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Recycled and Renewed

Photo of Telus building - Before When Telus needed to upgrade its eight-story Vancouver office building, the Canadian telecommunications company chose energy-efficient renovation over demolition. Builders erected a double curtain of insulating glass and ceramic three feet out from the original World War II-era structure, and the resulting space acts as a kind of all-season greenhouse, trapping heat during the frigid winter months and providing shade in the summer. Architects also found a way to use the "waste heat" put out by the company's telecommunications equipment -- an innovation that saves thousands on winter bills. Photovoltaic cells linked to fans and dampers provide ventilation, and individually controlled diffusers allow fresh air to flow up through the floors, even to workstations in the middle of the building. The result is not only a futuristic and technically advanced edifice, but also an almost 50 percent cut in energy use.
Photo of Telus building - After

Photos: Courtesy of Busby and Associates Architects

OnEarth. Spring 2002
Copyright 2002 by the Natural Resources Defense Council