Green buildings

Money is very “green” these days.  Green is certainly the IN colour.

The Town of Wolfville and the Municipality of West Hants are among those that will benefit from more than $600,000 in provincial funding announced Sept. 11 by provincial Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau.

The funding is part of a $900,000 investment by the province into projects that will help reduce greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions….The funding is provided through two programs of the federally-supported eco-Nova Scotia Fund for Clean Air and Climate Change.

We are supposed to be happy that some of this “green” largess is flowing our way but you know how we feel about greenhouse gases. The whole Global Warming/Climate Change theory is severely flawed and the misinformation has reached scam proportions. [ Reducing air pollution – and energy conservation- we can usually get behind if it is reasonable.]

So how much of our hard earned tax dollars are being returned to Wolfville and what will they be spent on this time?

The Town of Wolfville received a $41,000 grant under the municipal program to retrofit heating systems in its public works building, its town hall and emergency services complex to reduce energy consumption.

“The project is 50 per cent funded by the money we’re receiving here today,” said Mayor Bob Stead. “In all the renovations and upgrades, insulation and controls are front-and-centre.”

The town is covering the remainder of the cost of the upgrades.

Riiiiiight! MORE of our tax dollars, this time from the municipal pocket. How much we will never really know.

Stead said, “when this building was built and then added onto, the kind of technology available today just wasn’t there.

“The town hall, fire department and truck bays, and ambulance service all have similar issues that need addressing. All three will be addressed through this project, as well as our Public Works building.

“There was never any attempt to do heat recovery and there never was an exhaust system where our Public Works vehicles are parked.” [Source– emph ours]

We suppose that our mayor will say that besides saving the planet the town will save money. Really? Are they sure?

Here, for example, is a little cautionary tale:

The energy bills in Whistler’s state of the art, showcase “green” library are coming in more than four times higher than estimated.

The soaring hydro bills, originally estimated by architects to be $7,000 per year, are closer to $30,000, which suggests the building is producing far more greenhouse gases than anticipated.

… the library team is very proud to be a part of the municipality’s biggest and boldest symbol for green building.

Riiiiight! The Whistler town Council reaction was to make like ostriches.

The anomaly between the energy estimates and the true performance of the building however, prompted Councillor Ralph Forsyth, who is the council representative on the library board, to urge council for a report on the green building performances of other municipal buildings.

That motion was defeated at Tuesday’s meeting, a move that shocked the councillor.

“Don’t you want to know if the money you’re spending is working or not?” asked a frustrated Forsyth in an interview following Tuesday’s council meeting.

No. They don’t want to know.

Forsyth wanted that question answered in a report – which would examine the municipality’s green buildings, such as the $11 million library, the Spring Creek fire hall and the Beaver Flats employee housing complex – to see if they are actually saving the money they were touted to save when first approved.

“Is it that we’re being sold a bunch of balderdash when these (staff) reports come forward saying how much we’re going to save?” asked Forsyth. “Or does the technology actually not really work. Or the technology works, it’s just not as effective as we thought. It’s one of those three. It can’t be anything else.”

His request for an analysis on the issue, however, was defeated in a four to three vote. Forsyth said he felt like a heretic afterwards for daring to question Whistler’s green building initiatives.

[Source – emph ours] HT jesse ferreras via SDA

We know exactly how that feels.

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3 responses to “Green buildings

  1. Leave it to Bob to blow $81k of our money to retrofit a couple of Council buildings with some new-fangled green-flavored techno-nonsense. I’ve got a better idea. Turn down the thermostat! Maybe the cold will rid us of a few of those pointless bureaucrats… it works with cockroaches. That’s twice the savings for none of the cost!

    Now, I wonder why we have that Provincial/Federal/Municipal debt?

  2. Hear, hear. BTW – liked your letter in the CH this morning! Sensible.

  3. Was the 18k in the budget?
    So now Wolfville is a green slow, blooming, fair traded, smoke & nuke free, dog free post office, flea market town. Wow sounds like something out of a fairy book!
    In the future will the citizens of Wolfville be getting uniforms and ID cards?