Martin Liefhebber Interview Part 8: Next Steps for Canada

Sustainable design is everyone's responsibility. What are the next steps for Canada?

Qasim Virjee
Martin Liefhebber, Daniela Bryson, Elise Hodson
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Sustainable design is everyone’s responsibility. What are the next steps for Canada? "I teach at the University of Toronto and the Ontario College of Art & Design. I’d say it’s not hard because a lot of students are very much up with what’s needed – with what needs to be done. What takes a little bit more is what are the tools, what can we use to work with. In architecture it’s the building itself and how it sits in the land or sits in the city. The public is certainly on board. I think the shift has happened with people. The shift has happened with governments and municipalities. I think the big problem is builders. Builders have had it very comfortable. The product doesn’t change at all. So I think if government raised the standards for building codes – national building codes, Ontario building codes – then we would find a serious business opportunity for developers. The lessons are all in Europe and Japan. What has to be done is that we need to have more buildings where case studies can be carried out so that we develop more insight, more data. Then we can design an alternative so we can become more convincing to money managers and provide justifications that paybacks on green or sustainable measures actually happen sooner than we think."

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