World Environment Day 2022: Sustainability on display at Montreal's Humaniti Hotel

·3 min read
Humaniti Hotel Montreal. Montreal's first Smart Vertical Community. Image via Humaniti Hotel.
Humaniti Hotel Montreal. Montreal's first Smart Vertical Community. Image via Humaniti Hotel.

June 5 marks World Environment Day—led by the United Nations Environment Programme, a time to raise awareness on the importance of protecting and restoring the Earth.

The theme for this year is "Only One Earth" which looks at climate, nature, and pollution, and advocates for a global change through environmental actions, while encouraging people to live a greener lifestyle.

While World Environment Day aims to raise awareness of global environmental issues, actions have the greatest impact. Individual actions play a critical role in creating a sustainable environment and future overall, but collective efforts can bring change at a larger level.

When people think about environmental sustainability, luxury may not always be the first thing that comes to mind. However, luxury can still be sustainable and achieved at a low environmental impact.

Enter Humaniti Hotel.

The Humaniti Hotel, Montreal's first smart vertical community.
The Humaniti Hotel, Montreal's first smart vertical community.

Environmental impact at the forefront of Humaniti

The Humaniti is Montreal's first "smart vertical community," located in the heart of downtown, and is one example of a Canadian business that is taking action in sustainable efforts. Two of the key elements of smart communities are designs that improve the quality of life with efficiency, and sustainability.

Shaped like the letter "h," which stands for "human," the 39-storey complex has striking bright art, large glass windows with natural lighting, and greenery on the property. The complex also includes an outdoor pool, two-storey gym, spa, and restaurants.

The designers focused on three areas: health, environment, and carbon emissions reduction.

"It helps our clients to reduce their ecological impact, enhance their brand image, save on operating costs and generate higher and longer-term return on investment – without necessarily incurring more capital costs than a standard project," Hugo Lafrance, Lemay’s Associate Director of Sustainability and the sustainability lead on Humaniti, said in an emailed statement.

The Humaniti Hotel pool and terrace
The Humaniti Hotel pool and terrace. Image via Humaniti Hotel

From sustainable food-practices, locally-sourced amenities, smart lighting, Tesla charging stations, and bikes, the hotel is all about eco-friendliness.

The building was designed to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria—a green building certification system that helps address climate change and create energy-efficient buildings.

"Humaniti’s design and materials thereby meet stringent air and water quality criteria; prefer smart, anti-glare lighting systems; promote healthy eating and physical activity; and incorporate inspiring design features and works of art," a statement from Lafrance reads.

"The project included elements that are intended to increase their wellbeing and delight. There are vegetated spaces and water elements located in the plaza and in the 8th and 20th floors that can improve individual’s self-esteem and mood, while the presence of water can have a relaxing effect."

By providing lots natural light, not only does the complex save energy, there are numerous health benefits that come with it.

"All the service apartments in Humaniti have access to daylight and views, reducing the need for artificial lighting and providing enough illuminance to accomplish tasks efficiently and safely," Lafrance explained.

"In addition, this contributes to synchronizing building users’ circadian rhythms, boosting their mental arousal, reducing stress, and positively impacting their regulation of the vitamin D, serotonin and melatonin required for restorative sleep and a clear mind."

As Canada aims to reach their sustainability and smart community goals, hotels like Humaniti's Montreal property are playing a role.

"Humaniti's central idea was envisioned to enhance human delight as the project has several spaces and amenities where occupants could get services that promotes wellness, comfort, and a healthy lifestyle," Lafrance stated.

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