Making Real Estate More Energy Efficient

The real estate industry is worth billions of dollars, and there are thousands of companies working to create more sustainable, energy efficient homes, buildings, and technology to make the places we live in more environmentally friendly. Going Green sits down with John Hanacek to discuss his experience making real estate more energy efficient.

What is your occupation? Where do you work? 

I am a Consultant, Co-Founder CanCoverIt, and Co-founder AvatarMEDIC.

Tell us a little bit about you and your background: 

BA in Political Science from UCSD, MA in Communication, Culture & Technology from Georgetown. Designer and artist passionate about new holographic computing technology. Practical problem solver.

What is a fun fact about you?

My first job was as a CA state parks ocean lifeguard. I have now completed three analog Mars missions with which are incredible ways to test oneself and grow as a person.

What was your motivation to get into this industry?

Helped my dad scale up his invention CanCoverIt as a way to connect my passion for improving the world with a literal method for doing so.

Why do you think climate change/sustainability is such an important topic today? 

We exist in our climate. We exist in a world constructed by humans from natural elements. Sustainability is effectively the only topic that matters. If we cannot be a sustainable presence on the Earth, we will perish. Climate change is a symptom of a linear narrative of growth that does not account for the cyclical nature of nature itself. We must recalibrate, and we can do it incrementally by improving our already built world.

CanCoverIt team at UCSD

What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?

A healthy mix of focus between very practical retrofitting activities of existing buildings using low cost/ high impact solutions like CanCoverIt at MASSIVE scale, and new high tech energy generation and distribution combined together. Currently there’s much focus on perfect new buildings and sensors, going forward we need to optimize all buildings (it would take 200 years to replace all homes in US for example) that scale up the ambition to meet where people actually live.

What can the average person do to make a difference? 

If they’re a homeowner, install CanCoverIt in their attic! If they rent they can lobby their landlord to do building energy efficiency improvement. The lowest hanging fruit is energy efficiency, and it returns investment directly to the home or building owner while also keeping energy load down, especially during peak demand hours.

What positive changes are you seeing?

A recognition of the power of retrofitting what is already here, rather than throwing all away and starting over. Shift in dialog (slowly) from analysis of problems via sensors and data, to actually solving them via physical products and improvements. CanCoverIt customers are part of new wave: they have sensors like Nest telling them about their house, and they conclude they need to improve their actual insulation envelope with CanCoverIt, so they do so themselves.

Going Green wants to thank John for sharing his experience working towards making real estate more energy efficient.

Going Green, hosted by Dylan Welch, interviews leading experts in cleantech, sustainability, media, finance, and real estate on the Going Green podcast. Tune in and subscribe to the podcast on Apple or Spotify to listen to interviews with leading cleantech and sustainable experts. If you are interested in being featured on Going Green, click HERE.

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Dylan Welch
Dylan Welch is the CEO and Host of Going Green, a podcast, website, and social media brand that highlights renewable energy, cleantech, and sustainable news.
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