Rye hosts sustainability seminar

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By Nuruddin Qorane

Local and international experts in the field of renewable energy met today at Heaslip House on Victoria Street for a seminar on smart energy solutions for the buildings.

Russell Richman, a professor at Ryerson University and one of the speakers, has been researching the field of building science and sustainable buildings. He says 50 per cent of Canada’s energy is used by our buildings, but there is a way to conserve 80 per cent of this energy.

“The technology exists but we’re not utilizing it,” he said.

The task of reducing Canada’s carbon emissions was illustrated by the speakers using the analogy of a tree, with the fruit on the tree representing carbon.  “Our goal is to pick all of fruit off the tree, though some fruit is easier to pick then others,” said Tom Rand, author of Kick the Fossil Fuel Habit: 10 Clean Technologies to Save our World.

Both Rand and Richman said it’s the responsibility of young people to take simple steps that can lower carbon emissions in Canadian buildings. LED lights, filling in air leaks, and insulation are all technologies that are cost effective and green.

Richman said knowledge and capital need for these issues must increase for these innovations to become more mainstream.

Energy saving technologies were also expanded on by the seminar’s international and keynote speaker, Dr. Ursula Eicker from Germany and Rosa Fernandez from Spain. Eicker and Fernandez lectured on the types of energy saving methods that are being implemented in Europe.

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