusted to us.

“When it comes to the Sun Life Building, we are very careful to preserve its built heritage, which is linked to the history of Montreal.”

Sun Life Building history

Built in the neoclassical style between 1914 and 1933, the Sun Life Building towers over Dorchester Square – 400 feet high with 26 floors that provide more than a million square feet of surface area. It was, when completed, the largest office building in the then-British Commonwealth.

Located in the heart of Montréal’s business district, it has been home to many leading companies over the years. Today, it also houses a number of firms contributing to the the new economy.

The iconic shape of the Sun Life Building is an integral part of the Montreal cityscape.

In past years, the structure has been named a Building of the Year (TOBY) in 2011 and 2017; won a heritage award in 2013; and a TOBY customer service award in 2015.

It also has an EnergyStar score of 92, considered very high for a structure of its vintage.

About Sun Life

Sun Life is an international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate clients.

Sun Life has operations in numerous markets including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. As of June 30, 2019, Sun Life had total assets under management of $1,025 billion.

About Groupe Petra

Groupe Petra is a private management firm with over 30 years’ experience in the real estate sector.

Its services range from construction and maintenance to leasing and fitting out for a large portfolio of office, commercial and industrial lease properties. Concentrated in Montreal, Toronto, and Quebec City, Groupe Petra’s holdings total nine million square feet.

About BentallGreenOak

BentallGreenOak is a global real estate investment management advisor and provider of real estate services.  BentallGreenOak serves the interests of more than 750 institutional clients with expertise in the asset management of office, retail, industrial and multi-residential property.

BentallGreenOak has offices in 22 cities across 10 countries. BentallGreenOak is a part of SLC Management, which is the institutional alternatives asset management business of Sun Life.

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