Sustainability:

Does anything less make sense?

 

"Sustainable development is development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generation to meet their own needs."– World Commission on Environment and Development

 

"Treat the Earth well.  It was not given to you by your parents.  It was loaned to you by your children."– Kenyan Proverb.

Our Office & Operation

We believe in practising what we preach. Our office (and home) is operated in a highly insulated super energy effcient net-zero building building.

 

Here's a list of some of the concepts we've put into practice that have helped us to learn along the way:

  • highly insulated envelope with walls made of straw bales,

  • passive solar design which helps heat in the winter and keep us cool in the summer,

  • ground source heat pump (geothermal) which heats the water we pump into our in-floor heating system,

  • active solar electric panels (PV) tied to the grid with Ontario's MicroFIT program. The heat pump and the PV help us to be Net Zero Energy in that we produce as much electricity as we use annually,

  • efficient Rumford-style wood burning fireplace,

  • healthy materials which don't off-gas chemicals into our breathing space, helping to keep our indoor air quality high,

  • recycled and reclaimed materials such as interior doors, insulating foam, Enviroshake roofing,

  • on-demand domestic water heater,

  • zero chemicals for gardening and landscaping

You can check out the performance of our solar energy plant here.

We have been running since Sept 2010, and monitoring it online since Nov 2012.

Economic

We place careful attention to project finances:

  • We place careful attention to project finances.

  • We believe in frank discussions about money early on.

  • We can complete a thorough cost analysis to judge financial viability.

  • We recommend that you shop locally and use local trades or artisans wherever possible.

  • We recommend that you use materials that are harvested or manufactured locally wherever possible.

Environmental

While designing buildings to suit our clients needs and wishes, we try to implement:

  • higher levels of insulation,
  • greater attention to details pertaining to air sealing,
  • greater attention to details pertaining to protection of the building from rain, snow, wind and sun,
  • mechanical systems that have higher efficiencies,
  • use of renewable energy systems where possible,
  • use of lower embodied energy materials,
  • use of natural materials and healthy materials - clay, straw, timbers, stone.
  • Reduced waste, by using more natural, local materials and using them in the most efficient way to minimize scraps.
  • Recycle packaging and construction wastes as well as divert unused materials to people who can use them.
Social

Worker health and safety:

  • provide safe work conditions with proper safety equipment.
  • schedule safety training.
  • have weekly, documented “safety talks” on pertinent subjects related to current tasks.
  • provide a good work/life balance.
  • Employee local trades, artisans and shop locally.
  • Encourage job satisfaction for workers with fair pay and positive work atmosphere:
  • sustain a consistent workforce.
Overall Good Design

Clearly, sustainability needs to happen from the design stage onwards. Only if sustainability is designed into every aspect of a project, can these goals be met.

“It’s important to design problems out of a building, not into them”– David Eisenberg, straw bale building pioneer.

HavenCraft Design is a part of a volunteer committee to help create Bancroft's new sustainable plan. Check out the plan for yourself and see how it can apply to you.