Organizers seeing environment inform home decisions - East Valley Tribune: Phoenix & The Valley Of The Sun

Organizers seeing environment inform home decisions

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Posted: Wednesday, September 29, 2004 10:59 am | Updated: 5:02 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

September 29, 2004

Anthony Floyd isn’t measuring the success of Scottsdale’s Green Building Program solely on how many big commercial and residential projects adopt the city’s guidelines for environmentally sensitive development.

Some of the most meaningful progress is at the grassroots level, said Floyd, who directs the program.

After six Green Building Expos and dozens of classes and lectures in the past several years, Floyd is seeing the effect of consumer education.

He’s hearing of residents who want to buy or remodel homes in Scottsdale questioning builders and contractors about the effectiveness of construction materials, energy efficiency, environmentally harmonious architectural design and solar power applications.

"Sometimes they know more about these things than the builders,’’ Floyd said.

This year’s Green Building Expo, presented by Scottsdale and Phoenix, is offering more in the way of instruction for the general public on putting theory into practice. After a Friday program for professional builders, the expo on Saturday at Phoenix City Hall will focus on the average homeowner or home buyer.

Sessions will explore an array of techniques for remodeling, landscaping and construction that achieve efficient exterior and interior design and water and energy conservation, not to mention cost savings.

"Our knowledge about all of this is increasing so fast, the technology is getting so much better. . . . People need to keep up on all the new things that are available to them,’’ said Joan Baron, a member of the city’s Green Building Advisory Board.

For a big-picture look at green issues, Scottsdale’s Green Building Program is kicking off the expo weekend with a lecture Thursday by David Orr.

A professor at Oberlin College in Ohio, Orr led development of the college’s $7.2 million Environmental Studies Center that’s been lauded by the U.S. Department of Energy as one of the "milestone buildings" of the modern era. His latest book is "The Last Refuge: Patriotism, Politics and the Environment in an Age of Terror.’’

Following the lecture, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art will open an exhibit on the work of Samuel Mockbee. The architect died in 2001 and was posthumously awarded the American Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal award earlier this year for what critics call visionary architecture with an environmental bent.

Green Building events

• David Orr, Oberlin College professor of environmental studies and politics, lectures 6 p.m. Thursday at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 7380 E. Second St.

• Exhibit of environmental design works by noted architect Samuel Mockbee opens 7 p.m. Thursday at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7380 E. Second St. Runs through Jan. 2.

• Green Building Expo workshops, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Phoenix City Hall atrium, 200 W. Washington St.

All events are free and registration is not required.

Information: (480) 312-7080,

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