blogging from the student's perspective

After going to the Woods series lecture, I definitely have a new perspective on things.  The lecture consisted of two speakers followed by a Q and A session.  The speakers were Bob Berkebile and David Orr.  Bob Berkebile is a principal at BNIM Architects in Kansas City, MO.  He is a founding member of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and helped develop the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.  He discussed opportunities to make developments in different areas.  Additionally, he talked about how Oberlin, OH (home of Oberlin College) is working to recreate part of downtown Oberlin in a fundamentally green manner.  He discussed elements of designs where roads are designed for pedestrians rather than for vehicles, buildings generate their own energy, landscaping is environmentally useful.  His talk was really informative and exciting to see developing research in a field that will most definitely need to implemented in the coming future.

The other speaker, David Orr, discussed more logistics and had a very serious tone.  He discussed the problems at hand with global climate change and how we as a human population are fundamentally responsible for it.  He discussed his role and the success of a town in northern Kansas City.  A few years ago it was a dying community once founded on industry and railroads.  However, it was recently hit with a devastating tornado storm that wiped out the entire community.  The city, rather than move to surrounding communities, decided to rebuild the city using green technologies.  They sought advice for Orr and Berkebile and were both advisors to the project.  The new town is one of the pioneer communities that fully utilizes LEED and green buildings.  The town has taken off and has become surprisingly successful, especially after such a drastic tragedy.  This city has become an example, of how to build cities using green design.

This presentation was very insightful and rewarding.  This field has been something that I have been interested in but new little about.  However, after learning about up and coming projects as well as challenges that the human population will surely face in the coming future it is imperative that we consider implementing these new concepts into our building designs.  Although it is scary to consider where we will end up if we continue on the road we are going now, after attending the lecture it is easing to hear the work being done and how it has been effective in the small percentage of buildings that have chosen to implement these concepts. 

-Chris

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