Govan Brown


 an inspired future
 An environmentally-friendly construction
 practices symposium


Brookfield Johnson Controls held their 3rd annual "An Inspired Future" event at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel on Thursday, June 5th.  The focus of the event was to raise awareness of the current state of environmentally-friendly construction practices, building techniques and products.  Featuring a variety of speakers, the highly attended event was an informative exchange of thoughts and ideas regarding the future of our planet and the role real estate can play in securing a future.  The guest of honor was Economist, Professor and renowned climate change advocate, Jeremy Rifkin.  The tenured guest lectured the 600 conference-goers on the dangers of the current state of Canadian energy-consumption.  Currently, he explained, North America is lagging behind the rest of the world in terms of renewable energy consumption and production.  Rifkin further insisted that fossil fuel consumption, contrary

to popular belief, is more expensive than solar and wind-powered alternatives.  As the price of oil goes up, so does the cost of production.  Meanwhile, as the demand for solar panels and wind-capturing devices increases, so will production, thereby decreasing the purchasing price.  Once a company can begin to produce their own energy, they will no longer need to pay the energy overhead for their business which is, for buildings, the second largest expenditure behind labour.  Rifkin drove the point home by describing that our use of fossil fuel and the subsequent release of carbon into the atmosphere is the catalyst for the major weather occurrences that we have been experiencing in the last decade.  More directly, Rifkin declared that humans are currently in a 6th extinction event, meaning that if we do not resolve our issues soon, 70% of life on earth will be lost by the end of the next cent-

ury.  The conference progressed on the issue of energy efficient and alternative solutions.  As contractors and building managers, we have a responsibility as large emissions producers to lead the energy revolution.  Office and commercial buildings are the second largest energy consumers in Canada behind industrial plants.  Our reformation can influence the greater trend of Canadian energy alternatives.  The conference showcased many different organizations that were working to create better products and energy generators; many of these organizations have worked with Govan Brown in the past.  Although the future of our planet is daunting and uncertain, the "Inspired Future" conference highlighted the organizations that are trying to make a positive difference.  Hope remains in the hands of these businesses and their visionaries who are making energy-efficiency a reality.

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