Sunday, March 13, 2011

Guest Lecturer on Sustainability

Last week we had a guest lecturer in from Dalhousie University, the College of Sustainability.

The two hour lecture was scheduled to substitute my last class of the day, so by the time I dragged my feet in I was fully expecting a rehash of An Inconvenient Truth. Instead, Professor Steven Mannell succeeded in not only stimulating my midterm-bloated brain, but also made me a little homesick for all things Eastern Canadian.

After a brief anecdote about buying eggs at the grocery store (being aware of where products come from, ethical issues [i.e. how the chicken is treated], mileage to get to said grocery store, packaging...etc.), Professor Mannell turned to the field of architecture and design, and how the considerations taken into account when buying eggs at the grocery store could be applied when designing.

It was a lot to take in. Basically, I got that being environmentally-friendly is not simple, but with enough initiative, is doable.

He touched on some really great new concepts that I've never heard of. Great things such as "Ball Former" Technology, which is recycled content, molded into a ball, and placed strategically within concrete slab to reduce the amount of concrete used, while simultaneously reducing dead weight.

He also talked about sustainable communities...

Solar-Powered Community: Drake Landing, Okotoks, Alberta

And other off-the-grid communities...

Drop City, Colorado

Dome Housing, Drop City, Colorado

It was an intriguing two hours, especially after Professor Mannell proposed that Manhattan could be a prime example of a sustainable community... Why? Everybody walks everywhere.

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