Comment 29112

By Hopeful (registered) | Posted February 25, 2009 at 17:14:12

I share your concerns Adrian and am glad to see you've raised them (I've already tried to bring them to light on the SpecThread page amidst the commie cash grab postings). Though it might be well-intentioned, the audit requirement falls way short in many many areas. Most of these are issues that the green building community has been grappling with for years in trying to craft a residential LEED standard. For instance, which is more appropriate to measure, R10000 windows or walkable access to public transit? Modern building envelopes or proximity to where you work? Finally, can a house with 2500 square feet per resident ever actually be considered more efficient than one where four, five or ten people share the same amount of space?
The audits, as they stand, will not touch on any of this and risk giving folks the mistaken impression that Energy Star living on the outskirts of Guelph or Milton might be more environmentally benign than living near their work or sharing space wisely enough to allow for investments in improved infrastructure (be it buses, bike paths, cogen heating systems or modern sewer systems). In short they'll focus folks on "the house" as opposed to "the community" and potentially penalize those, like you, who have chosen to make decisions based upon the latter. This is especially important in older urban settings like ours. I really hope that this becomes more of an issue and that some changes to the program or its methodology are still possible (are you listening local councilours and/or MPP's?). Thanks again for posting this.

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