Written in an entertaining style, Jeff Speck’s Walkable City brings urban planning concepts to a place that anyone can understand. This book takes the concepts of Jane Jacobs’ The Death and Life of Great American Cities and draws upon loads of independent research to show how street design directly affects a place. You don’t have to be a designer to understand this book, which makes it a great introduction to the way that your city works (or doesn’t) for citizens and planners alike. Everyone should feel like their city gets better every day, and this books gives you the tools to understand some of the interconnected concepts of making a livable and vibrant city or town.
In case you missed it, we can now create new buildings that are so efficient that they can create most of the power they need onsite and it can be done at a very small or even no premium to standard buildings.
There are a few big challenges to widespread adoption:
1. We need to take Bold action.
2. Everyone involved needs to buy into the idea (Owners, builders, designers)
3. We need Simple, elegant, low cost tools to use to guide the infinite possibilities of a building design in the right direction. The Zero code is a straightforward set of code style rules that gets a new building on the path to zero-net-carbon without having to pay for a plaque.
I can’t say enough about this book. When I first read A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander it completely changed my outlook about what the built environment should strive for. The introductory book The Timeless Way of Building highlights the fact that humans are emotional creatures and that architecture should recognize this and be built to enhance the lives of the people that inhabit the places created. “A Pattern Language” takes that fuzzy concept of happiness, comfort and wholeness and details how to achieve it in the built environment with a scope that no book before or since has replicated. This books should be required reading for every architect, urban planner, engineer, and social activist.
As we strive to build towns and neighborhoods that are vibrant, lively and great places to live, we inevitably find that people being there are what makes them this way. It is not architectural acrobatics or parking lots that make great places, but interesting street life. Hopefully the paradigm of building everything so far apart from each other, which in turn creates personal automobile dependence, is drawing to a close. The question then is how do we re-imagine areas that were built with this thinking into vibrant and essential places?
If you are thirsty for more people-focused town design, The Congress for New Urbanism is a collection of people that have made it their mission to answer these sorts of questions; inspiring towns, cities and their inhabitants to work towards making their places better every day.
Green Building November 13th Luncheon: Designing for Sustainability in Division 8: Architectural Aluminum Framing
This course will give attendees an overview of how standard architectural aluminum framing products offered in Division 8: Glass & Glazing can be a key element of a design team’s LEED strategy. Standard components offered in architectural aluminum framing products can be major drivers for potential points in three categories: Enery and Atmosphere; Materials and Resources and Indoor Environmental Quality.
Total building construction costs and LEED strategies do not need to work against each other. A cost effective LEED strategy can be achieved in part by gaining an understanding of the proper application of many standard components and how they are best utilized. For example, improvements in thermal technology, along with higher performing insulated glass units, will increase the thermal performance of glazed elevations and enhance energy optimization. Additionally, proper use of shading devices allows for expanded glass areas, resulting in greater views and harvesting of natural light. Shading of the glazed area permits the use of glass with higher visible light transmission while reducing solar heat gain. And today, commercial windows are offered with triple glazed insulated glass units along with baffles in the aluminum profiles’ cavities to prevent heat transfer through convection. This allows for leveraging Thermal Comfort and Enhanced Indoor Air Quality without sacrificing energy performance.
Keep in mind that when putting together an aggressive LEED strategy there is no need to pay for custom products. A proper understanding of the efficient application of standard products can position your project for the LEED certification process.
Fee: $10 for members and $20 for nonmembers.
Our meeting space is generously donated by the City of Charlottesville.
Just a few blocks from Crozet’s downtown district is a little one acre parcel of land that was once the home to part of a much larger apple orchard. A few of the old apple trees remain and a tenacious grove of bamboo has colonized the stream bank. Today this plot is completely surrounded by houses, has public water, sewer and electricity, and is an easy walk from coffee shops, post office, a new Library, restaurants, stores and loads of small town charm.
The concept for this one acre parcel just north of the intersection of Jarman’s Gap Rd and Orchard Dr (two lots) in Crozet is to build two houses that have attached accessory units that even though they are attached, feel like their own completely separate houses. This is done by clever house and window placement, utilizing the existing topography as an advantage. The houses are designed to be net-zero ready, using such
little energy that a few solar panels on the roof or mounted remotely can power them while providing superior indoor air quality and comfort for the residents. The houses are placed on the site to capture their outdoor spaces, making them comfortable and loved. The grounds will be planted with native plants as well as non-invasive food producing orchard trees. The existing street will be lined with shade trees and rain gardens. The houses are also designed to fit in with the existing neighborhood’s one and two story ranches in scale, color and texture.
The Rotunda designed by Thomas Jefferson as the architectural and academic heart of the University’s community of scholars was completed in 1826. The extensive Rotunda renovation, which took from 2012 to 2016, included replacing the domed roof and the exterior column capitals, installing all new interior systems and refurbishing the Dome Room. Three new classrooms and additional study space were developed to encourage students to spend more time in the iconic core of the University. The challenge for this renovation came from meeting modern environmental standards while maintaining the historical integrity of the structure
The University received LEED-NC v2009 Silver certification for the Rotunda renovation project.
“The demolition was carefully managed to minimize the amount of material that was removed, and all of the waste was directed to a recycling service so that more than 95 percent of the materials that were removed from the building were recycled,” Brian Hogg, senior historic preservation planner, said. “The heating, cooling and plumbing systems were designed to be very efficient, and the HVAC has much greater ability to control the rooms for comfort. All of the lights in the building are LED, so in the Dome Room, for instance, the wattage needed to light the dome well is now about 25 percent of what was needed before the renovation. The paints, adhesives and sealants all included low volatile organic compounds.” Source: UVA Today, January 22, 2018, UVA’S VENERABLE ROTUNDA TAKES THE LEED by Matt Kelly
Led by Brian Hogg, Senior Historic Preservation Planner for the Office of the Architect for the University. Brian, the tour will guide visitors through details of the renovation and restoration of the Rotunda.
This course will be approved for 1 GBCI and AIA CEs
Due to space limitations this tour is for USGBC community members only. Register Here
The tour will begin on the south side of the Rotunda on the Lawn. Parking will be available at the Central Grounds Garage off Emmet Street.
Green Building April 10th Luncheon: Biophilic Building Design = Symbiotic Climate Response Solutions
Crozet, Virginia is becoming a vibrant, bustling, livable and walkable center. Within walking distance of all the amenities that this growing town has to offer in the heart of an existing neighborhood is the possibility of yet another community that shifts the focus away from the personal automobile to personal interaction. Click here to see the full design.
If you want to live here, invest in the concept, or help make it a reality please contact us.
On January 10th, Dr. Matthew Trowbridge, Associate Professor in the UVA School of Medicine’s Department of Emergency Medicine and Director of the UVA-USGBC Green Health Partnership will discuss his work to simulate application of an integrative process to advance public health and well-being outcomes in the context of building design and construction. The Green Health Partnership seeks to answer the question “How might we establish a culture of health by creating healthy places, together? By applying green building principles of market transformation to promote healthy places, the partnership looks to better define the value proposition for health promotion within the built environment, develop tools for building and public health practitioners to create healthy places, and build technical capacity to apply health promotion tools. Work towards these goals includes the development of frameworks, such as a LEED v4 pilot credit – Integrated Process for Health Promotion, training and workshops, partnerships such as with Enterprise Green Communities and GreenStar Australia, and market development through engagement with real estate investors and GRESB.
Dr. Trowbridge will be joined by Julia Monteith, UVA’s Senior Land Use Planner and Andrea Trimble, UVA’s Sustainability Director, who will discuss the application of research work in relation to UVA’s on-Grounds planning, design, construction, and broader sustainability initiatives.
This luncheon will be held at City Space, 100 5th St. NE, on the Downtown Mall, Charlottesville, VA. Doors open at 11:45 and the Seminar begins at 12:00. Luncheons are open to the public. Lunch is provided, attendance is free for GVGBC members and $10 for non members. Register Here