As consumers become ever more conscious of the need to mitigate their environmental footprint, they’re pushing designers, architects, and builders to get with the green program. With green building techniques slowly moving from niche to normal status, Ottawa Magazine takes a close-up look at the work and ideas of some inspired local innovators.
Letter from the Editor
When starry-eyed converts to the religion of green get talking, it’s easy to glaze over — to get the sense that no matter how hard you try, you’ll never reach true eco-enlightenment. You’ll never be sustainable. That’s when that little voice inside your head whispers that it all seems too complicated, that it’s not even worth trying. Time to give that little voice a kick in the pants. While researching and assigning the Green Design issue, our mantra was “Yes, you can.” Green is relevant, green is important, and green can, and should, be sexy.
With that in mind, we took a trip out to see Algonquin College’s award-winning Centre for Construction Excellence, a “living lab” of a building that is inspiring the next generation of engineers, designers, and builders. The green wave is unstoppable, and we’re pumped that students now have this innovative building as motivation.
But what about taking “Yes, you can” to a personal level? Ottawa Magazine toured three stunning new houses to get a micro look at how the eco-conscious owners interpreted green and put their convictions into practice. When it comes to green, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. That’s why it’s so valuable to hear the owners explain what challenges they faced (and what compromises they made along the way). In some cases, the greenest option was too expensive, while in others, a coveted item was not available locally. In all cases, the completed houses are visually stunning — and should motivate us all to try a little harder on our own home fronts.
A big thanks goes out industry greensters Teresa Hanna (an almost architect), Pamela Tourigny (a marketer for terra20), and Emma Doucet (a designer) for telling us about their journeys to environmental awareness — and where they source natural products for home and garden. The three were also great sports, posing for light-hearted portraits in “green rooms” designed by photographer Rémi Thériault, who took the theme to a whole new level.
COMING UP: Each generation looks to the future, predicts what’s coming next, and desperately searches for the newest trends. But in 2012, Ottawa’s trendsetters are doing a 180 — they’re looking to the past to chart our course. Call it the great downshift. Meet the cultural movers and shakers who are championing a simpler, less plugged-in era. Yes, it’s Ottawa Magazine’s guide to unwiring and the people behind the movement. Also on tap: A look inside the city’s retail scene, a road trip to the Ottawa Valley, and a spotlight on the latest culinary hotspots.
Sarah Brown, EDITOR
Getting a Green Education
Algonquin College gets top marks for its Centre for Construction Excellence, a “living lab” of a building that is inspiring the next generation of engineers, designers, and builders
Ottawa Magazine visits three environmentally-friendly houses and quizzes the owners on how they turned their eco house plans into reality
Faced with the threat of development, a community rallies to buy a historic quarry, “building” a green refuge at the heart of their neighbourhood
Three industry greensters dish on their favourite products
Best-selling author Tim Cook launches Warlords, a book that tackles the wartime performances of prime ministers Sir Robert Borden and William Lyon Mackenzie King. At the same time, the much-lauded military historian wages his own personal war — against cancer
The Ex Files
When journalist MARK BOURRIE began working for the local bureau of the Chinese news agency Xinhua, he was excited by the prospect of informing China about Canadian politics. But a shady request during the Dalai Lama’s visit in April was too much for this journalistic conscience. He quit. Now Bourrie gives a behind-the-scenes account of his two years in the employ of Xinhua
Jeffrey Simpson disses the health-care system * Lunching with September’s movers and shakers * Packing a picnic basket for Harvest Noir * Theatre by the decade * Telling tales of weddings and anniversaries * Alanis gets the fridge-magnet treatment * The Wabano Centre’s tile style
Talking street style with Carolynn Lacasse
Lessons from the demise of The Ottawa XPress
Ottawa’s newfound reputation as a burgeoning city of beer
Gamay gets the respect it deserves
Edgar’s Marisol Foulcault talks about her second “baby,” Odile * Competitive taco making at TacoLot * Munching on honey balls * Plus our star-rated reviews
Big screen fun at the ANIMATION FESTIVAL * A new and improved FOLKFEST * OPERA LYRA OTTAWA scores homegirl Joyce El-Khoury * WINGS OVER GATINEAU-OTTAWA takes to the skies * Plus our arts and entertainment listings