JMSB building gets an A 

By Barbara Black

JMSB construction moves onward and upward. Magnifying glass

JMSB construction moves onward and upward.

The new John Molson School of Business Building is a little more than half-finished, and the good news is that it’s on schedule, within budget, and green.

The concrete structure is virtually complete, with all 16 floors poured. Now the focus goes into finishing the interior. The number of workers will increase from about 150 to about 250, and more subcontractors will become involved. The pace over the next few months will be intense, according to Gilles Desrochers, of Genivar, which manages the massive project.

Desrochers said in an interview that the unusual volume of snow this winter did not delay the project.

“Management of the volume of snow, while it was a challenge, was not as difficult as very cold weather would have been.” When the temperature falls below -18° C, the tower cranes have to be stopped, and that brings construction to a halt, but that happened for only one or two days this winter.

Desrochers paid tribute to the professionalism of the contractors, Verreault Construction. The City of Montreal installed a bicycle path along De Maisonneuve Blvd. while the trucks and cranes were working on the new building, but the contractors took the added chaos in stride.

Another challenge was the tunnel that links the new building with the EV building on the east side of the street. The workers had to install all the services in the tunnel as the traffic roared over Guy St. above them.

An examination of the plans shows that the building will have a lot of classrooms, from the two basement levels up to the sixth floor. The classrooms are varied: at least 10 rooms of 30 seats, about 15 of 60 seats, three of 120 seats, two of 150 seats and an auditorium that seats 300 people. One theatre has seats around four sides, with the presentation space in the middle.

There are study spaces and group study rooms for students, and an area for student affairs. Offices and spaces for graduate students are distributed over about six floors. The 15th floor will house the dean’s office. Floors seven to 10 are still to be assigned.

There will be a special-function room of wood and glass suspended over the interior stairway and partially visible from outside. It looks like an ideal space for conferences, receptions or classes. The public art chosen for this area will be visible from outside the building, thanks to the glass wall along the Guy St. sidewalk.

The building is also green. About two-thirds of the top 10 metres of the west side of the building will be covered with perforated solar panels connected to the building’s electrical and thermal systems.

As well as helping to heat and power the building and run its computers, the installation is a research laboratory for the Solar Buildings Research Network, headed by engineering professor Andreas Athienitis. A $900,000 federal grant that is being used to finance four projects, including the one in the new business school, where graduate students will closely monitor the performance of the solar installation.

The building will also obtain a LEED certification, which attests that it was designed, constructed and eventually operated with environmentally friendly products and processes.


Concordia University