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LEED Certification
History
Architecture
Significant decorative exterior elements
Interior accessible to the public


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LEED Certification
On November 11, 2011, the building at 360 Saint-Jacques received an internationally renowned certification. It became the first building in Old Montreal to obtain a LEED certificate (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for an existing building. In achieving this outcome, Gestion Georges Coulombe followed the best environmental practices available in North America for office buildings. During a process that spanned more than three years, many renovations were completed, data were gathered and the highest energy efficiency standards that such certification demands were put in place. The project outline reads as follows:

1. Develop a Web site: www.360stjacques.com

2. Install meters for measuring water consumption by the building and its sub-systems to more accurately assess consumption trends and find ways to reduce water consumption even more.

3. Develop a number of plans and policies on environmentally friendly outdoor maintenance, erosion control, sustainable purchasing, solid waste management, environmentally friendly cleaning, sustainable cleaning equipment and integrated pest management measures. Best management practices in energy efficiency were created, including plans, documentation and evaluations of opportunities for improvement as well as refrigerant management to improve the performance of cooling towers and better protect the ozone layer.

4. Comply with the building industry’s strictest standards for air quality (ASHRAE 62.1 standards), air filters (Merv 13) and maintenance products (EPA, Green Seal and Environmental Choice CCD).

5. Make green energy purchases and participate in a greenhouse gas registry; record emission reductions achieved through energy efficiency performance, renewable energy and other building emission reduction measures, including reductions through the purchase of renewable energy credits.

6. Acknowledge occupant participation in management policies, the recycling programs developed and the surveys handed out.

7. Achieve better energy efficiency performance than other buildings of the same type to reduce the environmental impact associated with high energy consumption according to the Energy Star tool. Develop a plan to save energy, and create a capital investment plan to undertake improvements or major renovations.

8. Introduce numerous recycling programs: paper/cardboard, batteries, plastic/glass/metal, ink cartridges, sustainable matter and construction waste.

Since its creation in 1981, Gestion Georges Coulombe, a pioneer in heritage building renovation in Old Montreal, has lived up to its reputation. In 2008, no environmental certification of existing buildings had yet been awarded in Canada. Gestion Georges Coulombe immediately turned to our southern neighbour to register the project and begin the many steps involved in obtaining LEED certification. The plaque and certificate bearing the U.S. Green Building Council inscription, that you see here, symbolizes the outcome of our many efforts.

Gestion Georges Coulombe would like to underscore the contribution of building occupants and suppliers during the many steps involved in completing this project. We are proud of this accomplishment, which follows in the footsteps of others, and we encourage everyone to contribute toward protecting our environment.

360 St-Jacques - LEED

During a celebratory gathering, Gestion Georges Coulombe unveiled its LEED plaque and thanked the 22 tenants, each of whom received a copy of the authentication certificate issued by the U.S. Green Building Council.

360 St-Jacques - LEED

Displayed in the entrance hall is a montage showcasing the plaque, the certificate and the project outline.

360 St-Jacques - LEED

360 St-Jacques
History
According to a City of Montreal municipal by-law adopted in 1924, for a building’s height to exceed 130 feet, it was essential that its top part be set back at least 23 feet from its base, and that the floor area not exceed the area of an 11-storey building that would occupy the same lot.

Established as the Royal Bank headquarters in 1928, the building site was part of the very first concession granted on the Island of Montreal by Governor Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve, on January 4, 1648. At the time, the construction costs amounted to $6.5 million.

Installed at 360 Saint-Jacques in 1928, the Royal Bank headquarters would remain there until 1962, when it moved to the Royal Bank Building at Place Ville-Marie. In 1907, the Royal Bank of Canada moved its headquarters from Halifax to Montreal, but in 1926, feeling cramped, it decided to build this skyscraper (the tallest in the British Empire), an expression of all its opulence and prosperity. Construction from 1926 to 1928. In 1962, the Royal Bank moved to Place Ville-Marie, but kept a branch on Saint-Jacques.

360 St-Jacques

360 St-Jacques

360 St-Jacques
Architecture
The Royal Block stands on an entire city block, almost square in shape, in the heart of the former Canadian business centre. This 22-storey skyscraper has a steel structure and is clad in grey limestone – the lower part in Queenston, Ontario limestone acquired a buff colour over time. The building, the tallest in the city in 1928, stands out for the setbacks imposed by the by-law governing buildings higher than ten storeys. Thus, a tour topped by a block covered by a pavillion roof appears on a massive pedestal several storeys high, including a monumental ground floor.

Viewed from the street, the building has three main divisions, the powerful pedestal, the median section of the tower and the pilasters at its top – the summit block is set back too far to be visible. These divisions and the details of the architectural treatment give very little emphasis to the building’s height. The cladding even creates a false impression of massive bearing walls, masking the presence of a steel frame. This American-style skyscraper, with its modern structure and equipment, is clad in a stone envelope, the composition of which recalls various distant pasts. The pedestal refers to three stylistic influences. In the first place, its shape and its three high round-arched openings evoke the Florentine palaces of the Renaissance. Secondly, the broken extrados of these arches, in the Gothic spirit, recall the medieval epoch of Florence. Finally, at the top of the pedestal, the neoclassical inspired colonnade evokes Roman Antiquity, like the pilasters at the summit of the median section of the tower, which is more austere than the pedestal. This learnedly eclectic historicism, resulting from the combination of elements inspired by different reference periods, was one of the architectural approaches in vogue in North American downtown cores of the 1920s.

The building’s function is announced by this special style, which the architects York and Sawyer championed in the banking field all over North America. The towers more simply looks like a rental office building on top of a bank, which is what it is. The single monumental entrance in the main facade (there is a secondary entrance on Rue Notre-Dame) contributes to the clear announcement of a corporate headquarters and even gives the impression that the entire building is used for the bank. This portal also contributes to the prestige image from which the offices lodged in the tower also benefit. Finally, the three main openings in the facade announce three parallel axes of the interior plan.


360 St-Jacques
Significant exterior decorative elements
The keys to the small rectangular openings at street level represent personages, including a Mercury (Hermes to the Greeks), the patron deity of commerce. The two bronze drums of the grand entrance portal are topped by gryphons, mythical creatures which have come down through the ages, which support the bank’s monogram. The framing of the doors, in Levanto marble, is adorned with decorative bronze motifs representing Canadian and British coins, all surmounted by the coat of arms of the United Kingdom, also adopted by Canada. Higher on the building, the ensigns of Canada’s provinces, sculpted in bas-relief in the stone, surround the colonnade at the building’s angles.


360 St-Jacques


360 St-Jacques
Interior accessible to the public
The plan and the interior distribution resulting from it reflect the precepts of the French teaching of the fine arts. A central monumental axis is completed by a hierarchical group of secondary axes. Upon entering, the eye is drawn to the grand banking hall at the stop of a stairway. This axis is first intersected at a right angle by the axis of the elevator halls, which serve the floors of the tower on both sides. The grand stairway leads to the elevated section of the ground floor, in the bank itself, more specifically in the grand banking hall. Other monumental spaces house specialized services.

The grand banking hall is designed in the form of a civil basilica of ancient Rome, somewhat like the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine, consisting of a central nave and vaulted aisles, and this period of reference is announced from the exterior by the grand colonnades. Everywhere in the bank, the almost bare walls adorned with coats of arms and the arches with their broken extrados recall the medieval world, while the caisson ornaments evoke the Renaissance. The marble mosaic floors, the polychrome plaster and gold leaf caissons, the Levanto mauve marble counters, and the golden bronze grilles and decorative elements highlight the company’s prosperity, all historical references combined.

Gryphons flank the bank’s R[reversed]/ B monogram everywhere. The interior also contains the coats of arms of Canada, all the provinces at the time of construction and Newfoundland, as well as Halifax and Montreal, the successive host cities of the headquarters. The bronze elevator doors bear allegorical panels illustrating Canada’s economic activities. Finally, two marble monuments honour the employees who fell on the field of honour during the Great War.



360 St-Jacques - Montréal - Québec