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Dumb is the New Smart with Paul Dowsett


January 23, 2015
by Canadian Architect

As part of the B.E.S.T. (Building, Ecology, Science and Technology) lecture series, Paul Dowsett of SUSTAINABLE.TO questions whether a “Smart Home” is really the smart choice. With the introduction of products such as the Nest thermostat, the building industry is trending towards homes that purport to increase convenience, comfort, energy-efficiency and security through automation. Reliance on interconnected and often incompatible gadgetry, however, isn’t necessarily the most effective way to accomplish a responsive, responsible and resilient home. Using a suite of devices that utilize multiple apps to monitor and operate your heating and cooling systems arguably consumes more energy than opening a window or turning on a fan. Paul Dowsett makes the case for the “Dumb Home”: one that relies on passive solar heating, shading, natural ventilation and above code-minimum insulation to regulate temperature and occupant comfort. By demonstrating the importance of the building envelope – insulation, airtightness, ventilation and materiality – he shows the advantages in using what nature provides for free, making the most with the least.

As the founding principal architect at SUSTAINABLE.TO and with more than two decades of local and international residential, institutional and commercial sustainable design and project management experience, Pau Dowsett leads a highly collaborative design team for projects of diverse scales, types and complexities. At the core of Paul’s philosophy and practice is the belief that design and construction solutions should be simple, sensitive and sustainable. His work has been recognized locally and internationally, most recently as a winner of the 2014 Homegrown Design Challenge, DIY Backyard Bee Hotels, and as a recipient of an AIA Designing Recovery Award in 2013 for Resilient House. Dowsett began SUSTAINABLE.TO to provide expert resource and energy-efficient design/build solutions that are realistic, achievable and affordable.

Join Paul at 6:30pm on Thursday, January 29, 2015 in Room 103 of the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, located at 230 College Street in Toronto. Attendance is free, but seating is limited to a first-come, first-served basis. Each lecture = 2 structured learning hours with the Ontario Association of Architects.


paul dowsett
paul dowsett


Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada's only monthly design publication, Canadian Architect has been in continuous publication since 1955.
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