Interview with Dario Montoni

Dario Montoni started Montoni Group 20 years ago with a desire to modernize the construction industry’s methods. Montoni has become a real estate leader in Quebec and Eastern Canada by demonstrating a commitment to design LEED-rated buildings on a commercial scale. The company has made Canada’s 50 Best-Managed Companies list 15 years running and has been a member of the Best-Managed Companies’ prestigious Platinum Club since 2007.

SABMAG: What was it about the construction industry that you wanted to change?

DM: When we started out, we knew there was a need for full turnkey services. So we structured Montoni to include all specialized departments under one roof in order to supply the client with every possible service a construction project implies. We hand over plans detailing everything. Unlike traditional industry practices, I wanted to design projects based first on our clients’ operational needs, followed by aesthetic considerations associated with the architectural exterior, and not the other way around. This quickly set us apart in the market.

SABMAG: When did you build your first “green” building, and what does “green” mean to Montoni?

DM: Mindful of the need to protect the environment for future generations, the Montoni team has put a great deal of effort into seeking and receiving LEED certification for most of its projects since 2006. Logistik Unicorp was Montoni’s first LEED project and, despite all the challenges, this project earned LEED Gold certification in 2010. There are several different aspects of responsible, sustainable construction. It’s an approach that contributes to more efficient management of resources such as water and energy, and could even contribute to optimizing employee movements inside and outside the building. It’s a full-out commitment to the environment.

SABMAG: Why did Montoni receive the CaGBC Leadership Award in 2013?

DM: The Canada Green Building Council presented its 2013 Industry Leadership Award to Montoni in recognition of its tireless commitment to environmentally friendly LEED construction and sustainable development. Montoni has provided industry support in helping further the CAGBC’s goals by always promoting LEED construction to their existing and potential clients. Montoni is a strong believer in LEED practices and implements these practices in the buildings it builds for ownership. This is why many of our buildings are LEED certified, including Canada’s first industrial park consisting entirely of buildings that obtained LEED Silver certification in 2008.

SABMAG: What has been your most ambitious sustainably-designed project to date?

DM: To date, our most ambitious project has been Ericsson, a large-scale, innovative project where the considerations related to users’ well-being and the overall environmental footprint of the project. Several elements were put in place to ensure a quality environment for users: high energy efficiency, an exemplary water management system and a work environment with a connection to nature. Even before final delivery, Montoni received two awards acknowledging the technological and green features of this building, with its ultramodern architecture.

SABMAG: Montoni has a commitment to sustainable building, but what will it take to move most of the construction industry in that direction?

DM: As Montoni has been doing for many years, the construction industry must be proactive and sell sustainable building by putting forward all the advantages it offers. This way, building owners can make informed decisions based on their needs and objectives while lowering their environmental impact.

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