ICAO Headquarters: The First LEED Certified UN Building

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) headquarters in Montreal obtained Canada’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification for Existing Buildings (LEEDEB) in 2007. ICAO’s headquarters is the first UN premise that has obtained the LEED-EB Gold certification.

The LEED-EB is recognized internationally as the benchmark in property management in terms of both energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. The achievement of this certification reflects ICAO’s willingness to integrate environmental considerations into its operational management and to comply with a set of performance standards. These standards cover the following categories:

•    Sustainable management of the site water quality and efficiency
•    Energy efficiency and atmosphere protection
•    Sustainable use and disposal of materials and resources
•    Indoor environmental quality
•    Innovation in operations & upgrades

ICAO's headquarters required major work in order to become compliant with LEED standards, which represented a significant challenge. Several modifications were made in terms of lighting, plumbing, ventilation, responsible water use, recycling, maintenance processes and methods, and operations. For example, fluorescent tubes, ballasts, high–efficiency systems and speed regulators were replaced.

This certification, as demonstrated by the excellent ICAO`s greenhouse gas performance indicators, has helped to reduce carbon emissions arising from the headquarters operations, and is helping move ICAO towards climate neutrality.