A non-partisan, neutral perspective supporting diversity in the color of water

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Living Building Wars

The weeklong intensive course in water governance and conflict transformation finished this week so the colors of water can be brought to the fore once again. The race for "living buildings" in the Pacific Northwest is leading to what might be best defined as "urban water wars" - searching for the "best" way to manage stormwater, reuse greywater, and other waters in the bulit environment.

Most of these projects are "public-private" partnerships, where the academies embed themselves within the buildings with laboratory facilities, research offices, etc. and businesses serve as the proverbial "guinea pig" for observation, measurement, and reporting. Consider The Center for Urban Waters in Tacoma, Washington. According to this article in the magazine "Inhabit", "Some of the other sustainable features included are a green roof to infiltrate storm water, solar passive design, daylighting, natural ventilation, geothermal heating and cooling, rainwater collection, grey water recycling for irrigation, a photovoltaic system, electric car charging stations and more. The Center for Urban Waters also includes “clean rooms” and a 75-foot dock has been constructed to accommodate water-monitoring vessels".  With the State of Washington's rules regarding greywater reuse currently under review, this reuse of greywater might happen (as long as it does not include kitchensink wastewater!).

The University of British Columbia is advertising "The Greenest Building in North America" where "...the on-site “Group Decision Environment Theatre” will supposedly “engage participants, including the public, in interactive simulations of building performance and use and alternative sustainability scenarios for the region” using large-scale video and audio displays".

Given that the Oregon Sustainability Center is undergoing finalization of design, it is unfortunate the designers don't  match the Center for Urban Waters and the University of British Columbia ideas except for *Z5-Z1* (The other buildings apparently recognize the value of ZERO IGNORANCE).

May the best Living Building Live.

1 comment:

  1. Nice work .Thanks for the share. Keep up writing so that we can get more informative blogs like this one.
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