Thursday, June 12, 2008


A follow up to last week's program "Building Madness - Constructing Climate Change"

This week: a real solution to making our buildings way more efficient. Called "Passivhaus" in Germany, the technique really means much more than "house" - but all buildings.

This week we present an exclusive one hour workshop on super-low energy houses, office & municipal buildings with Dr. Guido Wimmers. His company web site at

Guido Wimmers is from Austria, where he studied and designed super low energy buildings.
He is likely the only person in Canada who could certify a home or other structure as meeting the "passivhaus" standards, which are voluntarily regulated by several Institutes in Europe.

Over 12,000 "passivhaus" buildings have already been constructed in Europe. The method involves using solar input through windows, a very tight inner barrier and outer wind screen, plus a heat-controlling air exchanger. During the winter, even our body heat and warmth from electric appliances (even your computer) are held inside, instead of lost as waste. Very little fossil fuel needs to be added.

As he describes in the talk, one passivhaus office building had an air conditioner installed for summer use - but it was found to be unnecessary. These buildings are also much more comfortable for humans - because there are no big cold or hot spots. Everywhere has a comfortable uniform heat or coolness. Kids in a "passivhaus" school design like it so much, they come home and wish for the same.

This is an energy revolution. As explained in the previous program on "Building Madness" - our buildings use 48% of all fossil fuels - and waste most of it! Buildings use more than all transportation combined. Our cities are really carbon smokestacks, and there is a much better way to do it. North Americans and people everywhere need to learn this technology. Even older homes can be retro-fitted.

We can reduce fossil fuel consumption, bills & greenhouse gas emissions (!) by 90%. Dr. Guido Wimmers explains how.

Ecoshock Show 080613 1 hour CD Quality (56 MB) (click title above) or Lo-Fi (14 MB)

Production Notes: Last song clip "Radio Nowhere" by Bruce Springsteen. Cut if no license, or if time needed for station ID. Good ID location at 29:57.

Recorded by Alex Smith in Vancouver 080524.

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