Like my colleague Patrice, I have been traveling around the country the past 6 months discussing our Sustainability Initiative and showing those same scary slides she referenced in her blog posting – “Is There Any Hope For Us?” At the Green Life Fashion Show at Lyndhurst last week, several people came up to me and said, “I had no idea that buildings were responsible for 48% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the US. That was sobering.” Like Patrice, I am convinced that we can save the world if we all work hard and start making better choices and we use our voice to impact the political will. What I tell everyone in my presentations is that in 25 years of being an architect, I’ve never experienced such an exciting challenge and such a scary time too. I’ve never felt before like I do today - what I’m doing every day can make so much difference.
Talking About Global Warming in Seattle
I was invited to participate in a 2 day Symposium/Workshop in Seattle April 14-15. Called “New Pathways – Historic Preservation & Sustainability”, it was sponsored by the Washington State Historic Preservation Office, the Northwest Region of GSA, the City of Seattle and the Washington Association of Building Officials. Now I admit I’m biased (I lived in Seattle for 3 years before moving to DC, and loved every minute of it), but this was one of the most informed and productive sustainability events I have had the fortune to participate in. And beyond just expressing my admiration to the organizers, I wanted to report on many of the things I learned here – some of which I am sure can help you in your work or personal lives.
First, I want to think the organizers for giving me an hour to pontificate on global warming, the impact on buildings and buildings’ impact on climate change, and why preservation needs to be part of any discussion on how to solve and halt it. I won’t report on my talk (you can my read my previous blogs, especially those about our work with the USGBC and the revisions to LEED, and the Trust’s Sustainability webpage), but I will share the information that my learned Northwest colleagues presented. After I gave the keynote, I spent the first day taking notes so I could be the rapporteur (and provocateur) at the end of the day.
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