Page N1.1 . 19 April 2006                     
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    Energy Concerns Mainstream

    by Evan H. Shu, FAIA

    In March 2006, architect and planner Bob Berkebile, FAIA addressed an overflow audience at the Building Energy '06 conference in Boston. He gave a stirring call to arms, saying that this was a powerful moment in human history.

    In describing the role of design professionals in solving the problems of climate change, Berkebile of BNIM Architects quoted his mentor, Buckminster Fuller: "the best way to predict the future is to design it." Berkebile added it was important to understand that even a platinum-rated LEED building is only doing "less damage" than a regular building.

    Although the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA), has been gathering design and renewable energy professionals for an annual conference for the past 31 years, this event broke attendance records and generated unprecedented excitement.

    No wonder. Oil prices have risen over the last year and threaten to continue climbing. Construction industry professionals are getting serious about alternative and renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and biofuel, along with advances in energy storage systems. Buildings are now being designed with higher concern for daylighting, LEED principles, and lifecycle costing.   >>>

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    The School of Nursing and Student Community Center at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, designed by BNIM Architects.
    Photo: Hester + Hardaway Photographers

    ArchWeek Image

    The School of Nursing and Student Community Center with rooftop solar panels.
    Photo: Hester + Hardaway Photographers

     

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