News release

JLL and Concordia University partner on retrofitting the future of real estate

A $630,000 grant will support the decarbonization of commercial and industrial spaces

September 05, 2023

Diana Gavrila

Communications Manager
+01 514 502 4800

MONTREAL, September 5, 2023 – JLL and Concordia University have announced today being awarded a grant of $630,000 over three years from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) for an ambitious new research project. The grant further underlines mutual commitments to helping Canada meet its goal of carbon-emission neutrality by 2050.

Bruno Lee, associate professor in building, civil and environmental engineering at Concordia, will partner closely with JLL Real Estate Futures Lab in Montréal, to develop a multi-disciplinary decarbonization framework, revamping existing commercial buildings so they use less energy and decrease total emissions.

Funding will be provided for up to six PhD students to work alongside JLL to carry out the project.

Addressing a pressing need

The need for the development and adoption of new technologies to retrofit commercial buildings is of paramount importance, according to Professor Lee.

“Canada has over 480,000 commercial and institutional buildings including offices, retail stores and warehouses. They are the third-highest source of emissions in the country,” he notes. “The expected outcomes of the project will benefit Canada by cutting a large portion of emissions in existing building stock by taking swift and effective steps.”

The project has three main objectives:

  1. To develop an evaluation framework to assess the performance of decarbonization scenarios and prioritize deep carbon retrofit measures.
  2. To develop a vital financial framework to support investment decisions of the deep carbon retrofit measures and ensure sustainable cash flows throughout the building operation.
  3. To develop a long-term decarbonization framework to ensure that decarbonization plans can adapt to and sustain uncertain and extreme conditions such as those experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic and through climate change.

Taken together, this framework will enable existing commercial building owners, large or small, to develop and execute their own decarbonization plans with confidence.

“For JLL, sustainability is important because it facilitates our ability to deliver long-term value to our shareholders and drive climate action for sustainable real estate. Reducing carbon footprint across real estate portfolios is imperative,” says Dr. Hugues Delmaire, Head of JLL Real Estate Futures Lab. “This is the first time we collaborate with a Canadian university, and we are keen to team up with Concordia to find novel ways of retrofitting commercial spaces

About JLL

For over 200 years, JLL (NYSE: JLL), a leading global commercial real estate and investment management company, has helped clients buy, build, occupy, manage and invest in a variety of commercial, industrial, hotel, residential and retail properties. A Fortune 500® company with annual revenue of $20.8 billion and operations in over 80 countries around the world, our more than 106,000 employees bring the power of a global platform combined with local expertise. Driven by our purpose to shape the future of real estate for a better world, we help our clients, people and communities SEE A BRIGHTER WAYSM. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit