On Saturday, the San Francisco Chronicle did a piece on the Old Mint Plaza, one of our recent projects. Sherwood helped design the plaza layout and raingardens you see here, as well as the underground systems you can’t see, that serve the important function of retaining and treating stormwater. The article points out that interactivity is the key to good design:
“These clearings in the urban jungle point to what we can expect as the city grows; the best designs and spaces will be interactive in the way these plazas are, with new stores, arts and music venues and digital playgrounds.
They are interactive in the simplest way – you walk through them. In addition, venues linked to them use technology to make it possible for visitors to personalize their experience, whether it is while looking at art or engaging with a history museum.”
We look forward to working on more projects like this, which reclaim streetscapes from car-use to true community use, and make the city better both socially and environmentally. Take a walk down 5th street between Market and Mission, and see for yourself!
Green Building Forum: High Performance Affordable Housing
Wednesday, Jan 16. 3:30 – 5 pm.
Hafele NY Showroom, 25 E. 26th St, New York, NY
Many banks, housing organizations, and advocates are now requiring that their affordable housing developments be “green”. Listen to the experience of developers, bankers, and consultants who have successfully completed high performance green buildings in New York City. Some of these buildings use 65% less heating energy per sq ft than typical multifamily buildings in NYC.
By attending this session, participants will learn:
- Successful developers have built affordable housing that meets LEED and/or Energy Star standards and performs spectacularly.
- The most effective technologies are not the bells and whistles, but tried and true technologies, some decades old, which are fully proven in the field.
- Energy usage in affordable housing can be substantially lower than projected if it’s done right!
Speakers: Mark Zimet: Mark is the Director of Development for Dunn Development, one of the most successful affordable housing developers in NYS. Les Bluestone: Les is the co-founder of Blue Sea Development Company, LLC, and has been involved in the real estate development and construction industries for over 27 years.
Launch Party! Green Pubs Initiative
Wednesday, Jan 16. 9 pm. Elixir Bar: 16th and Guerrero, Mission District SF
In conjunction with Elixir, Green&Tonic is launching the Green Pubs initiative for San Francisco. G&T already has 3 bars in line to be “greened.” After assessing the chosen bars, we hold fundraisers to replace the not-so-sustainable components, i.e. leaky toilets, energy sucking appliances and toxic cleaning supplies.
Correcting the poor state of the environment will have to come from individual citizens, not just major policies. Green&Tonic is putting forth this incentive to educate the public on how this is done in an easy and celebrated way in a familiar setting. We also enjoy drinking at bars, so this is a good way to do that as well.
Presentation: Approaches to Sustainable Urbanism
Thursday, Jan 17. 7-9 pm. Ecology Center: 2530 San Pablo Ave. Berkeley
Armed with just a folding bike, David Baker will reflect on the different approaches to sustainable urbanism that he encountered a recent tour of major European cities. He will share ideas and images from Towards Car-Free Cities conference in Istanbul, Paris’s Velib bicycle program, effects of London’s congestion tax. David Baker FAIA has been practicing architecture for nearly 30 years, with a focus on sustainable affordable housing.
COMPOSTMODERN: Sustainable Solutions in the Design Community
Saturday, Jan 19. 8:30 am to 5:30 pm
Academy of Art University: Morgan Auditorium | 491 Post Street, San Francisco
Sustainability is all the rage. Is it all just marketing hype or is there a genuine paradigm shift afoot? Either way, what possibilities and implications does this present for designers?
Compostmodern is an interdisciplinary design conference dedicated to promoting sustainable solutions within the design community at large. We hope you’ll join emcee Joel Makower, Chairman and Executive Editor of GreenBiz.com, opening keynote speaker Alex Steffen, Executive Editor at Worldchanging and closing keynote speaker Adam Werbach, CEO of Act Now Productions, for a day of turning idealism into actual business practice as we explore solutions for making the world a better place (and further define design’s place in it).
Have a great week!