Book Review

Wright or Wrong?

Green Architecture: The Art of Architecture in the Age of Ecology by James Wines

By David Julian Roth, AIA, LEED AP BD+C Posted on May 15, 2013

  “Life is right, and the architect is wrong,” said Le Corbusier toward the end of his life. He may have been pleased however, to see his Paris Plan Voisin vision fulfilled in downtown Pittsburgh’s Gateway Center. A green park was planned within this urban space. Through an integration of nature and architecture, we learn about both in a comfortable public place. Tall trees and a central fountain soften three 1950s modernist-style buildings, bridging time and technology. The matured landscape has become symbolic of our city’s green leadership over the last fifty years. “The architect must be a prophet; if he can’t see at least ten years ahead then don’t call him an architect.” – Frank Lloyd Wright During the...

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The 2030 Challenge

Buildings, Energy, and Climate Change

By Marc Mondor, AIA, LEED Faculty Posted on April 7, 2013

IT’S ABOUT ENERGY As a species the exploration for, and generation and transmission of energy is by far the most environmentally destructive thing that humans do. Yet the reason we perform this operation with such zeal lies in the fact that we are an energy-hungry species. Energy demand is not only at all-time highs, but will continue to grow. Even if we mentally outsource energy or are focused on living wirelessly, we are all a part of this system. We are an integral part of our nation’s, and indeed our planet’s, voracious appetite for energy. IT’S GOOD TO SAVE The environmental imperative for saving energy comes in the reduction of emissions from the combustion of fuels. According to the U.S....

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A Sustainable Ideal

Has designing with sustainability in mind changed architecture?

By John Altdorfer Posted on March 10, 2013

On one of the hottest days of this past summer, Peter Q. Bohlin, FAIA sits near the end of a long conference table at the Wilkes-Barre office of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, the firm he helped found in 1965. Impeccably dressed in a blue button down shirt and grayish white slacks, peering at a video screen that projects the image of an interviewer 250 miles away in Pittsburgh, he pauses a moment, then coolly states his opinion about people who think that sustainable design is uninspired design. “If an architect thinks that, he’s brain dead,” replies the 72-year-old AIA Gold Medalist. “And if the public thinks that way, then it’s our job to convince them that it’s not.” With nearly a...

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The State of Sustainability

The challenge of designing for the future

By Deborah Knox Posted on September 19, 2012

Sustainable design isn’t just about doing what is right. It’s smart, current, and for design professionals, has added an important layer to their work. The clear consensus is that green design adds value, but how professionals integrate sustainable design and use LEED certification varies through the region’s architectural community. This brief analysis highlights some of the issues and projects in the region. Pittsburgh is second in the nation with 20 LEED certified buildings, most of them commercial, which is something to be proud of, but the commercial sector is still part of the problem. According to the Pittsburgh Climate Protection Initiative, the commercial sector is responsible for over half of the total CO2 equivalent emissions, which is a far greater...

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AIA Launches Sustainable Project Documents

AIA Contract Documents has released a series of sustainable projects  documents at the AIA 2012 National Convention this week that can help customers navigate the unique issues related to sustainable design projects.  AIA Contract Documents also has a comprehensive offering of contracts for the small project practitioner .  Make sure to check out these exciting products and resources, including document samples and comparatives.  

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