Environmental Protection

New Tool for Environmental Compliance in Construction

A team of graduate students from Concordia University have developed a new tool that rates the level of compliance between environmental impact and the urban planning goals of development projects, which will also help increase the potential for long-term sustainability.

In the new study, researchers used this tool to evaluate early proposals for the redevelopment of the Turcot highway interchange. They found that the proposal adopted in 2009 was inadequate for long-term sustainability.

Undiné-Celeste Thompson, lead author of the study said, “Government agencies often produce statements about their plans, policies, and programs to protect the environment and promote sustainable development. So we began by examining such statements to create a list of environmental goals that were relevant to the Turcot redevelopment.”

The study's authors believe their method of analysis can help prevent the adoption of inadequate proposals in the first place, and that their method should also be applied to the revised Turcot plan to identify further room for improvement. Ultimately, the new analysis method could be used for a wide range of projects and help future construction in Montreal begin to set new sustainability standards.

"This is a powerful tool for comparative analysis, because it is straightforward enough that both experts and members of the general public can use it," said Thompson. "It will be particularly useful to non-governmental entities that wish to lobby against a particular project or propose alternative solutions."

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