Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Its been quite the year for me. I started writing this blog in August of 2012, with a goal of sharing some of the knowledge that I have gained – and am still gaining – in trying to reduce my family’s consumption of water, energy and resources.

Its been so busy, the only reason I know it has been a year is the annual renewal reminder from WordPress to keep this site alive.

In the year since I started trying to write monthly, I managed to complete a LEED Platinum certification, learned the value of certified wood products first hand, purchased an electric car and started writing a blog for work, focussed on commercial green building. I even managed to grow some vegetables in my back yard.

The most recent development comes from my volunteer efforts through Canada Green Building Council. I have been volunteering with the CaGBC Greater Toronto Chapter as a way to network, to get to know the movers and shakers in the green building industry and to understand the latest and greatest trends in this rapidly advancing industry. I was elected to the board in 2010, and was elected to the Chair position in May of this year.  Its been a great opportunity to meet the best and brightest in this rapidly growing industry and I’ve been happy to play a part in the growth of the Chapter and its membership.

So what’s in the cards for the next year? I’d like to jump into the home market in Toronto (if the bank lets me that is!), and either deep-energy-retrofit, custom build, major reno or some variation on that theme. We’ll start with homework on the Living Building Challenge, LEED for Homes, Passive Haus and Energy Star, and maybe even look for an architect if we get that serious. Green building magazines will likely play a large role in this as well, as I work to inspire my better half with some existing amazing green homes.

A trip to Philadelphia to Greenbuild, the USGBC’s annual conference, should fuel this search.  It may even inspire something I’m not even thinking about now.

My term as Chair of the CaGBC’s Toronto Chapter will end in May, so there is still plenty of time for me to support the growth and development of the Chapter while learning as much as I can.

The coming year will no doubt be busy. My boys are growing and getting busier. Work is still challenging. I’ll take it as it comes, but if things happen at the same pace as this last year, it’ll be fun and challenging. Stay tuned!

Recently, I was encouraged to write my own blog. I have been writing more and more, mostly for trade magazines and partners of my employer.

Being a Professional Engineer, my writing style may not be the most entertaining, but I am working on it!

I will be covering many of the projects I undertake at home, from trying to convince my wife that we should run the dishwasher after 7pm to my obsession with smart meters and using the data to save money and energy.

I have written about electric cars and my time with a Nissan Leaf, about the role of early adopters to encourage adoption of sustainable technologies, and for Construction Canada about thermal mass buildings.

Some topics that I plan to cover (in between changing diapers and teaching my four year old to ride his bike) include:

  • my recent use of my smart meter and web/mobile apps
  • trying to convince my mother-in-law to retrofit her kitchen with LED lights
  • making home life simpler and more efficient
  • …and whatever interesting crosses my mind!

More soon…