Our American Discourse, Ep. 22: While the World Burns, a More Sustainable Future Is in the Making

At this very moment, wildfires rage across Southern California. Florida, Puerto Rico, and Texas are picking up the pieces from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. These are only the latest instances of an increasingly volatile and destructive climate. But there is hope. Even as the United States withdraws from the Paris Agreement “for Sustainable Development,” cities, states, and private companies are rushing to fill the void. Sustainability is becoming a win-win-win: environmentally, socially, and even financially. The question is, are we too late?

In this episode, Christine Harada gives us an optimism that sustainability can prevail — and tangible proof that we can make it happen right in our own backyard.

Continue reading “Our American Discourse, Ep. 22: While the World Burns, a More Sustainable Future Is in the Making”

No More Excuses

Ecotect Example Output
Ecotect Example Output

This is my last semester at Penn, and in the architecture department, that usually means it will be the most difficult and time-intensive semester of your undergraduate career. So while my Econ-major friends are taking 3 credits and having fun on the weekends, I’m spending free time working in teams and learning how to use a new piece of software: Autodesk‘s somewhat unknown Ecotect Analysis.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bitter about the dichotomy of work vs. play; most of us architecture students would much prefer learning a new piece of software or discussing the latest smart building material over a night of drinking, so this is pretty exciting stuff. I had never heard of Ecotect prior to about a month and a half ago, and what I knew was very limited.   Continue reading “No More Excuses”

The Cost of Being “Green”

I recently read an article on Good Magazine’s website about LEED and its comparison with other current green building measures. This article, along with many others that have mentioned the economics of the new green movement, spurred my thinking about the different costs of a green building (and in particular homes, as that is my main interest). I’ll take a look at some of the aspects of designing and building a green structure and evaluate their relative costs and products.   Continue reading “The Cost of Being “Green””