More Powerful: Jules de Heer on sustainable neighbourhoods and prefab homes

In the making of my film Powerful: Energy for Everyone, I had the occasion to visit many communities, see interesting projects and interview passionate people of all stripes. I shot over 100 hours of video. Not all could be squeezed into a 95-minute film. This is one of the stories that I would like to have included if I had the space.

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.

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.

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