By Molly Cox

The Residential Green Building Committee met on January 9th, 2017. We had a presentation from our own Bill Womeldorf, who works at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. He started us off by presenting the idea that earth is not only our house, but also our home. There are no other houses to move into once we trash the one we currently live in. This set the stage for the perspective he shared on the importance of energy efficient buildings.  

Bill continued to display some of the case studies he worked on, and showed us the before and after values of the building. The buildings had impressive returns on investment, and one of the buildings showed a drastic decrease in the EUI (Energy Use Intensity) after the energy retrofit, from 150 down to 58.8. Another home exhibited changes such as installing new LED lighting, attic venting, and adding a solar PV system. Bill recommends retrofitting in stages, to get closer to a zero carbon building. With smaller steps, these alterations appear more manageable as long as the phases are planned out.  

Bill spoke further about Greenhouse Gas emissions, and how buildings are not the sole generator of these emissions. GHG emissions derive both from the building level and the grid level. Some ways to address the grid level emissions include upgrading the pump storage facility, demand management, and on-site renewables, and for buildings we can increase the number of electrical appliances. Bill sparked a great conversation amongst the committee after his presentation, regarding barriers building owners face when they try to increase energy efficiency in their homes, workplaces, etc. To learn more, come join us at our next Residential Green Building Committee!

Some upcoming events include: Leadership Development with Barbra Batshalom – Leading Organizational Change from Within on January 19th (Register here), Introduction: Living Building Challenge on Jan 25th (Register here). Annual General Meeting on Jan 26th (Register here).


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