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Summer Update – Week 2

Week 2 Update PhotoOur second week at ThermalWise was a busy one. We got the opportunity to sit in on a preliminary evaluation for the planning of a home that is targeting LEED for Homes certification. It was a very interesting meeting and greatly increased our knowledge of the LEED certification process for homes. LEED certification works as a point system and the more points your home achieves, the higher the level of certification the home receives (the levels are LEED Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum). Some items on the list are prerequisites; these important environmental strategies must be completed for the house to be considered for LEED certification. In our meeting, we went over the whole checklist in great detail with the project team to make sure that the home is on its way to certification whilst still in the planning stage. This is done because if the house had already begun construction, it would potentially be a waste of materials, time and money if a major change is needed to be made for it to be LEED certified. We went over areas such as using renewable solar energy for power, conserving water and efficient heating.

Some of our time was spent updating the rebates section of the website and also preparing and perfecting interview questions for the site visit we had planned. We played around with the mini-disc player, video camera and camera in the office to make sure we knew how to use the equipment for our site visits. We also began contacting some potential green building projects in the Atlantic Provinces.

The most fun part of our week was our site visit to the NSCC Waterfront campus’ Centre for the Built Environment (CBE) in Dartmouth, NS. A case study was done on this building last summer, but we wanted to record an audio tour, take some video and take more pictures for the website. Don Jardine, the Academic Chair for the department of Environmental Sustainability & Development, was kind enough to have us back again this year to update our project profile. Our NSYCC coordinator, Camaro West, also came along for the site visit. We spent a wonderful day at the CBE, exploring all the green features such as the solar panels, solar wall, Cansolair, wind turbines, green roof, biowalls (both indoor and outdoor), bioswale, etc. Don even showed us some cool new technology they have that prints 3D objects out of a sugar cube-like substance. The objects are designed on the computer using CAD software and then can be coloured and printed in 3D. It was amazing! Don emphasized the CBE’s efforts to incorporate the students working directly in building development with environmental practices. The CBE is a wonderful environment for these students to learn because they will not only be reading about these green features, they will also be researching and monitoring the green features hands on. Don was an excellent tour guide and was nice enough to answer some interview questions on video for our website. We will be editing and compiling a video to upload as soon as we can!

Our next adventure is a site visit to the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute in Kempt, NS on Monday. Stay tuned…

Laura & Fin