USGBC Sustainable Bike Tour this Friday

This week is the USGBC Rocky Mountain Green Conference.  After learning about a bike tour for event attendees to different sustainably-oriented building projects in Denver, I had Clayton Bartzcak from Ambient Energy tell us a bit more about the event.. See below.  Thanks Clayton!  If you’re planning on attending Rocky Mountain Green, this might be something interesting to participate in:

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Join us on the third annual USGBC Bike Tour of green buildings in downtown Denver!

Enhance your Rocky Mountain Green conference experience by joining us on a Bike Tour of exciting sustainable projects throughout downtown Denver! This is an enjoyable way to earn GBCI or AIA Continuing Education hours and get to know Denver at the same time. Don’t have a bike? Don’t worry, Denver B-Cycle has agreed to provide bikes for anyone that needs one for this tour so you’re covered! Participants are welcome to bring their own bikes as well.

The tour will begin at the B-Cycle station at 19th and Market. We will tour several diverse types of sustainable projects including residential, office, mixed use, and urban agriculture sites. Tour stops will include the Renaissance Stout Street Lofts, the Colorado Convention Center’s Blue Bear Farm, the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado’s newly renovated home at the Alliance Center, and the Union Station development area. We will finish off the tour with a rooftop networking happy hour event – everyone’s usually pretty thirsty after all the biking!

The tour will take place on Friday April 18th from 1pm to 5pm and is limited to attendees of Rocky Mountain Green. The regular conference educational sessions and speakers will take place on Thursday April 18th at the Embassy Suites in downtown Denver. Each year, the U.S. Green Building Council Colorado convenes a diverse audience of built environment professionals to learn from each other and spread the good word of green building. The Rocky Mountain Green conference provides third party reviewed green building education sessions and is produced by U.S. Green Building Council Colorado staff and volunteers.

Don’t miss out on this fun way to tour green building projects in downtown Denver, all from the comfort of a bicycle! Sign up today at http://www.rockymountaingreen.com.

Balancing Scales of Sustainability

A few months ago, in the early throes of a fruitless job search (literally fruitless – being unemployed and broke, I couldn’t afford fruit), I offered a single word as my driving professional goal: ‘sustainability’. While recognizing that (for me) it transcends mere building performance or energy generation, I still couldn’t offer a clear interpretation of it, spouting instead some ambiguous definition – ‘the ability of a system to sustain itself’.

So what the hell does that even mean, Kev? How does that even RELATE to architecture?

Forgive me for the following stream-of-thought as I struggle for an answer…

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Venn and the Art of ‘Sustainability Maintenance’

Venn diagram showing relationship between sustainability, building performance, and solar power

Building performance is only a piece of sustainability, and solar power is only a small part of building performance

December was an interesting time to graduate. With several holidays immediately succeeding the celebration, I had little time in those first few weeks to reflect on leaving studenthood behind. I enjoyed time spent with family. I reconnected with friends I had hardly spoken with in years, catching up on all the stories missed, just… enjoying myself. And my freedom…

… until The Inevitable Question would come at me like the coffee shakes after a French press on an empty stomach. ”So what kind of architecture do you want to practice?”

Immediately sweating, I would stammer an answer…

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