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Chris Magwood Talks Low-Carbon Construction

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Sustainability

Chris Magwood Talks Low-Carbon Construction

Magwood's low-carbon initiative puts sustainability at the forefront of home building


October 12, 2021
Eco-friendly building designs
Photo: stock.adobe.com

Ontario builder and designer Chris Magwood is pioneering a movement toward low carbon construction for homeowners ready to go green. Founder of the Endeavor Centre, a sustainable building school in Ontario, Chris is implementing carbon capture strategies and sustainable design in his building projects to push an eco-friendly initiative for builders and homeowners. 

Chris Magwood began his building career by constructing his own home, the first permitted straw-bale house in Ontario, in 1996. In 1998, he co founded Camel’s Back Construction, and over eight years helped to design and build more than 30 homes and buildings utilizing sustainable design.

Co-editor of the Sustainable Building Essentials series from New Society Publishers, Chris is currently at work on a new book, Building Beyond Zero: New Ideas for Carbon-Smart Architecture to be published by Island Press. He is also in the beta-testing phase for a carbon calculator app he developed called BEAM (Building Emissions Accounting for Materials). By inputting the main dimensions of a building, it provides a comprehensive list of possible materials along with the carbon footprint of each option.

"...we have developed this 10-point criteria matrix system that we use with our clients that has things like energy efficiency, ecosystem impacts, indoor-­environment quality, embodied carbon, and so on. Within each point, we have measurements we can use, but two of those might be high priorities for some clients and not so high for others. Another client may want to knock it out of the park on all of them. In practical terms, how do we measure our results in these given categories? And sustainability—or 'green building' or whatever—sits over the top of it…"

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