Alex Zimmerman, President
Applied Green Consulting, Ltd.
1975, Engineering Technology
As a teenager, Red River College alum Alex Zimmerman devoted the bulk of his free time — and a sizeable amount of cash — to his passion for rebuilding cars.
A few short years later, he switched to a far more environmentally-friendly obsession, and has spent the ensuing decades at the forefront of the green buildings movement in Canada.
Not surprisingly, Zimmerman is also a committed environmentalist in his day-to-day life, as well. He’s hasn’t driven his car to work since 1977 — preferring instead to bike — and he cites his concern for the future of the planet as one of the key factors fuelling his passion for green technologies.
“It (green technology) impacts climate change, which is the single biggest crisis facing the human race in the last 10,000 years,” says Zimmerman, who after years of managing environmental stewardship initiatives in B.C. and Alberta, recently went into business for himself as President of Applied Green Consulting Ltd. “It takes a long time to turn around, but it’s incredibly important — what you can do and how you can react, environmentally.”
Zimmerman graduated from RRC’s Engineering Technology program in 1975 — a period when the only “green” development to catch the engineering world’s attention was the introduction of solar power. After a brief stint working for the Navy, he took a job with Alberta Public Works, Supply & Services (APWSS), where he’d spend the next 14 years exploring how to make new and existing buildings more energy-efficient, often with the help of emerging technologies like computer modeling and motorized building controls.
“I remember being shocked to learn at the time that we didn’t insulate to save energy; we insulated to save money,” says Zimmerman. “That seemed counterintuitive and just plain wrong to me — I thought energy had an intrinsic value beyond just the monetary, and that we should have been treating it better than we were.” Read More →