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Towards more sustainable construction
Date:3/1/2013

als set out by various governments. For example, the City of Montreal's 2004 Master Plan declared that new projects should aim to "reduce amount of car traffic to improve air quality" and "promote public transit to improve air quality." But the MTQ's 2009 plan would have allowed more cars to pass through the interchange each day, and would not have provided any dedicated bus lanes or other accommodations for public transit. In other words, it would actually have contradicted existing government policies by making air quality worse. This is particularly unfortunate as this included goals from documents issued by the MTQ thus their own project contradicting their own publicly declared goals.

Two alternative proposals, put together be local architect Pierre Brisset and Concordia professor Pierre Gauthier, for the Turcot included special lanes for high occupancy vehicles as well as additional metro, train and bus routes. Though these proposals were brought forward, decision-makers adopted the MTQ's construction plan. This distressing course of action was somewhat alleviated with the plan's revision in 2012. But 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. "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," says Thompson. "It will be particularly useful to non-governmental entities that wish to lobby against a particular project or propose alternative solutions." Perhaps - in light of this new way to analyze the quality of construction proposals and their alternatives - future construction in Montreal will begin to set new sustainability standards.


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Contact: Clea Desjardins
clea.desjardins@concordia.ca
514-848-2424
Concordia University
Source:Eurekalert

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