Last month, ECO-STRUCTURE started several discussions on the intersection of education and sustainability. Our articles ranged from an online exclusive profile of the Tyson Living Learning Center at Washington University in St. Louis, one of several buildings vying for the first Living Building Challenge certification, to profiles of three learning environments that are living lessons in green design: a preparatory academy, a university’s architecture department, and a public library. There was so much to mull over, in fact, that we’re continuing to explore this realm in October as well. Online, you’ll find “Nine Elements of a Sustainable Campus,” a Web-exclusive essay from Mitchell Thomashow, president of Unity College in Unity, Maine. In it, Thomashow takes at look at the process of greening higher education campuses and facilities from the perspective of the college administrators. And in this newsletter, you’d find links to an array of education-related stories, from the news piece covering the recent launch of the Center for Green Schools from the USGBC (which effectively consolidates the organization’s various green school initiatives into one central hub) to this month’s Tech Tools, which includes a toolkit to help local governments green their procurement processes and an online review of energy codes and lighting.
Here’s another great read: Public Architecture, a non-profit organization based out of San Francisco, recently uploaded the free, downloadable e-book, Design for Reuse Primer. Public Architecture first focused on reuse on a large scale with its ScrapHouse project in 2005, when a team of architects and engineers constructed a 700-square-foot house built entirely from scrap material on San Francisco’s Civic Centre Plaza. The Design for Reuse Primer is the next step in Public Architecture’s on-going goal of championing reuse in architecture, construction, and design. However, the introduction carefully notes that reuse is not the same as recycling. “Reused, or reclaimed, materials are materials extracted from the waste stream and repurposed without further processing or with only minor processing that does not alter the material’s nature,” it notes. Recycling, on the other hand, “involved removal of materials from the waste stream, but those materials undergo significant processing to convert them into new products.”
The e-book, which was funded by the USGBC, profiles 15 successful reuse projects in a number of market segments such as civic, office, retail, cultural and religious and, of course, education. Among the projects profiled are several that have appeared in ECO-STRUCTURE this year, including Portola Valley Town Center (profiled online in our essay “Green Persuasion”) and Sidwell Friends Middle School (whose green roof replacement was explored in our September Flashback column). Among the lessons that can be learned: Wood is the most commonly reclaimed material. Codes and supply and demand, as well as a still-growing infrastructure for reclaimed materials present some of the biggest challenges. Creativity and flexibility are essential components to any reuse project. Want to learn more? Download the e-book for free at designforreuse.org.