This year Toronto hosted the Greenbuild 2011 conference. I noticed throughout the event some cautiously optimistic messages. Thomas Friedman argued that the kind of change required to save the planet can be only achieved with a strong price signal, which, in turn, can only be achieved with the support of long term government policy. While this message itself does not provide much hope given the current polarization in U.S. politics, another message presented by John Picard, appeared at a plenary. He argued that Silicon Valley, having already completed the IT revolution, is now poised to bring in a green building revolution. This is to come about through true understanding of building performance as mathematically expressed actionable information.
A building’s value will be a direct function of the quality of the information that can be generated about the building. However, the amount of information on the building performance will be irrelevant unless it is in an appropriately digestible as visualized data comprehensible to key recipients such as building owners, operators and occupants. While this approach may not solve the world problems, any optimistic message is good news.