Please Come to Boston...

night shot of street on Beacon Hill in Boston

   The next Original Green Workshop is being held March 13 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. There are two morning sessions (8:00 - 9:45 and 11:00 - 12:30.) The first will describe the operating system of true sustainability and the second will deal with sustainable places. The afternoon session is from 2:00 -5:00; it addresses sustainable buildings and the Deep Green. There are many new ideas you need to hear that have been incorporated since the Original Green Workshop in Chicago last fall.

   The Original Green Workshop is a part of the Traditional Building Exhibition & Conference, which runs March 11-13, and which is hosted by Restore Media. Restore Media publishes the Traditional Building and Period Homes magazines. They also host the TradWeb database, which is a wonderful resource for restoration suppliers and fabricators.

   It’s probably obvious why Restore Media hosts the Original Green Workshop, but just in case I’m mistaken, here’s the reason: The first act of sustainability should be to sustain the good things that we have. Anything that is not preserved is not sustained. So preservation and sustainability need to be understood as going hand-in-hand together. Beyond this obvious connection, there are many underlying benefits. Donovan Rypkema’s PlaceEconomics site contains a wealth of information illustrating the sustainability of preservation on several counts, from embodied energy to economic development, and everything in between.

   Others have similar resources. I was a speaker at the Sustainability and the Environment: The Original Green conference hosted recently by the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture. Donovan spoke, as did Mark Thaler and several others. Mark presented different but equally compelling rationale for preservation as the cornerstone of sustainability. Donovan, Mark, and others have continue to build this solid body of evidence. Mark will be speaking in Boston; Donovan was a keynote speaker at the last show. Expect many of the preservationists to hammer home the point some of them have been making since the 1960’s: the greenest brick is one that’s already in the wall.


~ Steve Mouzon


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