We are all back from trips to San Francisco recently and feeling very carbon-heavy in our auto-centric, less than dense hometown of ILM after the visit. Amy went for a long weekend, and Scott & Lara (& Calvin, of course) went for a week of recreation & for Scott to attend the annual AIA Convention at the Moscone Center (4/29-5/2). It was a very energizing trip for us all- and quite motivating and inspirational.
The highlight of the trip was experiencing the new California Academy of Sciences building by Renzo Piano. A truly, beautiful, amazing facility that takes at least 4-6 hours to see everything. An aquarium, planetarium, rainforest, theater & exhibits in one building. Plus, it gained a LEED Platinum rating and has one of the largest green roofs in the world- you can practically see & hear Po & LaLa rolling around the landscaped indigenous hillscape.A must-see if you are in the city. http://www.calacademy.org/
We also took in many other sites; numerous museums, the SF zoo (yes, we saw THAT area, the tiger attack zone- it’s very newly re-barriered), Coit tower, Lombard St., the Embarcadero, and numerous cable car rides & neighborhood walks. Calvin even rode the outer rails on the steeper Hyde-Powell line!! All of this, in one of America’s most dense cities with phrase ‘Swine Flu pandemic’ screaming out of every radio & TV.
Scott attended many general sessions with the general theme of Diversity in/of the field. He also took several continuing education seminars; mostly with themes around sustainability, ‘integrated practice/teams’, and the diversification of practice (especially to deal with the economy in its current state ….). On Wednesday, he attended a tour of Sustainable Infill Housing projects in the SOMA neighborhood- all three LEED. Overall, SF has such vision- one really wants to get even a fraction of that philosophy & action to occur in the Cape Fear region. In actuality, if the building/construction community (50% of our environmental/carbon impact globally) doesn’t hit new targets over the next 10-40 years we’re the ones that will lose out if the oceans rise 5-6 feet by 2100.
The mayor, Gavin Newsom, spoke at the first event & he could/may/should become the next Governor of the Golden State after Arnold the Governator steps down next year. A very energetic, well-spoken leader (SF is only US entity- county/city with a uniform health care plan & sustainability/carbon reduction plan….). Well, ILM at least has two LEED projects, and maybe a few more to finish in 2009……