“What to reuse, what to improve and what to tear down entirely are key questions for environmental thinkers in cities and towns across Canada and around the world.” And with these opening words from the editorial of the latest issue of Alternatives Journal, Tenille Bonoguoure sets the stage for the increasingly important issue of green buildings. Click the audio player above to hear the podcast, which is based on articles you’ll find in the magazine. You can also right click here to download. I have three interviews featured on this podcast:
- Steve Carpenter, President of Enermodal Engineering – Canada’s largest consulting firm exclusively dedicated to creating green buildings
- Andre Roy, Dean of Environment at the University of Waterloo on their new ENV3 building which is on track to become the most environmentally friendly building on all Canadian college and university campuses
- Stephen Svenson, author of the article ‘Those Brad Pitt Houses’ on green reconstruction efforts in the lower ninth ward of New Orleans, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005
Also included in the print issue of the magazine: Monte Paulson takes a look at the increasingly popularity of energy-efficient Passivhaus houses around the world and wonders why they’re not catching on in Canada; Deborah Curren makes the case for better government regulations to help foster the burgeoning green building movement in Canada; Peter Love looks at some of the barriers to improved energy efficiency and gives examples of major projects that have made substantial efficiency improvements through performance-based contracts; plus all the regular features you expect from Alternatives including reviews of the latest eco-books.
Think about it: how much time do we spend in buildings day in and day out? How much energy and material input is required to build and maintain these structures? As it turns out, it’s a lot actually. As Tenille writes, “Given how important and influential buildings are in both our practical daily existence and our broader societal understandings, it was no easy task to design, build and furnish this issue.” Check it out on newsstands now or subscribe here.
Soaking Up the Sun to Squeeze Energy Use to Zero – NYTimes.com.
Great article from the Times. Did you know commercial buildings use 18% of total energy consumed in the U.S. each year? This article describes innovation at its best. An affordable solution that will save both money and energy. Here’s an excerpt:
Most office buildings are divorced, in a way, from their surroundings. The energy lab’s Research Support Facility building is more like a mirror, or perhaps a sponge, to its surroundings. From the light-bending window louvers that cast rays up into the interior office spaces, to the giant concrete maze in the sub-basement for holding and storing radiant heat, every day is completely different.
The backdrop to everything here is that office buildings are, to people like Mr. Blocher, the unpicked fruit of energy conservation. Commercial buildings use about 18 percent of the nation’s total energy each year, and many of those buildings, especially in years past, were designed with barely a thought to energy savings, let alone zero net use.