From green buildings to green districts

By |October 10th, 2013|

Last Thursday October 3, I attended the 2013 Green Building Festival organized by Sustainable Buildings Canada. While there were far too many great presentations to summarize here, I’ve picked out a few highlights and themes to share with you.

Thinking beyond buildings

For a festival […]

Inside Canada’s Greenest Workplace

By |August 19th, 2013|

by Jimmy Lu

Bryan and I recently visited one of the world’s most efficient buildings, the Earth Ranger’s Centre (ERC) in Woodbridge, Ontario. Earth Rangers is a kids’ conservation organization that certainly walks the talk of environmental stewardship. In addition to educating children on biodiversity, […]

Wood-framed buildings: a small building code change could have a big impact

By |July 11th, 2013|

Bill 13, An Act to Amend the Building Code Act, 1992, passed its first reading in the provincial legislature on February 27, 2013. This unassuming private member’s bill, introduced by Nipissing MPP Victor Fedeli, proposes changing Ontario’s Building code to allow wood-framed construction in […]

Raising the Bar: City Committee Recommends Improved Energy Standards for New Construction

By |June 25th, 2013|

Toronto is unique among Ontario municipalities in having its own energy and environmental standards for new construction, the Toronto Green Standard (TGS). Passed by Council in 2009, the TGS was a major step forward for sustainable development in Toronto. But over the years, the […]

The future of green financing looks bright in Chicago

By |May 27th, 2013|

On May 13, Ross Powell and I found ourselves amongst 300 like-minded investors and policymakers, as well as people from NGOs, government bodies, and corporations at the Drake Hotel in Chicago. We had come from across North America to attend the American Council for […]

The Glass Box and the Toronto Green Development Standard

By |April 2nd, 2013|

The plethora of high-rise condo developments sprouting up around Toronto is raising a growing number of questions, chief among them – are these buildings sustainable? Many of these buildings feature window-wall systems. Basically, while the floors and supports are made of good old […]

No more excuses (barriers)!

By |December 13th, 2012|

From competing priorities for scare capital dollars to doubt about energy savings materializing to an aversion to borrowing, buildings owners face no shortage of barriers when contemplating an energy efficiency retrofit.

I recently presented to a group of health care professionals at the Construct Canada […]

Greening the Residential Tenancies Act

By |June 8th, 2012|

There is enormous potential to improve the energy efficiency of Ontario’s rental housing stock – studies have shown economic potential to reduce energy consumption by 20-50% in typical apartment buildings. We’ve profiled a number of such projects through our TowerWise case studies.  Realizing this […]

Financing Energy Efficiency: 3 buildings, 3 solutions

By |April 23rd, 2012|

With over 50% of Toronto’s GHG emissions resulting from energy-use in buildings, financing energy efficiency in the built environment has become one of TAF’s core priorities. While capital costs are sited as the number one barrier to energy efficient buildings, there are financial solutions […]

CMHC Launches Condo Energy Efficiency Loan Insurance

By |January 30th, 2012|

A well planned energy efficiency retrofit will pay for itself. That’s why the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has launched a Multi-Unit Condominium Energy-Efficient Improvements insurance product. This new product is intended to expand access to financing for energy efficiency improvements to common […]