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Recycling, net-zero key elements at Rosefellow Montreal redev. site

The company will recycle 60% of the concrete and all of the steel.

IMAGE: Drone's-eye view of the Montcalm site.
A drone view of the Montcalm site. (Courtesy Rosefellow)

Real estate developer Rosefellow is integrating significant recycling efforts into its plans to redevelop the site of the former Owens Corning factory in Candiac, in Greater Montreal.

Most of the material from the demolition of the existing building will be repurposed for new uses.

A new 473,612 square foot building will be constructed at the site. Like all of Rosefellow’s new developments, it will also target a Zero-Carbon Building – Design certification from the CaGBC (Canada Green Building Council).

The Owens Corning site, in the city’s downtown Montcalm sector, has been vacant since 2007. Rosefellow also transferred nearly 107,639 square feet of land to the town for conversion into a municipal park when it acquired the site.

The company aims to recycle most of the concrete, 60 per cent of all the dry debris and 100 per cent of the steel.

“There’s a whole traceability procedure that is done with the Ministry of Environment of the Province of Quebec. So it's no longer the cowboy days where you can take out material and bring it in, dump it anywhere,” Julian Nini, Rosefellow’s director of construction, told SustainableBiz. 

“There's a traceability that is governed and organized by the Ministry that we have to abide by. So all our subcontractors and general contractors are all on this program where we must provide necessary documentation to the ministry that shows exactly where it's gonna go.”

Montreal-based Rosefellow has more than 20 million square feet of industrial and multiresidential projects under development in Quebec and Ontario.

Rosefellow’s new industrial building

Rosefellow began deconstructing the building on April 11. Certain historical objects and components will be preserved by the Town of Candiac.

The materials won’t be reused for the new structure, outside of the concrete from the foundation Rosefellow can salvage and recuperate. Mike Jager, Rosefellow’s co-founder, told SustainableBiz this project is the first time the company has undertaken large-scale recycling initiatives.

The demolition and recycling process will take three months, and construction is expected to begin this summer.

In order to obtain its green certification, the company will implement photovoltaic solar panels as well as heat pump systems. Part of the roof will be green, and a filtration basin and a water retention basin are planned.

The project will also feature collective gardens and plant walls, as well as an “ecological parking area,” which involves electric vehicle chargers as well permeable pavers for parking spots that allow rainwater to seep naturally into the ground.

The office portion of the building, which is just under 15,000 square feet, will have a green roof.

According to Rosefellow, the building is expected to lower greenhouse gas emissions by up to 49 per cent compared to typical industrial buildings, and will aim to limit embodied carbon emissions to 350 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent. The building is also aiming for increased energy efficiency of up to 34 per cent compared to a typical industrial building of similar size.

Rosefellow and recycling

This project was ideal for the recycling process due to the existing building on site, and also because it’s not a greenfield. Given the focus on redeveloping certain areas, Rosefellow is certain the Montcalm project will not be its last to utilize large-scale recycling. 

“As land get is extremely scarce, we look for opportunities in ideal markets and as you can imagine areas such as the West Island or East End there isn't greenfields anymore,” Jager said, “so in order to find great opportunities, we have to look at redeveloping certain areas which would have a similar process to what we're doing in Candiac.”

Last month, Jager explained to SustainableBiz the decision to push for zero-carbon certifications came from Rosefellow’s internal conversations in November.

The first project to begin the certification process is a $300-million industrial campus in Kirkland, Que.

“We need to do what we can to make a dent in the universe and leave a better tomorrow for our children is what it came down to. I’m not trying to sound corny, but it's true,” he said at the time.

It will also aim for a Zero-Carbon Building – Operations certification.

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