Jules de Heer – A pioneer in living lightly

On April 7, 2010 my friend Jules de Heer passed away at the age of 53. Jules was a pioneer in a whole range of areas of eco/sustainable/green theories and practices. A trained engineer, Jules combined his rigorous attention to detail and desire for clarity with a passion for bringing human activity into harmony with natural processes and systems. He also introduced a strong aesthetic sense to whatever he was doing. To me, Jules de Heer was truly a pioneer in living lightly. His legacy will be a generation of students who studied under him, colleagues who worked with him, bid and host cities of Olympic Games that were “greened” by him, and many innovative tools for analysis and measuring performance that he shared generously with people like me. In making my film Powerful: Energy for Everyone, I had the pleasure to visit with Jules and his family at their new home in Switzerland. Jules applied his passion for sustainability and precise detail in the design of this ┬ápre-fabricated home, which meets and exceeds the Swiss “Minergie” standard. I featured Jules’ home in a 2008 blog.

I had planned to include an interview antibiotics to buy online us with Jules, a tour of his home and an exploration of his theories and conclusions on “sustainable neighbourhoods” in the film Powerful. In the end, though, as happens when making a 90-minute film from 100 hours of material, Jules’ extended story did not really fit the format of the film. So I decided to create a separate video feature that would be posted on the web, and perhaps included as an extra feature on the eventual DVD. Alas, it took forever to get this video edited, and it may never have happened if not for the generous assistance of Kevin Mogk, an Algonquin College (Ottawa) student who took this on as a special volunteer project. I thank Kevin for his excellent work.

In some strange twist of fate, Kevin delivered the final version of the video to me just after I had learned of Jules’ death after a long struggle with illness. I offer to you, dear viewer/reader, this video as a memorial and a tribute to a very generous, devoted man — a man of integrity. Jules de Heer, thank you for what you shared with so many of us.

David Chernushenko