Laval, August 21, 2019 – CIMA+ is proud to announce that its Sherbrooke office has achieved the Zero Carbon Building – Performance certification for 2019. This certification program offered by the Canada Green Building Council® is the first of its kind in Canada and one of the first in the world.
Conceptualizing a Zero Carbon building is important for CIMA+ because it allows the firm to participate in the collective effort to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which is an integral component of the firm’s commitment to sustainability. “Having an energy-efficient office building is aligned with our corporate social responsibility plan which, in part, aims at providing our employees a beautiful and healthy work environment,” said David Murray, Partner and Vice President at CIMA+, who manages the Sherbrooke office.
While the Sherbrooke office is the first building in Quebec to obtain this stringent certification, it will certainly not be the last for CIMA+.“This project was important for us because as a consulting engineering firm, we need to lead by example. In order to continue providing the best services possible to our clients, we need to innovate and invest in our own practices first,” adds Mr. Murray.
The engineers who designed the CIMA+ office in Sherbrooke in 2008 adopted an innovative approach that made it possible to avoid the use of fossil fuels. The heating system operates exclusively on electricity, which is rather rare for a building of its size. Indeed, large buildings in Quebec often also use natural gas. Engineers also introduced several energy-efficiency measures, such as:
- A geothermal loop
- Radiant heating for parking lots, provided by a glycol water loop coupled to the geothermal system
- Heat recovery system in the server room
- Rooftop heat wheel
- Efficient building envelope
- Efficient light fixtures and light control
While the building is energy-efficient and electricity consumption is low, hydroelectricity still generates a slight carbon footprint. To compensate the 1.8 tonne of CO2 emissions generated to operate the building, and achieve a “zero carbon” objective, CIMA+ purchased green energy certificates at an annual cost of $136. This level of emissions is very low considering that a car travelling 20,000 km per year generates 4 tonnes of CO2. Solar panels are in the process of being installed to further reduce the building’s carbon footprint. More information to come on this pilot project in the fall!
About the Zero Carbon Building – Performance certification
A zero-carbon building, as defined by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), is highly energy-efficient and produces onsite, or procures, carbon-free renewable energy in an amount sufficient to offset the annual carbon emissions associated with its operation. In a nutshell, this means that the building does not contribute to increasing Carbon dioxide (C02) in the atmosphere.
CIMA+ is a Canadian, multidisciplinary firm that specializes in consulting engineering, project management, urban planning, communication systems, and the environment, allowing for a full range of services in urban infrastructure, transportation, buildings, industry, energy and hydroelectricity, telecommunications and geomatics. Founded in 1990, CIMA+ was created through the merger of several well-established consulting engineering firms. Today, with over 30 offices across Canada, CIMA+ employs over 2,000 people, over half of whom share ownership in the company. CIMA+ has reached the prestigious Best Employers in Canada’s Platinum Level, which is exclusively reserved for organizations that achieved the best results in the Aon Hewitt survey. For more information on CIMA+, please visit www.cima.ca.
For more information:
Director, Corporate marketing and sustainability
David Murray, ing./ P.Eng
Partner / Vice-President / Industry – Building