Canadian Consulting Engineer

Engineering Energy

Our magnificent planet has a finite amount of energy. Recent media coverage continues to raise concerns about global warming and receding icecaps. As engineers, we will continue to play a key strategi...

October 1, 2003  Canadian Consulting Engineer

Our magnificent planet has a finite amount of energy. Recent media coverage continues to raise concerns about global warming and receding icecaps. As engineers, we will continue to play a key strategic role in the development of sustainable, energy-efficient projects for the future.

Clients are requiring, rightly so, “sustainable” and “green” buildings. While these terms are interpreted differently by each of us, focus and definition for the initiative are now being provided through the LEED Green Building Rating System presently being developed across Canada by the Canada Green Building Council.

I had the honour of attending the Council’s first board meeting at the end of July in Vancouver. Their membership development is strong, government support at all levels is growing, they have assembled a strong, diverse, national board, and initial cross-Canada training sessions were scheduled for this October.

ACEC strongly recommends that our member organizations and firms consider participation in this worthwhile and timely initiative. Because of our diverse, and often severe climate, many of the recommended design, construction, operational and maintenance elements of the program have been addressed and incorporated into projects for many years.

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We now have the opportunity, and responsibility, to raise the bar for sustainable projects through innovative strategic planning with the entire design team early in a project’s life. While not all the LEED rating components carry a higher initial capital cost, we also have a duty as engineers (and taxpayers) to continue to promote to clients and funding agencies a decision-making process which is based on life-cycle costs; not just first capital costs. Some progress is being made in this regard, but we have a long way to go.

The core nature of our business is problem solving, and the increasing need for more efficient, environmentally friendly projects will require all of us to develop the necessary skills (such as LEED) for delivering our engineering value to the client.

GARY BOLTON, P.ENG., CHAIR

ASSOCIATION OF CONSULTING ENGINEERS OF CANADA

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Les ingnieurs et l’nergie

Les rserves d’nergie de notre magnifique plante sont limites. La couverture mdiatique rcente continue de soulever les problmes de rchauffement de la plante et du retrait des calottes glaciaires. En tant qu’ingnieurs, nous continuerons de jouer un rle stratgique dans le dveloppement de projets haut rendement nergtique et durables pour l’avenir.

Les clients demandent, avec raison, des btiments durables et cologiques . Bien que ces termes aient parfois une interprtation diffrente d’une personne l’autre, l’initiative des btiments durables et cologiques fait prsentement l’objet d’une dfinition par le Conseil du btiment durable du Canada (CBDC) l’aide du systme LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System).

J’ai eu l’honneur d’assister la premire runion du conseil de CBDC qui s’est droule Vancouver la fin juillet. Le CBDC jouit d’une adhsion qui crot rapidement ainsi que du soutien de tous les paliers du gouvernement. Son conseil est compos de membres reprsentant plusieurs secteurs et plusieurs rgions du Canada. De plus, des sessions de formation sont dj prvues travers le pays au mois d’octobre.

L’AICC recommande fortement que nos organisations et firmes membres considrent participer cette initiative la fois importante et opportune. En raison de notre climat vari et parfois rude, plusieurs des lments de conception, de construction, d’exploitation et d’entretien recommands du systme LEED sont incorpors dans les projets depuis plusieurs annes dj.

Nous avons maintenant l’occasion et la responsabilit d’lever la barre pour les projets durables par une planification stratgique innovatrice regroupant tous les membres de l’quipe de conception ds les premires tapes d’un projet. Bien que tous les lments du systme LEED n’entranent pas un cot d’investissement initial plus lev, nous avons galement la responsabilit en tant qu’ingnieurs (et contribuables) de continuer promouvoir, auprs des clients et des organismes de financement, un processus dcisionnel bas sur le cot du cycle de vie d’un projet et non seulement sur les cots d’investissement initiaux. Bien que des progrs aient dj t raliss cet gard, il nous reste encore beaucoup de travail faire.

La rsolution de problmes est au cur de notre profession. Afin de rpondre au besoin croissant pour des projets plus efficaces et plus cologiques, nous devrons tous dvelopper l’expertise requise (incluant le systme LEED) pour livrer nos clients la valeur technique laquelle ils s’attendent.

GARY BOLTON, P.ENG.

PRESIDENT DU CONSEIL

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2 Comments » for Engineering Energy
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  2. Nancee says:

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