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Reverse Zone, weblog on urban planning, sustainability, and technology.

Martin Laplante

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Tue, 10 Oct 2006

Energy Star Sprawl

vaughan transit mapThe city of Vaughan, in Ontario, is opening up new subdivisions where houses will be Energy Star rated, with upgraded insulation and heating/cooling systems. They claim these houses will use up 40% less energy.

That's better than it could have been, but looking at a transit map of Vaughan, these houses are beyond the current range of all public transit, even beyond the "limited service" dotted lines. The houses are being built on what was farmland across from the Kortright Centre for Conservation, a pristine natural habitat 30 miles from downtown Toronto.

The story says that "some commercial development" is part of future plans. No matter how you dress it up, this is sprawl. The 40% savings in heating will be quickly consumed and then some by the fact that every single resident will need a car to drive long distances every day. What a waste of good efficiency investments.

The Energy Star rating system for houses should really take the location into account.


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