University of Toronto
"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