Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Sorry folks, way too busy to get this thing updated!

Hotel opens soon, its' site is

Meantime, join the facebook group Kick the Fossil Fuel Habit!

And enjoy this video!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Policy Recommendation: Force or backstop commercial banks to lend at low interest rates for these retrofits. 
Better: Mandate the retrofits.

Here's what the building looks like as of Dec. 1:

Geothermal heating and cooling is the workhorse of the hotel. For more info on geothermal h/c (or geo-exchange) go here. I was so convinced that geo is the holy grail of heating and cooling, I invested in the geo provider, Clean Energy Developments. That company was recently sold to a publicly traded company, Alter NRG (

Geo works by pushing and pulling heat from the ground, instead of using a furnace and air conditioner. This building has no ground, so we used a City-owned lane-way running beside the building. The City co-operated extensively, and is looking into opening up public lane-ways throughout the City of Toronto for geo - a world first!

Narrow lane-way; drilling down 400 ft through pipes, sewers and gas mains ...

It's a messy business ...

The view looking down from the roof.

Another key technology is the Powerpipe, which captures heat from draining wastewater.  It's simple technology: a copper drainpipe, wrapped in copper tubing that supplies the cold water.
As the hot water goes down the drain, heat is transferred to the incoming water. Simple, and cheap! Each power-pipe is hooked up to 6 showers.

LED and CF lighting means we use a fraction of what would normally be required to light the place up. Here's an exterior test LED light:

There's more coming, just haven't had time to get all the photos/info up yet. Stay tuned ....