Just Go Outside!

03/21/2010

Spring is here in Canada and I am super psyched!

I love the changing of the season.  There is always something new to look forward to.

When I was in Singapore from January to April in 2007, that was one of the things that I missed most about home (aside from my family and friends, of course!).

I missed the days where I wear a warm jacket in the morning, and am greeted by a warm breeze in the afternoon.

I missed the days when I step outside and hear the first chirps of chickadees.

I missed seeing squirrels chasing one another up the trees (I think that’s them flirting!).

I missed most the anticipation of summer.  The promise of sunshine, beaches, camping, summer dresses and blue skies.

Summer is not my favourite season, spring is. I like the transition. Sometimes, I catch lingering pieces of winter, and sometimes, I am pleasantly surprised by the warmness of spring/summer.

Springing from these thoughts (get it?  it’s spring…), I was at a conference last week on towers and condominiums in our city (I work in the industry).  I want to share one of the most memorable quotes from a colleague.  It reminded me of how we humans like to complicate things.

“Why bring the outside inside?!  Just go outside!!”

He was referring to all the glass encased high rises with amazing views in our city.  He was commenting on how so many people want to have the perfect view, and are willing to pay for it.  We are constantly bombarded with advertisements of a well dressed couple in a fancy new condo, gazing peacefully out the window.

But really, all we need to do is open our door and go outside.   We can enjoy the parks and activities of the city, we can enjoy the night market and life of the city.

We don’t need a fancy penthouse suite (not saying that’s it’s not great to have, mind you!), to enjoy where we live.

Just go outside.  It’s that simple 😉

What’s your favourite season?  What are your thoughts on this topic of getting outside?

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Background:

Our talk was about high rise buildings, especially residential condominiums and apartment buildings.  One of the concerns of the many new condominium buildings that are going up is that they have both walls and windows that are made of glass or metal.

Glass is a very poor insulator.  Imagine your car, if it is sitting outside in below freezing temperatures, or very hot weather, it’s pretty much the temperature outside (and a little worse).  You need to put in a lot of energy to bring the temperature to a comfortable level.

It’s the same idea with glass and metal buildings.  Many of them are energy guzzlers.  But right now, energy is cheap in Canada.

With all our advancement in technology and new materials, there are many other options that are more sustainable and energy efficient.

So why do people still build like this?  There’s a long answer and a short answer. The short answer is that it’s easy to do.

Please note: I am not slamming or badmouthing anyone who owns a condo, or penthouse.  There are many good points about a condo, as well.  I am simply presenting some points to consider from a perspective of some people who work with buildings.  If you wish to leave a comment regarding my opinion, please do so in a courteous and respectful manner.  Rude comments will be deleted.

If you are interested in reading more about buildings, there is an abundance of resource out there in journal publication and online.  Here are a few that I found:

Building Green

Canadian Green Building Council

World Green Building Council

US Green Building Council

Environmental Energy Technologies

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8 Responses to “Just Go Outside!”


  1. Hey AM!

    I never understood why people are obsessed with views. I’ve always thought that if I wanted to see the skyline of NY, I should just drive into the city, take one of those AirTrams or go on a helicopter tour. Worse comes to worse, I’ll Google it. I want the view in my house to consist of a nice tv, plush couches, and a nice kitchen that makes me want to cook in it.


  2. “Just go outside.” That’s right. You’ll also be able to get some exercise and enjoy fresh air.
    I think that’s why I like my current house so much! I can just step outside and see birds, deer, trees, flowers, and more! The only thing I like about winter is that there aren’t any bugs…


  3. @Investing Newbie:
    Thanks for stopping by my blog! Agreed! I love actually being in the place to enjoy it – whether it be in a local park or in NYC. I love plush couches and a nice kitchen. I’m starting to imagine a chopping block on one of my counter tops now…

    @Jersey Mom:
    The fresh air does wonders. Even just walking in it, or lying on the grass feels awesome. That’s great that you get so much nature on your doorstep! 🙂

  4. Miss Guimba Says:

    We don’t really have the four seasons here, but I experienced spring in the US and Japan and how I loved the colors that spring =) to life after the monotony of winter.

    I’m glad to know that you work in the building industry. I’ve always wondered how to maintain a tropical home without having to resort to air conditioning and while ideally, I would want an open house without walls, the bugs and mosquitoes are always a problem. Perhaps that’s why some people opt for glass for their walls?

    I’ll check out the links. Perhaps they have the answer to my questions.


    • I think it’s the stark contrast that makes spring so great 😀

      I wouldn’t want to live in a house that was secluded from the outside, either. I guess it’s about finding a balance. With today’s advancement in technology and materials, we should be able to do it without being energy hogs. 😉

  5. Annie Says:

    I love any season that is warm.. An open window, a fresh breeze, a walk with my puppies without a coat.. This is paradise to this girl!

    IMHO, I think those large windows are beautiful, but I am a big privacy addict. All of my windows have a thin curtain on them at the very least to keep people from looking in with a goal of miniblinds for additional privacy as I get around to them…

    On the proper wall it would be great way to gain solar heat in winter, but would heat your house up too much in summer and need to be covered, which makes me wonder if it would be worth the expense.


  6. I love opening up my windows whenever I can! The smell of the outdoors is so refreshing and better than any deodorizers that I can think of!


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