Thats what David Elfstrom put on the chalkboard at the start of this year's class at Fleming College's 20 week Sustainable Building Design and Construction course, where students "develop an integrated skill set in the design of structures using green, natural or sustainable building methods, technologies and materials and renewable energy resources." We met last year's crew subverting a trade show, and now they are at it again.
This year they are building a "sustainable living classroom" for an Outdoor Centre near Minden Ontario. The students study the principles and the technology (and any one of us could learn from David Elfstrom's clear and well written interpretation of sustainable building) and then go out and do it- this year's features:
* Fully accessible, single story
* 1200 square feet
* Straw bale wall insulation
* Cordwood masonry columns
* Compressed earth bag foundation
* Earthen plaster
* Passive-solar heating and shading design
* Solar hot water heater
* Off-grid, renewable solar photovoltaic electricity
* Storage of summer attic heat underground for winter comfort
* Very low embodied energy
* Extensive use of recycled, re-used, and locally available materials
We wish they would take a lesson or two from TreeHugger Faves Studio 804 at the University of Kansas, where the dominant design paradigm is subverted as well as the building technology, but we definitely find this building a step up from 2005
This year's team.