Green

Making Choices at Glass House

Posted on: April 11th, 2008 by Barbara Campagna

 

The Pavilion and the Glass HouseI just returned from 2 days at Phillip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, CT, one of our newest historic sites. The Glass House site is one of the world icons of midcentury modern heritage and its 47 acres and 14 buildings present an inspiring setting for the creative process.

InterfaceFlor,  a company that develops commercial floor covering, and is known for its commitment to building environmental considerations into its business decisions, sponsored a retreat for “thought leaders” in the sustainable design field entitled, “Making Choices: Designing our Relationship with Community and the Environment”. Given that the mission of the Philip Johnson Glass House is to become a center-point and catalyst for the preservation of modern architecture, landscape, and art, and a canvas for inspiration, experimentation and cultivation honoring the legacy of Philip Johnson (1906–2005) and David Whitney (1939–2005), programs such as this which provide artists with the chance to literally stop and breathe while thinking about design, are becoming the hallmark of the site. After weeks of unusual bleakness for an April in the Northeast, the day the retreat began, the sun brought out crocuses and daffodils on the site; eagles flew over the trees and geese wandered around the pool; the grounds dried up enough to allow 30 people to traipse around it and despite the tragedy of our national airlines falling apart, everyone who planned on it was able to make it to the Glass House.

A Local Dinner – The Responsibility of Pleasure
After an afternoon of guided tours for the attendees, we were shuttled to dinner at Blue Café at Stone Barns, an organic working farm, a sustainable restaurant, a way of life really – located at Pocantico Hills, affiliated with Kykuit, another one of our historic sites in the Hudson Valley. The Stone Barn center's historic buildings are a brilliant reinterpretation of the “barn” by architects Machado & Silvetti. An unexpected meeting of Blue Café’s chef and Interface’s Chairman Ray Anderson, was the highlight of the evening. Ray told us the story of his epiphany after reading Paul Hawken’s seminal The Ecology of Commerce 14 years ago which led him to transform his petroleum-intensive carpeting business into a company whose goal is “Mission Zero” - a promise to eliminate any negative impact on the environment by the year 2020. The Chef came out thrilled to learn that Ray Anderson was in the room, as Ray’s book had impacted the way he thinks and practices. He calls his creation of food, meals, the farm and restaurant “the responsibility of pleasure” - If you can find the shortest, simplest way between the earth, the hands and the mouth – then your carbon footprint can be much, much less. Serendipity met synchronicity...

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The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Barbara Campagna

Barbara A. Campagna, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C was formerly the Graham Gund Architect of the National Trust in the Stewardship of Historic Sites office. She is currently a sustainability consultant to the National Trust and can be reached at bcampagna@bcampagna.com.

 

Trinity Church & Copley Square, Boston, MASustainable Preservation Coalition

The National Trust for Historic Preservation created the Sustainable Preservation Coalition two years ago in order to impact further development of the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Building Rating Systems. We partnered with several national organizations who were developing separate sustainability agendas including the AIA, APT International, the National Park Service, General Services Administration and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers. We realized we could make a bigger impact integrating historic preservation and green building values by working together.

Our first goal was to meet with the U.S. Green Building Council, the developer of LEED, and open up a dialogue to discuss improvements to their products which would better reflect the importance of existing buildings to sustainable stewardship of our planet and its limited resources. While LEED does much to encourage more sustainable development, and historic buildings can achieve the highest LEED rating, we believed it could certainly do better because the current version of LEED (LEED 2.2):

1. Overlooks the impact of projects on cultural value;

2. Does not effectively consider the performance, longer service lives and embodied energy of historic materials and assemblies;

3. And is overly focused on current or future technologies, neglecting how past experience helps to determine sustainable performance.

Our meeting with the President of USGBC (Rick Fedrizzi) and the Director of LEED Technical Development (Brendan Owens) was quite successful, ending with Rick inviting us to help them prepare preservation metrics for the revised versions of LEED. Over the past year, our coalition has been meeting with USGBC and are delighted to announce that soon LEED 3.0 will be unveiled.
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The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Barbara Campagna

Barbara A. Campagna, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C was formerly the Graham Gund Architect of the National Trust in the Stewardship of Historic Sites office. She is currently a sustainability consultant to the National Trust and can be reached at bcampagna@bcampagna.com.

Windows, Part II

Posted on: March 24th, 2008 by Patrice Frey

 

An alert reader (Roberta Lane, Program Officer and Regional Attorney with the Trust's Northeast Field Office), reminded me that there is another great window study out there -- "Measured Winter Performance of Storm Windows," by Joseph Klems.  I failed to mention that in a posting last Friday about windows.

Klems -- a researcher with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory -- completed the study in 2002.    In short, the study finds  that low-e storm windows perform "very similarly" to replacement windows.  Happy reading.  

 

 

 

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Attention all Rhode Islanders…

Posted on: March 24th, 2008 by Patrice Frey

 

Another conference/workshop announcement -- this time for those of you in the Rhode Island area.  The Providence Preservation Society presents "Balancing Sustainability & Preservation: Protecting Environmental & Historic Resources" on April 2nd.  Visit http://www.ppsri.org/?section=events for the details. 

If you attend -- please visit my little corner of the PreservationNation blog again and share the highlights.   We'd love to hear about it.    

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Live in Maine? Got Old Windows? Check out this workshop

Posted on: March 21st, 2008 by Patrice Frey

 

A historic window repair workshop is planned for the 3rd of April in Farmington, Maine.  The workshop will be given by Maine Preservation -- you can learn more at http://morningsentinel.mainetoday.com/news/local/4883470.html

Those old windows can be made more energy efficient than you might think.  In fact, a study commissioned by NCPTT found that when repaired and weatherized properly, historic wood windows can be almost as energy efficient as new, thermally resistant windows.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.