Tag Archives: Bob Marshall

The need for energy performance targets

When it comes to the energy efficiency of its buildings, Canada is something of a paradox. On one hand, the country has received its fair share of accolades for green initiatives. For example, this author was in France in September for an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) TC205/TC163 joint workshop, and received laurels for coming from the world’s only nation with a holistic building commissioning standard—Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Z320-11, Building Commissioning. On the other hand, the country recently ranked 11 out of 12 on the 2012 American Council for an Energy-efficient Economy (ACEEE) International Energy Efficiency Scorecard.

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An end to throwaway building envelopes

When it comes to engineering its buildings, Canada has made great strides in durability and energy efficiency requirements with respect to codes and programs such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Unfortunately, despite these green leaps, it seems the basic lessons learned over the past decade or so still have not been applied to most building envelopes. In other words, we have structures designed to have service lives of 50 to 100 years, with enclosures only equipped to last for 10 to 15 years.

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What are Canada’s next green leaps?

In October, Canada will host the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC’s) Greenbuild show for the first time when the event comes to Toronto. Given the country’s burgeoning community of sustainability advocates, it seems fitting there will be a dedicated stream of educational sessions highlighting Canadian projects and strategies. Greenbuild 2011’s theme is “next”—as in, what are the next big leaps for sustainable design? To help ascertain the answer, the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) appointed this author to chair a team to work through a three-stage selection process established by USGBC to evaluate the abstracts.

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