Professor "Sees Red over Green Building"


University of Toronto

Professor Dan Harvey of the University of Toronto is interviewed in the Globe and Mail about green buildings, and how we are blowing it:

"We suffer from brain-dead building design. We're building all-glass condominiums, all-glass office buildings. The office buildings are hermetically sealed - they have entire glazing sections facing west with no external shading devices. These buildings are uninhabitable without massive air-conditioning systems. ... It's really pointless to do anything else until you address this issue."
How to build green building, Globe and Mail

Professor Harvey continues:

There's no way you can make an all-glass building green. There's no such thing as a green SUV. You shouldn't be building SUVs in the first place; you shouldn't be building all-glass buildings in the first place. And no amount of high-tech or fancy stuff can turn an inherently bad design into a green building.

He agrees with this writer that we need absolute rather than relative standards:

You have to say, 'Okay, this is the maximum allowable energy per square metre, per year, for air conditioning, energy, ventilation and heating. It's got to be a consumption-related standard.

Worth reading, with strong opinions about shading, building codes and passivhaus standards in the Globe and Mail.

On Relative efficiency vs absolute consumption:
Big Steps in Building: Change our Building Codes from Relative to Absolute

Tags: Architects | Green Building | Toronto