Posts tagged ‘Efficiency’

London: “We need to have pilot projects up and running. We want to be leaders, not followers.”

The city is moving ahead as quickly as possible to get a solar panel pilot project started on public buildings.

The city’s investment and economic prosperity committee will on Monday ask an outside company, Ameresco Canada, to put together a plan that will give green energy companies a framework to bid on solar panel projects.

In July, London-based solar energy company German Solar Corp. told the committee they were ready to mount panels on 10 city rooftops as part of a pilot project.

The project would create 337 jobs in eight years, 219 skilled-labour jobs and 108 operations and maintenance positions in 20 years, the company president predicted.

Another 1,200 jobs would be created indirectly, the company said.

“We’ve had two or three companies that are interested in putting panels on public property,” said Joe Swan, chair of the investment and economic prosperity committee.

“We need to come up with a licensing fee to lease the space, figure out the cost of installation and the return on investment.

“The marketplace is ready to implement these and the city hasn’t developed a framework.”

Ameresco Canada will develop the framework so the project gets off the ground, Swan said.

“This got support from council to move as quickly as possible,” Swan said.

“We need to have pilot projects up and running. We want to be leaders, not followers, in this.”

Source: The London Free Press


September 9, 2012 at 5:38 pm Leave a comment

Getting Down and Dirty

Regional councillors discussed the good, bad and ugly at a meeting Tuesday.

They winced when told that communities up and down the Grand River spilled raw or partly-treated sewage into the watershed 136 times between 2002 and 2006. Regional facilities were responsible for 42 of these polluting events.

To improve sewage treatment, council plans to spend $29 million on a centrifuge to spin wet sludge around and around in Kitchener. This will help dry it out.

Sewage sludge, called cake, is more compact when dry, and easier to store. Fewer trucks will be needed to haul it to fields where it’s spread as fertilizer. It will also be easier to dump in the local landfill, which the region may start doing.

“It’s not a very sexy project, but a very necessary project,” said Coun. Jim Wideman, of Kitchener.

A similar centrifuge dries sludge in the Galt area of Cambridge. There’s one planned in Waterloo as well.

Why not install a biomass boiler instead of trucking this perfectly good biomass to a landfill?

Why not install a biomass boiler instead of trucking this perfectly good biomass to a landfill?


October 8, 2009 at 1:33 am Leave a comment

Help Shape the Future of London’s Transportation Plan

  The City of London officially launched Smart Moves, its London 2030 Transportation Master Plan study, Monday (Sept. 28), and is looking for Londoners input into the study.

The City of London officially launched Smart Moves, its London 2030 Transportation Master Plan study, Monday (Sept. 28), and is looking for Londoners' input into the study.

The next grand plan for transportation in London seems likely to be a greener one, with cyclists, pedestrians and transit riders relegated to the back of the bus.

  • A four-line streetcar route shaped like a cross, with downtown London in the centre and the arms reaching north, south, east and west.
  • Two rectangles of bus routes intersecting those streetcar lines. GO trains heading east and west, and light rapid transit rail heading to smaller centres.
  • All along the routes, people-friendly streets with commercial, retail and residential development built at key connections.
  • Instead of buses and streetcars being an afterthought to development, the transit system would actually determine where and how the city grows.

An ambitious plan that turns the idea of London’s transit system on its head.

London Transit unveiled the centerpiece in a push to get feedback on transportation, a city bus covered with the pictures and words of what city officials have dubbed “Smart Moves: What Moves You?” The City of London Smart Moves Transportation Master Plan study, which takes place over the next year, is intended to address future transportation needs of London.

A public meeting has been set and the following information has been provided:


  • Tuesday, November 10


  • Western Fair Grounds – Carousel Room


  • 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Open House
  • 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Workshop

Sources: What Moves You?, &

October 5, 2009 at 4:20 pm Leave a comment

GO Transit Expansion to Cambridge is Almost a GO

A recent$100,000 Waterloo Region study looking at extending GO trains west from Milton. It’s an idea that’s been pitched for decades but went nowhere, as GO struggled with a bottleneck at Milton.

The extension would see four stations located in and around Cambridge: one near Galt Collegiate Institute on main bus routes; near Clyde and Franklin for a park-and-ride; at Highway 6 South; and at Guelph Line, west of Milton. Overnight train parking is proposed in Cambridge, as is twinning single tracks between Milton and Cambridge so passenger and freight trains can safely mingle along Canadian Pacific Railway’s main Ontario corridor.

Now a Cambridge expansion is firmly on track with firm cost estimates of $110 million to build it. The study projects ridership topping 900 a day if trains started in 2011. By 2021, the 1,600 daily passengers could cover 80 per cent of costs, the standard GO aims for. By 2031, 2,800 daily passengers would easily cover all Cambridge operating costs.

The report says GO transit is ready to undertake an environmental study of a Cambridge-Milton extension in 2012. That would finalize details so all that’s needed is money to make it happen.

GO is also expected to announce extension of bus service from Milton into Cambridge and Kitchener-Waterloo later this month. That’s long been touted as a precursor to train service.

GO has nearly finished an environmental assessment of extending trains west from Georgetown through Guelph to Kitchener. To start, that would cost $153 million. Later, as more tracks and overnight storage areas for trains are built west of Kitchener, the cost would reach $549 million.

The study goes public Monday at a Cambridge city council meeting, starting at 7 p.m. at City Hall. Regional councillors consider it Tuesday in a 9 a.m. meeting of the planning and works committee at 150 Frederick St. in Kitchener.


October 4, 2009 at 3:38 pm 1 comment

Project P.U.M.A.

PUMA PrototypePUMA Prototype

What do you guys think of this interesting contraption? PUMA stands for Personal Urban Mobility & Accessibility.

Wouldn’t it be nice to see that on our city streets? It would fit right into the bike lanes nicely!

For more information check out their website:

PUMA Website

April 12, 2009 at 12:11 pm Leave a comment

Cambridge’s New City Hall

Ok, so I’m a little late on the news front for this, but Cambridge’s new City Hall is truely jaw-dropping.


Interior view of Cambridges new City Hall

Interior view, including "living wall", of Cambridge's new City Hall

The new $30-million Cambridge City Hall is now officially the greenest city hall in Canada.


The Canada Green Building Council certified the structure with its gold LEED standard on July 31, 2008. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (more information can be found here: What is LEED?).


Cambridge’s City Hall building incorporates features of sustainable design and is the wave of the future in the field of architecture. The building has eco-friendly features such as a four-storey (110m2) “living wall” of tropical plants, which provides cleaner air. There is also a green roof and rain collection system used for toilets that will save two million litres of water a year. The city expects to save $150,000 a year in utility bills because 75 per cent of the light is natural and an atrium allows natural drafts to cool the building without turning on air conditioning. More than 3,000 plants were utilized for the new City Hall and the landscaping around the building is comprised exclusively of native or naturalized species which do not require irrigation.


And in other news… Guelph’s new City Hall looks like garbage.

Outside view of the new City Hall including the old City Hall on the left.

Outside view of the new City Hall including the old City Hall on the left.

Image: Daily Commercial News and Construction Record

September 23, 2008 at 12:08 pm Leave a comment

We are an urban design blog featuring news stories and ideas from London, Waterloo Region, and surrounding areas.


blog information

  • 70,554 hits