By Richard Bell
[Note: This article is a summary of a lecture by sustainable builder and author Chris Magwood on September 29, 2019, delivered at the Natural Building EAST conference held at the Deanery Project in Ship Harbour, Nova Scotia. Magwood spoke for about an hour, and videos of the entire presentation are available here.]
Chris Magwood built his first straw bale house in 1997, launching a career that has placed him among the most respected sustainable builders and thinkers internationally. He is author of several books on natural building systems including, Making Better Buildings.
[This page features a lecture by sustainable builder and author Chris Magwood on September 29, 2019, delivered at the Natural Building EAST conference held at the Deanery Project in Ship Harbour, Nova Scotia. Magwood spoke for about an hour, and videos of the entire presentation are available at the links below. Magwood’s master’s thesis, “Opportunities for carbon dioxide removal and storage in building materials” is available as a PDF on his website. This document contains many of the graphs he refers to during his lecture.]
For anyone concerned about the climate crisis, sustainable builder and author Chris Magwood delivered a stunning and hope-filled lecture on September 29, 2019, at the Natural Building EAST conference held at the Deanery Project in Ship Harbour, Nova Scotia. The building sector is responsible for an estimated 40% of global carbon emissions.
[Note: To watch segment 2 of Chris Magwood's lecture, please click here.]
Magwood found that the choice of building materials made a whopping difference in whether a given building was a net carbon emitter or a net carbon drawdown, from over 200 tons of embodied carbon in the worst case to a net drawdown, or storage, of over 130 tons using the best materials. He was still skeptical about his results, but when he began to share his results, everyone agreed, “Yep, those are the numbers.”
[Note: this document contains notes on the first segment of the video of Chris Magwood's lecture. To watch the video, please click here.]
In his opening remarks, Chris Magwood describes himself as a “sustainable building omnivore” who built the 1st straw bale house in Ontario in 1997. He didn’t set out to be a builder, but he ended up working on lots of buildings over the years, finding out what works where, and when. He summarized his knowledge in his book, Making Better Buildings, where he ranked building materials against a list of criteria, including the energy embodied in the building materials.
This page contains links to interviews with candidates for two ridings, Central Nova and Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook. In these ridings, we contacted candidates from the Liberal Party, the Progressive Conservative Party, the New Democratic Party, the Green Party, the Peoples Party of Canada, and the Communist Party. Two candidates in Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook never responded.