Green Building Design
I started my career in alternative energy and energy conservation, what is now Green Design, Sustainable Design Green Architecture, Eco - Architecture and just plain saving energy!
Then the world dropped the energy ball. I've spent my years since helping maintain and grow public sector buildings, government, health and educational. I may not have been helping solve the worlds biggest problem, energy use, but I was still helping people while helping myself.
Now solar energy in all it's forms, photovoltaics, wind generators, co-generation, conservation, super - insulation, recycling, re-use, life cycle costing, daylight, embedded energy, embedded carbon, carbon credits, water retainage, grey water recycling, VOC's, and even air filtration are just a small part of Green Design.
I've been using down time imposed by this economic downturn to brush up my green building skills. I found the most comprehensive Green Design education available short of returning to university full time, which is the Green Building Certificate Program at Cooper Union in New York City.
Check out the course and subject listings in the right sidebar.
A Generation of Environmentalism:
A quick refresher
Our leap to Green Design
A long time ago in an era long forgotten....................
There were the many energy crises of the 1970's. Embargos, under supply, and the energy industries first flirting with growth through lobbiest manipulated regulation. All contributed to the peoples growing sense of panic over energy, the stable staple of American growth and Americans comfort.
Emboldened by the success of citizen activism that ended America's proxy warfare and that had just started to force the biggest polluters to clean up their act, people whole heartedly threw their support behind all forms of solar energy, alternative energy and energy conservaton to ease the shortages, stabilize energy supplies, and yes, just to do the right thing.
Which is when I entered the architectural profession. While working on my architectural degree, I worked for several years at THE engineering firm for solar energy, energy conservation, heat pumps, solar ponds, daylighting, you name it - Dubin Bloome Associates.
It was a heady time. It didn't last long. The energy industry and the countries that sat on much of the accessible oil at the time saw the writing on the wall, behave or loose market share. After that came decades of stable energy (read oil) prices during which alternative energy was dropped like a hot rock, especially by the US Gov't.
Luckily, no amount of lobbying and "bad science" could hide from the people the enviornmental disaster that the worlds industrialists uncontrolled greed was creating. The people supported the enviornmental advocates who kept after the industrialists. The people demanded their legislators reign in the industrialists worst behavior. Hard to believe? Well, I was there, and for all the pollution that still exists, for all the concern over carbon emissions, it is but a fraction of what it would have been without the huge efforts people have made to force industrialists, cities and people themselves to clean up.
Therein was re-born the green revolution, , energy conservation, solar energy, wind power, micro - hydro, indoor air pollution, Eco - Architecture.
Fast forward to the 21st Century, so far the age of Chaos and Change (Very Mayan)
Change for the better.
Finally we can do good while doing well.
We can now be what we've wanted to be, better enviornmentally, AND still live well.
People are embracing alternative energy, energy conservation, zero energy buildings, slowly followed by the government, and even industrialists.
Environmentalism has become so all encompassing that new lingo and organizations pop up daily - Energy Star, BPI, NYSERDA, Rocky Mountain Institute, HERS, LEED, RESNET, and a thousand more, along with putting Eco or Green infront of just about anything -- Eco - Architecture and Green Building Design are my favorites, to help define and create the world we want to live in.
I walk the walk too, with my own Deep Energy Retrofit:
Eco - Architecture in the Catskill Mountains of New York State.
Saving Energy Already!
28% Heating Reduction
30% Energy Reduction
Check out the blow by blow at the photo blog of my own experiences retrofitting an old country house in New York State's Catskill Mountains for energy efficiency and our modern life styles.
Some folks might see my efforts as bad news, so much time, what little free money I have during this endless recession, for what? For me it affirms that people and buildings can EASILY cut energy use, improve our quality of life. If a cash strapped DIY desk jockey can do it (yes, it's low cost Do It Yourself project too), then it's a cinch for new buildings, building retrofits, building rehabilitations and anyone with some cash in the bank looking to get great returns investing it - in a deep energy retrofit - home OR business!