Wednesday, May 8, 2013

ReThink London: Higher goals get more attention

ReThink London is all about communication, or so they say. As you can see from the image above, I've now communicated and the ReThink computer has replied, very politely I might add. Now I'm waiting for the human contact. Wonder how long I'll have to wait.

Now, to today's post: It is easy to be a critic. I am under no obligation to come up with solutions that can actually be put into place. That said, I do try to find answers with a practical bent. I like to find stuff that is being done, stuff with a proven track record and then reference that stuff. I post links. I do my best to avoid pie-in-the-sky. I try to leave the dreaming mostly to others.

In the '70s I insulated an older home London home. I also had new windows installed that, from a distance, looked like the old '20s windows I replaced. When I was done, these simple and quite obvious upgrades slashed my home heating bills dramatically.

An Eifehaus energy efficient European home
At the time, I watched new houses going up that didn't appear to give a lot of thought to energy use. These homes cleared the bar set by the code and that was it.

If London wants to be known for urban leadership, maybe London could encourage the construction of suburban homes meeting the best of the world's energy efficiency standards. In London, green could be more than just a buzz word.

The passivhaus movement is spreading throughout Europe and has made the leap across the pond. There are passivhaus homes being built, or planned, in a number of communities in Canada.

London's Sifton-built solar heated home fell into disrepair.
There is no point in me rewriting what can already be found online. So, here are some links. The first link is from Great Britain and discusses the passivhaus energy standard. This is a tough standard. It is one even Mike Holmes might respect.

The next question is "What can you tell me about passivhaus homes, or even extreme energy efficient homes, in Canada?" The answer is "Lots." Read the linked article from The Tyee -- Step Inside the Real Home of the Future: Passivhaus.

If London wants to lay claim to the word exceptional, a dream ReThink seems to be chasing, then London has to do more truly exceptional stuff. The present goals being set by the ReThink group don't strike me as too exceptional. Sorry.

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