The Greenest Building is the One That is Already Built

The Greenest Building is One That is Already Built

I strongly believe in the above powerful phrase coined by American architect Carl Elefante who I had the pleasure of hearing in person at the national heritage conference in Toronto last October. Elefante has also said “Even if … every new building from this day hence has a vegetative roof, is powered only with renewable energy sources, and is built entirely of environmentally appropriate materials, sustainability would still be far from fully realized. We cannot build our way to sustainability, but we can conserve our way to sustainability.”

Here is a link  to a presentation I moderated at the Heritage BC conference in Chilliwack titled “Demolition Should be a Last Resort – Understanding the environmental value of our existing buildings”. A big shout out to the presenters Jeffrey McCord, Marketing Representative/House Rescuer, Nickel Bros; Stephanie Mah, CAHP, Creative Director, Giaimo; Brenda Martens, BCIT faculty, Principal, ædify consulting.

More and more convincing articles on this topic appear in my e-mail and linkedIn feed. Here are a few I found inspiring recently: 

Dear Architects: If You Really Want to Be More Sustainable, Start Prioritizing Reuse Projects

Making Embodied Carbon Mainstream


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