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Large Scale Projects - Design Charrettes
Going green in New Orleans is not just about the Saint Patrick's Day parade, although this unique parade is well worth seeing. There are other green projects and events happening in NOLA as well as we head toward the 2014 Greenbuild conference and expo on October 22-24 of 2014. One project of special note is the deep green/energy retrofit of a converted historic barge board home into the new headquarters for Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development or CSED. (Click on Image at left to read article)
Here is a direct quote from the article: The Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development (CSED) has the unique opportunity to remodel a 130-year-old historic barge board house into an Energy Efficiency Educational Center (EEE) for residents and community of the Lower Ninth Ward.
The space will showcase energy efficiency upgrades and serve as an educational center for the community. The house will be remodeled keeping with its original barge board design.
The EEE Center will be equipped with truth windows giving guest the ability to ‘peak through’ the construction and see the types of energy efficiency upgrades that have been made to the house. Placards will accompany the truth windows explaining the upgrades, their benefits and the amount of savings as a result of the upgrade.
Finally, the EEE Center will have a room dedicated to teaching classes and do-ityourself (DIY) workshops for the community.
Public review and participation is encouraged for this CSED retrofit project and architectural designs will be posted on this website, as well as other related construction and material details.
(Click on Image at right to view entire magazine - article is on page 18)
There is a national effort underway to determine if deep* energy and/or sustainable retrofits are cost-justified. There have been multiple surveys taken over the years that have asked questions like; 'Do you think preserving the environment is important' or 'Is protecting the environment important to you' and the answer is typically and predictably 'yes'. However, when the feel-good idea of preserving the environment encounters the reality of investing cold, hard cash in order to reduce consumption of energy, water or other important resources, many people opt to not move forward unless there is some assurance that the money would be well spent.
First of all, not every green or energy efficiency item will provide a substantial rate-of-return or ROI. Replacing carpet with bamboo flooring makes perfect environmental sense but might not be justified through an economic payback calculation. Replacing a gravel driveway with permeable pavement is an admirable retrofit project but, since gravel is also permeable, the environmental impact is probably negligible. Certain energy and green retrofit items just do not provide a high ROI but are still well worth doing.
Ideas are like gold and ideas put into action are like gold on steroids. Every building you see, every product you buy and every mode of transportation that you use began as an idea. You could say that objects we use everyday began as someone's idea and then transformed into an actual product.
Why does this matter? Because most ideas do not make it to the final product stage. In fact, most ideas do not exist long enough to be jotted onto scratch paper or into any type of electronic device you might happen to have handy. Most ideas are simply that: Ideas
It is the ideas that we put into action that can help keep us comfortable, protect us from the elements, move us from one place to another and put food on our tables. Our earth that we all share is comprised of finite resources. However, our minds can propose unlimited ideas. When limited resources meet boundless ideas then new possiblities can and do spring to life.
Just like ideas put into action, every project has a beginning, an action (construction) phase and an ending. If a project has the benefit of many minds offering ideas to produce a better ending then this project will most likely exceed expectations when completed. In essence, "Anything is possible if we put our minds to it.", is not just a trite, 'feel good' saying. There is much truth to it.
DesignCharrette.com (DC.com) is an online communication and collaboration platform that facillitates the exchange of ideas. More than that, DC.com helps project owners locate and engage charrette facilitators. DC.com helps charrette facilitators locate, evaluate and engage qualified design team members to form "Integrated Design Teams". DC.com helps introduce new products, design concepts, research materials and other items to numerous to mention here. DC.com is here to help you create, design, construct, commission and experience a better end result.
It is our hope that DC.com is beneficial to you and your project(s). We hope that you like our idea!