The “Alternative Compliance within the National Building Code” workshop with Chris Magwood of the Endeavour Centre in Ontario, was a real eye-opener. There are now actually sections within the National Code that encourage conservation, including, reuse of materials, recycling salvaged materials, and practices and systems that save energy, water, etc.
TBS/SSSVC are grateful to Chris, Jen and The Endeavour Centre for helping us share some very useful knowledge with people interested in very sustainable building strategies. The workshop was inspiring in that it dispelled myths regarding supposed barriers to construction and systems innovation and clearly outlined the appropriate permitting process that can be used in nearly any Canadian jurisdiction that has adopted the National Building Code. Not simple, not necessarily cheap, but definitely doable.
The Workshop was attended by local builders/contractors, future owner-builders, sustainable food funding representatives, TBS directors, as well as a couple Earthship/earthplaster dudes working in New Brunswick.
The public presentation the previous evening was well attended with an age range from several weeks old to pensioners. Chris outlined a huge range of alternate sustainable building systems and options from foundation to wall and insulation materials to water catchment and utilization to heating and cooling to waste treatment to window materials…one’s head fairly bulged with new input by the end of the presentation! Chris also offered at the outset a very sound method for helping one decide which of the many and divergent options to select to meet one’s goals in a complete building package.
Many thanks to Lauren and Keith and Lloyd for supplying snacks and beverages to keep us well fueled and lubricated during and after presentations.
By David Cameron