Archive for February, 2010

Student takes initiative

February 26, 2010, 6:37 pm

There are many students at the University of Oregon who are dedicated to sustainability and strive to promote its procedures on campus. Scott Rousseau is one student who is truly making a difference on the sustainability front.

Rousseau, a junior at the U of O, is starting a sustainability plan that is currently being put into action in his fraternity house. The plan involves recycling requirements, energy-efficient lighting, composting, and many other elements of sustainable living. The main idea behind the project is to change the entire buidling to be sustainable, rather than just the individuals who live in it. While this project is just starting in his chapter house, his hopes for the near future are to require all fraternity and sorority houses on campus to follow the projects guidelines.


Should all new corporate buildings be required to be constructed sustainably and according to guidelines of certification programs?

February 22, 2010, 3:57 pm

Most designers would agree that sustainability is one of the most important aspects of design. However, there are many variations of the term “sustainable building”. Certain sustainable accreditations can be extremely difficult to obtain, but there are multiple certification programs and guidelines that can be easily followed. There are small, simple efforts of sustainability that can be done in the building processes of homes and corporate buildings. These are the first steps that need to be taken in the process of converting all current construction processes to sustainable building processes.

  1.  University of Oregon Office of Sustainability – accessed 2/16/10 11:17 am

The University of Oregon established the Sustainability Council in 2009 to promote awareness and sustainable projects across campus. It is an institutional source and is funded by the school. The source of information is the Office of Sustainability at the UO. People who go to or work for the university would use this source for information on the schools outlooks on sustainability and how to become involved with sustainable projects on campus. This is an organization I could contact to learn more about categorizing construction methods as sustainable. 

  2.  Park or Parking Lot? Community fights UO development – accessed 2/16/10 12:19 pm

This article by Alan Pittman appeared in the Eugene Weekly January 14, 2010. The University of Oregon and Oregon Research Institute are currently planning to begin the highly controversial Riverfront Research Park Project, despite the opposition from UO students and community members. This is a Journalistic source and has information from the UO/ORI, Connecting Eugene, and UO students and faculty. Citizens of Eugene who are concerned with the environment would be the audience of this article. This source would be useful for my Should question because it represents two opposing views on sustainable development.

  3.  UO Sustainable Design and Development Projects – accessed 2/16/10 12:52 pm

The University of Oregon adopted the Sustainable Development Plan in 2000 to promote sustainable development on campus and make every new or remodeled building LEED certifiable. This is an institutional source and the Sustainable Development Plan was created by Campus Planning and Real Estate. Groups that are involved in architecture and construction projects on campus are required to follow the guidelines of this plan. This source will be useful for my topic because it defines specific guidelines of sustainable building processes, which will help me create a stronger argument in my final paper.

  4.  UO, longhouse to work out dorm compromise – accessed 2/16/10 1:28 pm

This article by CJ Ciaramella appeared in the Oregon Daily Emerald, an independent student newspaper, on December 2, 2009. University officials and designers of the East Campus Residence Hall met with a Native American-style architect to make a compromise about the design of the building blocking sunlight needed for Native American rituals. This is a journalistic article and its sources are University officials. It is targeted toward students and people employed by the university. This is an important source to my question because it explains an opposition to the new residence hall, a topic I focused on in earlier projects.

  5.  LEED Public Policies – accessed 2/16/10 7:19 pm

This source lists the LEED initiatives which are currently active in multiple cities of 45 states across the US. Specifically, in July of 2006 Eugene adopted a specific LEED resolution, stating the building requirements for all new buildings in the city. This is an institutional source and the sources used for it is the US Green Building Council and official contacts of each listed city. Designers and contractors living in these cities would use this as a resource and guidelines. This is an important source for my topic because it shows how many cities are already committed to sustainable building.

  6.  The ecoroofs are coming – accessed 2/16/10 9:14 pm

In April of 2009 Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services put on a free workshop to provide ecoroof information to the public in hopes of raising the ecoroof count. This is a citizen source from a blog and the sources used in it are an earlier Oregonian article and the city of Portland. Someone who would read the Q & A on this blog or would have attended the workshop would be a Portland resident interested in building an ecoroof. This is relevant to my topic because it is an alternate form of roofing which is an element of sustainable construction.

  7.  Sustainable Building Sourcebook – accessed 2/16/10 10:31 pm

This sourcebook focuses on six areas of sustainability and explains how these can be incorporated into building methods specifically in Austin. Although the book focuses on the Austin area, the methods revealed can also be used in areas with similar climates and for inspiration in sustainable building. This is an academic research source and was funded by the Austin Energy Storm Center. The book received majority of its sources from multiple individuals, and is targeted toward sustainable contractors and individuals. This is useful for my topic because it explores multiple ways of building sustainably.

  8.  Corporate Social Responsibility – accessed 2/22/10 2:04 pm

This article by Anup Shah appeared on on July 7, 2007. Social justice activists are trying to hold businesses accountable for their actions because certain corporations have been completely consumed with making as much revenue as possible and have no concern for their social responsibilities such as environmental and sustainability issues. Shah references Milton Friedman and Dame Anita Roddick, who are both involved in business corporations. This is a journalistic source and the website is funded by Google ads and donations. This article represents two sides of an issue which will be useful for my Should question.

  9.  Green Guidelines and Certification for your Home – accessed 2/22/10 2:59 pm

This blog written by Kelly Hart was published July 21, 2009. There are several different reasons to build or remodel a home sustainable, a few including financial or resale incentives, and the homeowners’ morals. This blog post lists multiple, simple guidelines and certification programs that are available for homeowners. This is a citizen source and includes information from websites of the listed certification programs. Homeowners who are looking to live sustainably and responsibly in their homes would view this blog. This source could possibly change my Should question to include new homes as well as new buildings.

  10.  Debating Sustainability – accessed 2/22/10 3:14 pm

This article written by Alice Rawsthorn was published January 31, 2010. Three designers who are committed to sustainability met at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Switzerland to debate their approaches to sustainability. This is a journalistic source and the sources used in it are the three designers and Rawsthorn herself. This is useful for my question because it explains the difficulties that arise from attempting to hold everyone to the same standard of sustainable building–an agreement on the definition needs to be established before this will be realistic.

Defining Sustainability

February 19, 2010, 3:27 pm

Earlier this month in Davos, Switzerland issues concerning the defining elements of sustainability in construction were debated at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. Most designers would agree that sustainable building is important, but who defines what exactly sustainable building is? Three designers who incorporate sustainability into their designs were invited to participate in the conference, discussing elements of design they consider to be sustainable and those they do not. Before the world can say everything needs be built “sustainably”, the process needs to be defined.

Portland Plans to Grow Vertically

February 5, 2010, 7:40 pm

The General Services Administration of Portland, Oregon plans to grow an urban garden atop a high-rise federal building to promote energy efficiency by 2013. This project will be groundbreaking in energy-efficient high-rises and is expected to start a new trend in environmentally friendly construction.