Short essays, opinion, and occasional interviews on subjects related to sustainable design and building.

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What Makes a Home Livable to You?

Livability is difficult to characterize on the best of days, but is often defined as survival expectancy or suitability for human living. I am sure there are some days when all of us look around and wonder if this increasingly noisy and busy world we live in is truly livable.


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Existing Building Upgrade - By Brandon Malleck and Paula Partner

In October 2012, after a three-year pursuit to improve the building performance and community presence of the world exchange Plaza [WEP] achieved LEED gold certification through the LEED for existing Building: Operations and Maintenance [LEED EBO&M] Program.

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LEED v4 in Canada - By Mark Hutchinson

The Canadian green building market has evolved rapidly over the last 10 years. There are now over 4500 LEED projects registered in Canada, of which over 1500 are certified. The Canadian green building industry and LEED have driven continual improvements in building construction and operation and maintenance meanwhile making real impacts on energy and water consumption, waste reduction and occupant well-being. LEED was always intended to evolve with the market, and LEED version 4 [LEED v4] is about taking the next step towards market transformation and raising the ceiling of building performance.

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Grey Matter: Lessons from the ‘La Cuisine’ building, Winnipeg Folk Festival - A conversation  with Tom Monteyne

Your firm’s ‘La Cuisine’ building for the Winnipeg Folk Festival has attracted a lot of attention for such a modest project. Can you explain a little about the background and context?

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Delayed adoption of LEED v4, Now what? - By Sophia Wong


A sigh of relief and a groan of frustration were simultaneously heard on October 29th, 2014. That was the day the U.S. Green Building Council [USGBC] announced that it would extend the LEED 2009 registration date from June 2015 to October, 2016. This means that project teams in the US and Canada, will be able to choose which rating system they register under, LEED v4 or the old 2009 version, until this date.

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Sustainable Design of Airports - By Stanis Smith, Stantec

IIt has been a little over one hundred years since the Wright brothers took to the air, and our almost-miraculous ability to travel by plane has made flight an integral part of the world economy. As a result, from time to time Aviation is the subject of headlines stating the “great but invisible harm” it causes to the environment. Right? Not really. According to the EPA, in the United States aircraft of all kinds are estimated to emit between 2.4% and 3.4% of total greenhouse gas emissions, and the IPCC estimates that Aviation worldwide is responsible for around 3.5% of anthropogenic climate change.

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