I am so NOT prone to using exclamation points when I write, in text copy as well as headlines. But the topic of this article warrants it.
In this story of the April/May/June edition of Green Building + Design, I write about an ugly building that is LEED-certified green. It’s owned by Con-way Freight, a Michigan-based, international surface transportation carrier that has accomplished very significant things in the realm of going green. For example, with the simple use of new delivery-planning software they have cut 124,000 miles driven by their 9,600 trucks every single day.
But the larger story is this: The trucking industry has worked cooperatively with the EPA over the last several years to develop best-practices to the benefit of all. Trucking firms are working with greater efficiency and less gas is being used. This is a stark contrast from the more common perception that regulation is a cost burden on business. As Randy Mullett, Con-way’s vice president of government relations and public affairs, explained to me, “Fuel is the second biggest expense to our company. Economics, customer interest, and regulatory encouragement drove this program. It saves us about $25 million per year.’”
To me, that is worth an exclamation point.
Philadelphia architect Alvin Holm, who champions classical design in his work, was a delight to interview for this story I wrote for American Builders Quarterly (September 2011, from the link navigate to page 93). Trained in the mid-20th century in all that mid-century modern architecture was meant to be, Holm found his way back to classicism in the 1980s and never came back.
He describes with gusto his classical parlor design for an Irish pub as a place “where a multitude of happy drinkers gather every evening in a Corinthian saloon.” Holm also worked on the 19th century galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which he says was a victory for the paintings it held: “The previous interior was one big Miesian universal space, like an airplane hangar. Museum-goers were confused. People respond better to a universe that is orderly, where you do not need to know much to get it. The museum functions now as an organism, where all the parts related harmoniously to the others – the paintings to walls, the walls to the rooms, and one set of galleries to all the others.”
Note: I write frequently about architecture, landscape architecture, building, construction, infrastructure, urban planning, green building, public housing and community development for American Builders Quarterly, Green Building & Design and Pothole.info.