Sustainable Building Trades and "Biophilic Design" Take the Stage at Greenbuild

Posted on: November 20th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Revolutionary Green: Innovation for Global Sustainability is the theme for this year's Greenbuild conference. Being socially aware in our neighborhoods and our global community was the focus of the Opening Plenary session featuring Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the African Children's Choir. Tutu's message was positive and energizing, but I must say that the highlight for me were the children. It was a group of about 20 ranging in age from 7 - 12. That is my inspiration -- the energy and joy radiating from these kids was deeply moving. They are part of the reason that I do what I do. This is why the places we are working so hard to save matter, not just for me, but for those that will come after me.

My first education session of the day was, "Greening the Trades of Tomorrow." Now I figured that this would be heavy on the technical aspects of building, but I figure that I have something to learn about how to engage teenagers in the preservation trades. The presenters were from Building Event Solutions, an education group focused on bringing the building trades to life in tech and trade schools throughout New England. Theirs is a hands-on approach, making the learning process fun for students in these programs. They are dedicated to introducing students and their instructors to green building best practices. They have been very successful in breathing life into the trade programs here in New England, garnering support from product and tool manufacturers. However, they also talked about window renovation, yes folks you heard me right, WINDOW RENOVATION! I almost leapt out of my chair and cheered - well, I was little more subtle than that, I did give them a thumbs up. While preservation was not a major feature of what the discussion it was easy to see that A) the ABCs of good construction and best practices are the cornerstone of their curriculum and B) these guys understand that the best practices include preservation. Stay tuned for more... a session at the National Preservation Conference perhaps?

"Biophilic Design and Sustainability in the Urban Context" was the other session I attended yesterday. Stephen Kellert is a professor at Yale University and I have seen him speak before. I wanted to learn more about this concept of Biophilia and Biophilic design.

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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.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.

Inspiration & Aspiration: Highlights at Greenbuild – Day 2 of the Conference

Posted on: November 20th, 2008 by Barbara Campagna

 

Revolutionary Green

The Prudential Tower and Back Bay, Boston: 74% of greenhouse gas emissions in Boston come from buildings.

The Prudential Tower and Back Bay, Boston: 74% of greenhouse gas emissions in Boston come from buildings.

For the past year I have been trying to figure out what the tagline for this year’s Greenbuild “We Are Revolutionary Green” meant. Today I found out. This year is the 15th anniversary of the U.S. Green Building Council and year eight of the Greenbuild Conference. David Gottfried (via film) and Rick Fedrizzi (in person), two of the three co-founders of USGBC, reflected on the “seismic shift in priorities” that the past 15 years represent – in our world culture as well as the organization. Each speaker in the opening plenary stressed how the green building movement is not really about buildings – it’s about people, people taking control of our world, our actions and yes, our buildings.

Boston's Mayor Thomas Menino performed his duty of welcoming the 10,000 (yes, you read that right, 10,000) people in the Hall. But then he spent the next five minutes talking about Boston’s leadership among U.S. Cities in sustainability and declared, “Green building is about more than policy, it’s about people.” In Boston, 74% of the greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings (that’s about 30% more than the national average!). Their green building zoning is helping to create a new green work force, with new skills for these new “green jobs.”

“We are changing people’s minds about what really matters”

Rick Fedrizzi (CEO & President, USGBC) presented the best speech I have ever seen him give, and one of the best I’ve seen anyone give recently. As one of my colleagues commented when I mentioned this, “He didn’t strike me as the type to give inspirational speeches.” Exactly, that’s what made it even more special. I’ll admit it, I was weeping silently when he finished his 20 minutes with “We are the people we have been waiting for.” The underlying theme throughout the past two days has been the monumental change in administration that we all voted into being on November 4th.

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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.

 

Update: The live-streaming of this presentation has concluded. Greenbuild will be providing on-demand video soon; in the meantime, you can read Mr. Moe's speech on our website.

Earlier this week, my colleague Patrice Frey wrote a post about the intense summit held recently at Pocantico in Tarrytown, NY "to discuss the future of historic preservation in light of global warming, and specifically the implications of climate change for preservation policy." In her post, Patrice mentioned that the president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Richard Moe, would be introducing the six principles that summarize the outcome of that meeting at this week's Greenbuild conference in Boston.

This speech, entitled Historic Preservation and Green Building: Finding Common Ground, will be streamed live online later this morning (November 20) from 8:00-9:30 a.m. EST on this page on the Greenbuild site. So, while you enjoy your morning coffee or check your email, tune in to hear about the important relationship between preservation and sustainability. After all, why just recycle cans and bottles, when you can also recycle buildings!

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Learn more about the National Trust for Historic Preservation's sustainability initiative.

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.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

Green Building: The International Perspective

Posted on: November 19th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation 2 Comments

 

Downtown Boston from the South Boston waterfront. (Photo: Barbara Campagna)

Downtown Boston from the South Boston waterfront. (Photo: Barbara Campagna)

Ready, set, go... it wasn't hard to miss that Greenbuild is being held in Boston this week. Almost as soon as I got off the plane there were welcome signs - stats from the city of Boston and the Transit authority on what they are doing to be green - as well as invitations to visit booths in the exhibit hall. So it's pretty clear that the city is excited about hosting Greenbuild.

I opted to attend International Day, wondering what everyone else is doing. I have had this belief that everyone is light years ahead of us, since we, the US, are the largest consumers of natural resources, we live by using more - so how can everyone else lead happy and successful lives with using less? I think that instead of taking you through the day, session by session, it is best to sum it up at this point. Building professionals from around the world are here to learn from us! Yes, that's right, the US the largest consumer in the world. Why? Because the USGBC has created the most widely adopted ratings framework world-wide and it works.

Developers and building professionals from British Columbia, Brazil, Abu Dhabi, Germany, and China participated in a series of fireside chats, panels and discussions to share their lessons learned and discuss the futures of their cities and countries given the LEED metrics.

Deutsche Bank has been so impressed with the results of the renovation of their headquarters building in Frankfort that they are going to be applying LEED to all of the buildings in their portfolio, from second tier cities in India to other Euorpean cities. One wonders when they will require LEED metrics to be applied to their clients portfolios as a condition of lending?

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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.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.

Preservation Success Honored in Lawrence, Mass.

Posted on: November 19th, 2008 by National Trust for Historic Preservation

 

Third in our series of videos highlighting the winners of the 2008 National Preservation Awards.

Today, National Trust for Historic Preservation president, Richard Moe, visited the City of Lawrence and presented them with an Honorary National Preservation Honor Award. Lawrence's Washington Mills Building No. 1 received a National Preservation Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation during its 2008 National Preservation Conference in Tulsa, OK.

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.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded non-profit organization, works to save America's historic places.