Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Policy Recommendation: Force or backstop commercial banks to lend at low interest rates for these retrofits.
Better: Mandate the retrofits.
View an 80 minute MaRS Green vs. Greenwash video here ( there is also a lengthy blog and ppt presentation ).
Here's what the building looks like as of Dec. 1:
Here are some pictures of the project, and the 5 key technologies (geothermal, solar thermal, solar PV, drain water heat recapture, efficient lighting) required to bring carbon emissions down by three-quarters:
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 (nrg.to).
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 ...
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.