Just returned from the Library Journal’s 2010 Design Institute in Atlanta, GA where I moderated a panel: Sustainable Libraries with or without LEED. On the panel with me:
We tackled whether or not LEED is “worth it” (yes); will it cost more (upfront, yes; long term – probably not); “must-have” green features (best answer: building owners willing to make the commitment to green the project); and “green” features to skip (showers in libraries to get the LEED point for bike racks and preferred parking spots for hybrid vehicles).
During the “green must-haves” portion of the discussion David Moore took me by surprise when he focused on water conservation. I was expecting everyone to focus on renewable energy (geothermal, solar) or energy efficient options as that is what has been most important here in New York, however, given that the overwhelming majority of the audience was from the South East (Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina) they were acutely attuned to the recent drought. Stories were told of people trying to capture the condensation off the air conditioning tubes for a little extra water and using buckets to capture the water coming out of the shower as it warmed up to a reasonable temperature. David expressed that he would be hard pressed not to incorporate water conservation (rain catchment, gray water recycling for toilets, landscaping etc.) features into future projects.
I’ll share more thoughts from this event this week but just wanted to share a bit about the experience as it is so fresh in my mind this morning!