March 16, 2005Thanks to Eva Hanhardt, Jessica Wooliams and Paul Stoller for their discussion of green initiatives at various institutions. We’d also like to thank our hosts at Pratt Institute, Manhattan campus.
â€œAdvocate, educate, and actâ€ â€œStart with the low hanging fruit and build on it.â€ â€œTaking it beyond compliance to environmental excellenceâ€ â€œBuildings and landscape should do more; the systems should do less.â€ â€œThe process by which you arrive at results is critical.â€
Greening an office, an organization, an institution, a government requires changes that can seem daunting. It requires changing the way it views everyday tasks and the way it does business. It requires system change. Universities around the country are beginning to change the system with new building and purchasing practices, new courses, and student involvement. The speakers of Greenhome NYCâ€™s March forum described the strategies and programs universities are employing to make their campuses more sustainable.
Eva Hanhardt, Visiting Assistant Professor, Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment at Pratt Institute, along with her colleagues Tony Gelber, Director, Physical Plant, and Samara Swantson, Visiting Assistant Professor, outlined Prattâ€™s Initiatives, which focus on the Brooklyn campus and include architectural courses, a Masters in Environmental Planning, class on planning for sustainable campus, studio projects, and the campus-wide Sustainable Pratt organization. Mr. Gelber laid out the three important actions necessary to green the campus: ADVOCATE, EDUCATE, and ACT. â€œGreening is change,â€ Mr. Gelber states. To achieve this change, you must first:
- Make little green steps
- Green the people
- Green the process
- Focus on bricks and mortar
Jessica Woolliams from Harvard Green Campus Initiative outlined the five components of the Ivy League universityâ€™s green strategy. The Initiative was born out of interest from the faculty to move sustainability beyond the discussions of environmental issues to practical and actual projects. Last fall, Harvard’s President approved the strategy, allowing it to apply to Harvardâ€™s design, construction, maintenance, and operations, even on the new Alston campus. The strategy includes:
- Green buildings
- Behavior change
- Loan fund
- Renewable energy
- Institutional change
- Educate students to turn off their computers when not in use. When left on, it costs on average $120 per computer per year to power a computer; however, when the power is only left on during use. That cost drops to $20 per computer each year; a savings of $100 per student, which really adds up when one takes into account the number of students on campus.
- Pay students for a couple of hours a week in undergraduate dorms to educate students and building managers on energy efficiency.
- Foster peer-to-peer education of building managers. Harvard has 400 buildings in all with plenty of experienced building managers from whom others can learn. They have the expertise in best environmental practices.
- Hold an undergraduate poster contest. Students are invited to develop and submit cartoons about energy awareness. This year there were 50 entries.
Paul Stoller, Director at Atelier Ten, began his presentation identifying the big picture problem with greening large institutions. Similar to an oil tanker in the middle of an ocean, unlike a smaller boat, it takes a lot of time and will to turn around (or turn towards more sustainable practices). Thereâ€™s a time-scale issue. Another difficulty with sustainable development is it is hard to define and does not tell us what to do in buildings. Atelier Ten offers the following sustainability principle for its institutional clients: Buildings and landscape should do more; the systems should do less. The challenge of architecture is that inside climate differs from outside conditions. Nature provides great examples on how to overcome this disparity. For example, termites build mounts that have passive solar gates. Vernacular architecture, such as igloos, grass huts, and verandas in Charleston, is also very informative, as it was designed before many of todayâ€™s mechanical systems were in use. They are climate responsive. Even older NYC buildings, such as the Flat Iron building and Madison Square Hotel offer lessons with their sunshades on each window, design to allow breezes, louvers for daylight. The process by which you arrive at results in critical. You need to first set goals for what the building needs to do. The goal setting process leads to strategies to reach those goals and targets for performance, which then leads to the design strategies. For example, if the goal is to have a carbon neutral building, the target is to reduce demand for energy from fossil fuels and the strategy is to use energy efficient systems and to maximize the use of renewables on site. Paul used a project he worked on at Yale University to exemplify the process used to achieve the goal of more sustainable buildings. Atelier Ten was retained in 2001 to work on the Engineering Research Building, an energy intensive laboratory. (One fume hood uses as much energy as a 200,000 square foot residential house.) PROCESS FOR DESIGNING THE LABORATORY RENOVATION AT YALE
- Ask what does it mean to be a sustainable laboratory. Do site, wind, light, and climate analysis and match programming with the specifics of the site.
- Evaluate alternatives for basic heat recovery and other building needs
- Quantify costs and benefits. When possible, aim for a payback of two years.
Eva Hanhardt is Senior Advisor to the Planning Center at the Municipal Arts Society, having previously served as co-director and director of the Planning Center and co-director of the ImagineNY project. The ImagineNY project provided for broad public participation on New York City’s recovery and rebuilding after the tragedy of 9/11. The mission of the Planning Center is to support community-based planning in low and moderate-income communities in New York City. The Planning Center has hosted numerous exhibits and forums on planning, architecture and environmental topics such as community-based planning, brownfield redevelopment, and environmental education and sustainable design. Ms. Hanhardt came to the Municipal Art Society from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, where she was Director of the Environmental Economic Development Assistance Unit and of the Greenpoint/Williamsburg Environmental Benefits Program. In addition, Ms. Hanhardt worked for many years as a planner for the New York City Department of City Planning, most recently with the Waterfront Division, where she was one of the principal authors of the Comprehensive Waterfront Plan and Waterfront Zoning Text. She was the founding Executive Director of the Salvadori Educational Center on the Built Environment and has held planning positions at the New York City Department of Ports and Trade and the Community Service Society. Ms. Hanhardt has lectured and taught at a number of universities and is currently an adjunct professor of urban and environmental planning at Pratt Institute’s Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment and at Hunter College Department of Urban Affairs and PLanning. Ms. Hanhardt also serves on the Boards of New Partners for Community Revitalization, the Urban Agenda, NewYork 2050 and Green Ground Zero. Jessica Woolliams has been working in the area of environmental policy, project management and program development since 1999. She worked several years as a green building consultant in British Columbia, Canada, developing guidelines for green building development for the University of British Columbia, and contributing to the development of the Province of British Columbiaâ€™s Green Buildings BC (GBBC) program. For GBBC she developed performance targets and best practices guides; developed a series of case studies; provided education and outreach; identified barriers and opportunities for long term policy and developed the â€œGreen Checklistâ€ used by all new capital projects. See www.greenbuildingsbc.com for more information. She has published numerous papers and reports for civic and academic purposes, including a selection entitled: â€œDesigning Cities and Buildings As If They Were Ethical Choicesâ€ published by Oxford U Press (2001). Her current work at the Longwood Medical Campus has includes managing the Longwood Computer Energy Reduction Program; purchasing renewable electricity for two buildings on the Longwood campus; and LEED certification of a HSPH building. She has a Masters Degree in Urban Planning and a Bachelors Degree in English Literature and Urban Geography from British Columbia, as well as a diploma in Building Technology from BCIT. Paul Stoller is an associate director of atelier ten and manages the New York office. Having previously worked for atelier ten in London, he is experienced in the design of low energy buildings and the engineering of high performance systems. Specialist knowledge includes daylight design, radiant conditioning systems, innovative ventilation systems, and active thermal mass buildings. Currently teaching core courses on environmental design and building services at the Yale University School of Architecture, Paul also serves as a visiting lecturer at the Rural Studio at Auburn University and frequently speaks on environmental design for other architecture schools, practices, and conferences. Paul is a LEED Accredited Design Professional, and holds a B.S. and an M.A. in architectural history from the University of Wisconsin, and an M.Arch from Yale University.