The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario's President Lloyd Alter wrote a letter to the Editor of Maclean's Magazine in response to Paul Wells column that advocated the tearing down of 24 Sussex.
Wells' article describes a new house for the Prime Minister as a good public work project, creating jobs for Canadians. He also points out that a new building could be made "green".
Alter's responds that "... new construction is 50% materials and equipment (often imported) and 50% labour, while renovation is 75% labour and 25% materials". Clearly, renovating the existing building would provide more opportunity for local labour. In response to a new building being "green" Alter points out that the greenest building is the one that is already built. The energy that it took to make the materials currently used in the building is lost if it is torn down and put in a landfill.