The city of Toronto is far off the mark in its programs to foster environmentally sustainable buildings, said University of Toronto professor Dan Harvey in an interview in The Globe and Mail last Friday, April 23.
Instead of worrying about retrofitting 1960s and 1970s “crumbling towers” and apartment blocks to make them more energy efficient, Harvey argues that, “It’s the shiny new buildings going up we should be worried about,”
“We suffer from brain-dead building design,” he said. “We’re building all-glass condominiums, all-glass office buildings. The office buildings are hermetically sealed — they have entire glazing sections facing west with no external shading devices. These buildings are uninhabitable without massive air-conditioning systems. … It’s really pointless to do anything else until you address this issue… There’s no way you can make an all-glass building green. There’s no such thing as a green SUV. You shouldn’t be building SUVs in the first place; you shouldn’t be building all-glass buildings in the first place. And no amount of high-tech or fancy stuff can turn an inherently bad design into a green building.”
The article was entitled “Professor sees red over ‘green building’ claims,” by Anna Mehler Paperny.