Buckminster Fuller famously said that “waste materials are simply resources we haven’t found a use for.” So, what if we could use agricultural waste products like corn husks or coconut coir as building materials? The truth is that we can, and a number of innovative sustainable builders are working to not just reduce the carbon emissions associated with construction but turn homes and commercial buildings into carbon storage units.
Chris Magwood is the executive director of The Endeavour Centre, a nonprofit sustainable building school in Ontario. He is also the author of seven books on sustainable building and the former operator of Camel’s Back Construction, a company responsible for the design and construction of 30-plus straw-bale homes and commercial buildings. Jacob Deva Racusin is the co-owner of New Frameworks, a carbon responsive building company offering services in green remodeling and new construction. He is a BPI-certified contractor and Certified Passive House Consultant and an active member of the Embodied Carbon Network’s Renewable Materials Task Force.
Today, Chris and Jacob join Ross, Christophe, and Alexsandra to explain how they each came to build straw-bale homes for their families—and how those independent ventures grew into businesses. They discuss the top themes covered at the Living Future Conference, including the connections between climate action and social justice and the need to leverage systems thinking as we scale climate solutions in building. Chris and Jacob share the possibilities around carbon beneficial multifamily buildings and walk us through the benefits of several carbon responsive building materials. Listen in for insight into end-of-life considerations for drawdown buildings and learn how we might leverage agricultural waste in a particular region to construct buildings that store carbon and reverse climate change now!
Connect with Ross & Christophe
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[0:45] Chris’ path to reversing climate change
[6:26] Jacob’s path to reversing climate change
[10:57] The top themes at the Living Future Conference
[14:19] The concept of decolonizing buildings
[18:26] The value in both reductionist AND systems thinking
[24:41] The possibilities around carbon beneficial multifamily buildings
[32:24] Other innovative carbon beneficial building materials
[40:59] How to identify ag waste for building materials
[45:38] The end-of-life considerations re: carbon stored in buildings
[48:36] Why it’s easy to measure carbon storage in buildings
[50:44] How listeners can promote drawdown building