Press release: March 14, 2019
Green building experts join forces at Green Living Show, March 22-24
Alarmed that buildings are harming people and the environment, experts believe education is key and create Green Building Learning Zone
(Toronto, ON) Recent studies show that buildings account for almost half of Toronto’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and we spend on average 90 percent of our time indoors, where air quality is often terrible. We must do better, say a group of green building experts who have banded together for the first time to share their expertise at the upcoming Green Living Show March 22-24 in Toronto. Education, they say, is key.
These green building professionals have created a collaborative space within the Green Living Show called the “Green Building Learning Zone.” The group wants the booth to reinvigorate the green building section of the Green Living Show and educate consumers about what is possible.
The Green Building Learning Zone brings together architects, designers, builders, suppliers, educators, non-profits and consultants from the green building world who are all deeply committed to creating sustainable buildings and educating the public about their importance. Green Building Learning Zone contributors are planning a series of educational presentations at the Green Building Show on a range of topics that include: building envelope, indoor air quality, and alternative building materials, to name a few. Many presentations will draw from case studies from Toronto and beyond. In addition, there will be sample green building materials, a library of resources to peruse and purchase, and experts to answer questions.
Green Building Learning Zone collaborators include: Aerecura Rammed Earth Builders; Agritecture, Ontario; Eco Building Resource; Endeavour - The Sustainable Building School; the Fourth Pig Green & Natural Construction; Greening Homes; Nadurra Wood Corporation; The Faculty of Engineering & Architectural Science Graduate Studies, Ryerson University; Sage Living; Simple Life; Stone’s Throw Design Inc.; and, Tooketree Passive Homes. The Green Living Show booth is sponsored by Sustainable Buildings Canada, Passive Buildings Canada and the Ontario Natural Building Coalition.
The group says their vision of a sustainable building is: affordable to build, buy and operate; very energy efficient; made with materials that have low embodied carbon and minimal waste; healthy, comfortable and promotes the well-being of the occupants; resilient, beautiful, accessible, and connected to community.
“The need for education around high performance and healthy buildings is quite great and urgent,” says Bettina Hoar, one of the founding members of the group. “Too often homeowners are unaware that the buildings they live and work in are not up to the highest energy performance and health standards. This compromises their comfort, health and energy bills. It also negatively impacts the environment and contributes to climate change. We want them to know that they have the power to change this next time they plan to buy, build or renovate.”
The City of Toronto’s 2030 goal is that all new buildings be built to produce near-zero GHG emissions. This is possible today. While Ontario’s building code strives to improve energy performance, it does not guarantee a high performance, comfortable and healthy space. It is up to consumers to demand higher standards, and that starts with knowledge.
“Typically when people want to reduce their building’s environmental footprint, they might first consider solar panels, which are often the most expensive solution relative to their overall impact,” says Hoar. “Really, the most effective way to begin is with the “unsexy” stuff - the building envelope such as walls, roof, foundation and windows – the things we don’t see but have such a massive impact because they reduce the need for energy in the first place. Plus buildings affect human health and wellbeing, from the way they are designed, to the materials and methods used to build them, to how to they fit into the community. We can do better.”
To learn more about the Green Building Learning Zone and contributors, visit: www.greenbuildinglearningzone.org