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1. Canada's Buildings - Investment Portfolio or City Fabric
2. Change.org: Sign Petition to Save the Gore
3. The Architect's Newspaper: A Reflecting Lens - Phyllis Lambert looks back on her 75 years in architecture

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1. Canada's Buildings - Investment Portfolio or City Fabric
Toon Dreessen, Past President OAA

The economic case for retrofitting buildings

Beyond social responsibility, more and more data are proving it makes economic sense for landlords to retrofit their buildings and make them sustainable and energy efficient.

Just as today’s consumers are willing to pay a little more for organic food, tenants will pay more and stay longer in green buildings.

A study of Bentall Kennedy’s North American real estate portfolio of more than 300 buildings found that environmentally friendly office properties net 3.7 per cent higher rents. In their Canadian holdings, occupancy rates in environmentally certified buildings were 18.7 per cent higher than non-certified.

The study, conducted by University of Guelph professor Avis Devine and co-author Nils Kok of Maastricht University in The Netherlands, calls tenants in green buildings “stickier” and “happier.” Tenants stay put in their space, she says, and reduce landlord leasing costs associated with turnover.

Plus, as governments move to increase the costs of carbon, which have now been benchmarked at $50 per tonne by 2022, there will be a strong incentive for building owners to reduce operational costs related to emissions and energy use.

BDC – the Business Development Bank of Canada, the crown agency that supports 42,000 small and mid-sized companies – says green retrofit “improvements usually pay for themselves within two to six years.” Deep retrofits will take longer to pay off, but they will pay off in the long term.

Couple these economic benefits with the U.N.’s Marrakech Climate Change Conference last November, and it’s clear the wheels are in motion to reduce emissions.

When it comes to the international climate change accord, our governments need to figure out how to move from words to actions to meet the 2030 net zero goal for homes and buildings. The longer landlords wait, the more punitive the price in both losing tenants and higher energy costs.


2. Change.org: Sign Petition to Save the Gore
Hamilton Heritage Watch

Sign the Petition to Stop the Demolition of 18-28 King Street East

We know from history that it’s not over until a building is actually demolished (e.g. Sandyford Place). Please take a moment and sign the petition asking the province to save our Gore Park buildings. These are structurally sound buildings and do not have to come down! The practice of demolishing sound buildings for “new” is wasteful and adds to our landfills. The Templar Flats on King William show what can be done with a bit of foresight and planning. The petition has 458 signatures already.

Sign the On-Line Petition – Click Here


3. The Architect's Newspaper: A Reflecting Lens - Phyllis Lambert looks back on her 75 years in architecture
Phyllis Lambert

For the occasion of her 90th birthday on January 24, architect Phyllis Lambert sent the following text about her life and careerfrom her early days as a sculptor to her work as a photographer, preservationist, and patron. It is taken from the exhibition

Lambert and Peter Rose in front of the Canadian Centre for Architecture, circa 1991. (© Tom Hollyman)


Art has always been for me the essence of existence.

A sculptor from the age of nine, at eleven I began exhibiting in annual juried exhibitions at the Royal Academy of Arts and the Société des Sculpteurs du Canada. My sculpture teacher instilled in me objective self-criticism, and I learned manual skills and close observation. I have always drawn. As an undergraduate at Vassar College, in addition to studying art history, in the studio I focused on painting, intrigued by technique, especially that of Rubens (although this is not evident in the self-portrait). However, I was not interested in making small works for private collections. I dreamed of creating monumental sculpture in the public realm: Architecture would be the answer, but I did not know this yet.