Archive for the ‘Greenbuild’ Category

Lansdowne Live

Controversy has been brewing in Ottawa over a proposal to turn a brownfield site into a stadium, to be called Lansdowne Live. John E. Martin, an Ottawa businessman, has invited Sherwood Engineers to join a group of politicians, government officials, architects, developers and community leaders to a private breakfast meeting this Thursday, Aug. 27, to discuss the situation. Sherwood will be presenting a case study based on our experience turning a brownfield site into a stadium in San Francisco. We will let keep you updated about the project as the dialogue continues.


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Bry Sarte, Sherwood’s founder and Principal, will be speaking next Thursday, June 11 in Denver at the 17th Congress for the New Urbanism, aka CNU. The panel is entitled “Achieving Sustainability Using Form-Based Codes and the Transect“, and Bry’s co-panelists include Daniel Parolek, Principal at Opticos Design; Leslie Oberholtzer, Director of Planning at Farr Associates and John Hitchcock, Planning and Evaluation Branch Chief at Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

Here is the panel abstract:

Form-Based Codes have proven to be highly effective tool for enabling communities to implement their sustainability goals in many aspects ranging from reducing carbon emission by promoting compact development to promoting green infrastructure, stormwater management, and the integration of agriculture into projects. In addition, the Organizing Principle of the Transect, is being used to create systems and standards for everything from complete streets and sustainable infrastructure to standards that address complex environmental thresholds at a regional scale. This session will discus how these tools how they are being utilized to effectively implement various aspects of sustainability and what lessons are being learned.

If you are planning on attending CNU 17, please come attend the panel, which will be on Thursday at 2pm.

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This was Sherwood’s 3rd annual trip to Greenbuild, and it was exhilarating and exciting to see nearly 30,000 people turn out in Boston to indulge in some “Revolutionary Green.” Despite the freezing cold Boston welcome, the event was bigger, the booths were bigger, and it’s obvious that while Green may still be Revolutionary to some, it’s definitely here to stay. People from all over the country and around the world were in attendence, and companies from every sector are getting in on the action.

And while a few of the old hands may miss the early pioneering days of the Green Building Council, it’s obvious that this movement has moved beyond builders, archiects, and engineers and caught the attention of business, community and political leaders as well.

By day we hosted folks at our booth, which was a great success. Thanks to everybody who came by! It was great to see old friends, and meet new folks as well.

Original Cliff Garten Art at our Booth

Original Clint Imboden Art at our Booth

By night we celebrated, co-sponsoring a party at the beautiful Artists for Humanity gallery to celebrate the opening of our new Cambridge office. Toasting old and new friends with local Harpoon Brewery Ale was definitely a highlight. The World Green Building Council, Nexus Green-Round Table and others also threw notable festivities “full of fun energetic green people,” says Mike Thornton.

There were notable speeches by Desmond Tutu, who basically said, “You guys rock.” In a very funny and inspiring speech he praised the election in US, saying what an amazing country we were and encouraging everybody there to think about green. Not being concerned about the environment is like not being concerned about human rights violations, said Tutu.

Echoing his statements, speakers Van Jones, author of “The Green-Collar Economy” and Majora Carter of Sustainable South Bronx talked about their efforts to ensure that the Green Revolution is all-inclusive, and socially equitable by bringing together “the folks that most need work with the work that most needs to be done.”

The closing plenary by legendary biologist EO Wilson, and “Biomimicry” author Janine Benyus were especially interesting, as these noted scientists pointed out new tools that can aid us in saving and understanding the natural world.

EO Wilson’s “Encyclopedia of Life” is an effort to catalogue the millions of species on earth – many fast disappearing, or too long ignored. Benyus’ Asknature.org is a site that describes biological solutions to technical challenges, allowing us to draw on Nature’s billions of years of research devising materials, transportation, shelter, and power generation.

Despite the economic crisis this year, Greenbuild 2008 once again confirmed that sustainable solutions are the best chance we have of creating a thriving, prosperous world for all of us.

The challenge now will be to wade through all the buzz and hype. To weed out the greenwashers, take a hard look at the easy answers, and avoid unintended consequences. There is still much work to be done to bring Green mainstream, but we’ve got an exciting year ahead of us, and we’ve already reserved our booth for next year’s Greenbuild in Phoenix, AZ.

We’ll see you there for: “Mainstreet Green: Connect to the Conversation.”

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We’re very pleased to announce that Sherwood Design Engineers is bringing sustainable engineering to Boston. We are expanding our East Coast presence with the opening of our newest office in Cambridge, just two blocks from Harvard Square.

To celebrate our new office, we invite you to join us at our 2nd annual Greenbuild Afterparty in conjunction with Building Green, Harley Ellis Devereaux, and others.

The gathering will be Tuesday evening, the night of Member Day and the night before the conference officially starts. It will start at 8pm, to allow folks to attend other events first and/or to get into town.

The venue is the Artists for Humanity Epicenter building, a LEED Platinum space that houses the AFH program for teen arts education. The space is a great party space, near the convention center and the subway.

So join us at our Greenbuild afterparty:

Tuesday November 18th. 8:00 – 11:00 pm
Artist for Humanity’s Epicenter Building
100 West Second St. Boston, MA 02127

Please also come visit us at our booth at the Greenbuild Conference – #2439 – learn about our latest projects and tell us about yours. Our booth will open November 18th at 5:30 and close November 20th at 6pm.

And stop by our new Cambridge office:

Sherwood Design Engineers, Cambridge
1280 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
main [617] 354.9800

For more information visit us online:

Sherwood Design Engineers – Now in Boston and Ready for Your Business!

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Offset Certificate
Sherwood Design Engineers has purchased 30 tons of carbon offsets on behalf of the nearly 100 people who stopped by our booth at the 2007 Greenbuild Expo in Chicago!

This year, as an offering to the planet, we thought a fun, but real way to engage people at Greenbuild would be to have an interactive program, where folks leave us their name or business card on our Carbon Tree, and we make a carbon offset on their behalf. So instead of giving out something to take home with you, we’re giving back something we can all share.

It’s our way of contributing to the spirit of Greenbuild, which is finding creative ways to reduce the environmental impacts of our lives. Because even if you’re reading this on a solar-powered laptop, and travel exclusively by bicycle we’re all responsible together – not just for our cumulative carbon emissions – but for finding solutions to environmental challenges.

We’re purchasing our offsets with a Native American owned company called Native Energy that invests in Wind Power projects.

So “Thanks!” to all of you who came by our booth and participated! You can scroll below to see your names.

Carbon Offsets

“Reduce what you can and offset the rest!”
The idea behind offsetting is that no matter how hard you try, you’re still going to be responsible for some polluting carbon emissions. But offsetting those emissions can help reduce your impact on the environment by supporting reduction efforts equivalent to the amount you’re polluting.

Learn more about carbon dioxide and global warming here.
Learn about how carbon offsetting helps here.

Click here to find tips and strategies for reducing your carbon footprint.

Who are the offsets with?
The offset company is called Native Energy. It’s owned by Native Americans, and invests in wind projects to support Native American communities, while helping reduce our dependence on coal and oil. They are the same company used by Ben&Jerry’s, Seventh Generation, Clif Bar, and Annie’s among others.

How much are the offsets equivalent to?
Our Carbon Offset Program was very popular this year, and we’re pleased to announce that we were able to purchase an offset equivalent to over 600 pounds for each of the participants! This amount is roughly equivalent to the Co2 emitted by 2 full tanks of gas in a regular car, or a plane ticket from New York to Chicago.

What else is Sherwood doing to be a green company?
As a firm we’re dedicated to greenbuilding practices and sustainability. We’ve done low impact design, ecological master-planning, built one of the first residential rainwater harvesters, we routinely work on LEED Gold and Platinum projects, and we’ve helped write sustainabiity standards for ecological development. Our founder is actually speaking on Friday about watershed management….

But aside from all that, we’re a Green Business certified by the city of San Francisco, and we have an Office Greening program that we actually write about here on our blog.

2007 Greenbuild Carbon Offset Program Participants

Peggy Christie Christie Designs  
Jim Leahy Gaia Development  
Christopher Sbarbaro Parkson Corporation Vernon Hills, IL
Gunther Berg Aim Engineering LLC Plymouth, WI
Amy Hebard Earth Sense Syracuse, NY
Armando Hernandez Pinnacle East Central Islip, NY
Todd Degner The Care of Trees Wheeling, IL
Olivia Swinehart PermaPave Industries, LLC Jericho, NY
Jessica Marsolek Leo A Daly Minneapolis, MN
Esther Margulies Mia Lehrer & Associates Los Angeles, CA
Gregory Williams Bailey Edward Architecture Chicago, IL
Ann Kohler Midwest Home Minneapolis, MN
Claudio Teitelbaum Joal Teitelbaum Brazil
Randy Sauer Mulvanny G2 Architecture Portland, OR
Michele Siewart Innomation Inc. Phillips, WI
Gabrielle Fladd Carducci Landscape Architects San Francisco, CA
Alfred Sena Rio Rancho Public Schools Rio Rancho, NM
Whitney Powers Studio A Architecture Charleston, SC
Deborah Lee Leo A Daly Minneapolis, MN
Jennifer Prince Sustainable Furniture Council Chapel Hill, NC
Jeremy Calleros Gauger Arquitectonicageo Miami, FL
Travis Stanton Exhibitor Magazine Rochester, MN
Cathy Thompson Business Office Systems Itasca, IL
Hal Alguire Directorate of Public Works Fort Carson, CO
Sarah Staten A.L. Huber General Contractor Overland Park, KS
Mark Turner ABDO Development Washington, DC
Margaret Cummins Wiley Hoboken, NJ
Matt Owen Taylor Metal Products, Inc Salem, OR
Michael Wellman University of Michigan  
Mike Pile Sunlink PV Integration Systems Larkspur, CA
Renee Koellmer    
Christian Montminy IDG World Expo Framingham, MA
Michael Green Berkshire Development, LLC Springfield, MA
Nicole D’Entremont interior design Malden, MA
Donna Hartman ZENON Membrane Solutions Oakville, ON
William Davies Davies Office Refurbishing, Inc. Albany, NY
Bryan Eastman Hitchcock Design Group Chicago, IL
Edwin Lim Tze Meng structural engineering student Singapore
Victor Wolbrink Wolbrink Architects Chicago, IL
Miguel Elliot ChiCobCo Chicago, IL
Rene Romero
Robert Vierow
Heather Wiskes
Bate Blair
Jeremy Poling
Robert Nutter
Scott Sylvia
Bernard Hasten
Allen Ward
Amy Carpus
Meredith Powell
Megan Scott
Margaret Parsons
Stephen Hamstra
Clark Wilson
Debra Callaway
Paul Kephart
Tiffney Tyng Gulick
Lois Vitt Sale
Renier Schepers
Catherine Wilt
Susan Long
Erik Henson
Keven Graham
Eric Wiskes
Lori McCall Vierow
Daniel Kanow
Cathryn Barret
Darrell Garrison
Gus Reid
Kang Kiang
Shannon Criss
James Norstrom
Rich Gorrill
Jill Paskoff
John White
Phil Franco
Kate McNichols
Monte Ypma
Robert Hoang
Guy DiVosta
Heather McIntire
Allison Goldman
Todd Crandell
Doug Kot
Donnie Brown
Bruce Fowle

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Greenbuild Update

We’re fresh back from Greenbuild, and fired up by the words of Bill Clinton, Rick Fedrizzi, Paul Hawken, Ed Mazria, and many many more. With well over 20,000 people, the crowds and lines were sometimes daunting, but taking a step back, the sheer number of folks dedicated to Green Building is also quite inspiring. As Rick Fedrizzi put it, “Fifteen years ago Green Building was just a good idea…Today, it’s a Global Movement.”

In that spirit, here’s a ‘Heads Up’ look at some of my favorite quotes from Greenbuild 2007:

Rick Fedrizzi, President and CEO of the US Green Building Council started things off by crunching the numbers:

  • “12,000 organizations strong representing employees, shareholders and communities of citizens that number in the millions.”
  • “3.2 billion – yes BILLION – square feet, of LEED buildings in every state and 41 countries.”
  • “12 federal agencies, 25 states, and more than 100 municipalities have adopted LEED as the benchmark for their own public building portfolios…”
  • “40,000 professionals are LEED accredited, with 50 more taking the exam every business day.

“Behind every one of these numbers is the work that people like YOU do every day, and because of that work … WE are changing our world . . .”He spelled out the dream of Greenbuild: “Green buildings for everyone within a generation!”

He spoke about how this could help revitalize all of America, not just the lucky (very few really) who can afford to attend fancy conferences:

“Green Collar jobs are the kinds of jobs that can bring prosperity to American communities that today are languishing because of flat wages, and economic stagnation. Think about disadvantaged youth, or returning servicemen and women, those whose outsourced manufacturing jobs left them economically stranded. With more than 100 million individuals employed in the building and construction industry today… Just think about what we could accomplish if we all embraced that vision. Let’s also not forget that Green Affordable Housing MUST be a part of this equation.”

And about our responsibility to our children’s future:

“Just last year there were more LEED rated Prisons in the United States than there were K-12 Schools, and THAT Ladies and Gentlemen is the REAL crime. This issue is very important to USGBC, and we think each and every school should be green with no exceptions.”

“Kids in green schools can achieve 20% better test scores with a 28% better reading retention and a respiratory illness reduction of up to 40%. And flat out, green schools save money. The annual operational savings of ONE green school would pay for two new teachers, or 250 new computers, or 5,000 new textbooks. I’d challenge anyone to find a better community investment strategy.”

“Our new schools website – buildgreenschools.org –… is a place to commit to the green schools challenge. When you leave here today, go to the site and make your commitment. Let’s show the world the power we have when we commit to change.”

When the President of UTC, one of the largest technology companies in the world, told the crowd, “91% of Total Energy coming from the ground is wasted to get 9% useful work,” Rick replied, “That opportunity is huge, so lets go after it!”

Bill Clinton calls Green a “Staggering Economic Opportunity”:

“All new construction – all of it – should be green,” said Clinton, calling a green economy, “The biggest opportunity to create broad-based prosperity since WWII.”

“In 18 months we’ll be racing to see who can make the most energy positive buildings.”

“We’re not so good at complaining, and being divided, our heart’s not in it. But when Americans are in the solutions business, there’s really nobody better. We have to prove to ourselves and the rest of the world that this is not only something we have to do to save the planet, and our kids, but a staggering economic opportunity as well.”

He said lots more too, and you can watch the video at Greenbuild365.org .

Ed Mazria of Architecture 2030 says, “There is a Silver Bullet: No More Coal.”

The ice caps are melting, the seas are rising, this much we know. What we don’t fully appreciate yet, says Mazria, is that this could spell the end of our entire 200 year experiment as a nation.

On his website you’ll find the amazing depictions of how inundating a one-meter rise in sea level will be to hundreds of our coastal cities. But unlike New Orleans, these floodwaters will not be receding anytime soon. And while Hurricane Katrina impacted cities across the country with refugees, if half our cities sink at once, there will be no place for the literally millions of people to go.

Ed is going around asking the best minds in the country to solve this problem:

“The average house uses 42,000 btu’s of energy a year per square foot. Even in rainy, cloudy Seattle, over 650,000 btu’s of energy per square foot fall on your house. So I’ll give you 650,000 btu’s, distributed free to your site. You have to convert it into 42,000 btu’s of usable energy. Raise your hand if you can’t do it.”

Typically, nobody raises their hand, he says. “If we put our best minds to it – within a year we can solve this problem.”

“There’s just 2 things you need to do: Stop Coal. Be aggressive about it, make your voice heard, give support to those in your community who are doing it. And implement the 2030 Challenge. This is how we yank our kids out of the street of oncoming disaster.”

Paul Hawken feels Hot!

“I tested my DNA and found out I was Italian and Portuguese…Suddenly I felt hot, my skin got darker…so much of who we are is in our minds…But these identities have been used to divide us. What unites us is so much more important.”

In his new book Blessed Unrest, he talks about how the many millions of organizations fighting for social justice, environmental restoration and indigenous rights function like a global immune system. “We are doing something collectively we don’t understand individually. There is a magnificence, an intelligence that we have together that we don’t have individually.”

“There is a quadrillion cells in each of you, 90% of which are not human. You’re a community. Every second 1 to the 24 activities are going on inside you, 10x more than all the stars in the known universe. So the first question is: Can you feel it?….. If you don’t think you can, wait until you die and compare the difference.”

“So, the next question is, who’s in charge? Hopefully not you. Hopefully not the Bush administration.”

“We are moving from a world created by and for privilege to a world created by community. The USGBC is a community. You are a community, it’s inside you, you can feel it.”

“There are over a billion buildings in the world. What do we do in these buildings? We eat, and pray, we work and shop, we sleep and make love…But when our buildings destroy the roots of civilization they are not civilized.”

“We’ll be at the stroke of midnight for the rest of our lives…It’ll be tough. But Life is opportunistic, and so are we, like those cells that started out 40 million centuries ago in sulfurous vents in the ocean, and those cells are in you. There’s a molecule of my breath in you, and of Columbus, and Rachel Carson. We are exquisitely stitched together.”

“Your gift is you get to re-imagine, re-design, re-configure everything – so that civilization doesn’t just endure, but…(something poetic)…greatness.”

“This isn’t about making money. It’s about making meaning.”

We Are Revolutionary Green: Boston 2008.
There were many more inspiring thoughts and comments, and we’d love to hear your favorites, so drop us a line. Otherwise….See you in Boston!

Photo of the Grand Ballroom at McCormick Place West courtesy of Mateofiero.

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Wow, Green Build 2007 with over 20,000 participants. The green movement is strong!

It was a great venue to meet old colleagues from around the nation. A time to catch up on what city were leading what issues.

  • Portland designers question what they had to do to be perceived as the reigning leaders
  • San Francisco proud of their cutting edge public and municipal policies
  • Austin leaders cracking down on truth, justice, and the individuals right to PAH free waters
  • Chicago intellects plowing ahead with expand view of beyond just the green building
  • New York City tackling long term planning

Yes, each city doing their part to push Green Building design. But I was quite glad to see the focus shift beyond the “Building” and focus to the “Green”.

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