During these COVID times and having endured our neighbour’s election angst, it seems at last, we may have climbed the “perverbial” mountain, and are at an exciting cusp of alot of things. Many of us will make our offices and education places at home from now on. The new American administration will likely be rejoining the Paris accord and the World Health Organization as they begin the long journey back to democracy. For Canada, this means a united front on the reconvening of the importance and recognition of climate change and how we fit back into our daily lives – sustainably.
With that in mind, we begin with our own homes. “Sustainable homes” are the wave of the future. I had the good fortune of coming across a “Sustainable Solutions Guide” created by a company named SOPREMA. Founded in Strasbourg, Soprema is a third generation family company that recently made its way to Canada in 2018. Soprema’s commitment to sustainable living comes from the belief that “a single solution can contribute to sustainable development” by meeting the following three criterion which are linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION…FIGHT AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE…IMPROVING HUMAN HEALTH AND WELL-BEING….
These three ideas are the very spine of the “sustainable development approach”. Insurance companies and Contractors alike are experiencing an exponential increase in severe property loss due to climate change. In a nutshell, the guide takes a look at some of the problems with respect to ways in which we can begin to rebuild WITH nature, instead of against it….the hope…that for every challenge there is a sustainable solution:
Challenge: Water Management and Biodiversity
According to the guide, “in 2018 it was exposed that more than 19% of the population live in a flood zone in Canada. Costs related to floods have quadrupled in 40 years.” Urban densification, sprawl and soil sealing (along with severe, random weather patterns) jeapardize the viability of communities.”
Solution: Vegetated Roof’s
“Vegetated roof systems retain and filter rainwater which is an efficient and underused additional function for the roof.”
Challenge: Building Materials…”Globally, nearly 3 billion tonnes of raw, non-renewable materials are consumed each year to manufacture construction products.”
Solution: “Renewable resources such as recycled paper and cardboard (less damaging to health and the environment) used to enhance thermal insulation in roofs, walls and foundations”
“Despite the efforts at the design level to make living environments comfortable and attractive, nature is often neglected, thus depriving occupants of its benefits related to health and well being.”
Solution: “Designs that integrate the conditions of a natural environment for the benefit of the occupants”
Many naysayers complain that a sustainable future is just too expensive. The sustainable response: “The choice of building materials, energy consumption, lifecycle (and biodiversity will be the equivalent of the level of) the sustainability of a building. ( That translates into dollars – and sense!)”
Solutions are ever evolving. “This guide brings together all of the products and systems …that have been identified as solutions for promoting green buildings.”
In an era where all cards are on the table, I would place my bet on sustainable living.