Life Cycle Assessement

Not in My House! Toxic Building Materials 101 - Part 1

Not in My House! Toxic Building Materials 101 - Part 1

Believe it or not, all the hazardous, toxic materials in our homes are not under the kitchen sink or on the top shelf in the garage. Toxic building materials are a problem that affects almost everyone, and it is hard to know what to avoid. These products are right under our nose and everywhere we turn! So, how do we protect ourselves and our families? 

Over the past century, our methods of construction have become increasingly more reliant on the products of mass-production, the free market economy, and rash scientific research. Many of the building materials we use today are both unhealthy and unsustainable. I shudder to think how we might have wrapped ourselves in products that are literally killing us!

Refreshing Main Street America with Patrice Frey (Podcast)

Refreshing Main Street America with Patrice Frey (Podcast)

This week at Green Heart Town Patrice Frey, President and CEO of Main Street America, joins us for the second half of our recent interview. Last week we discussed her background in sustainability and green historic preservation.  In the following interview, we will discuss Patrice’s transition to leading the National Main Street Center, updating the brand for over 1,600 neighborhoods and communities nationwide, and “refreshing” the time-tested Four Point Approach.

Several weeks ago, we covered how “Main Street is the Time-Tested Basis for Green Heart Towns”, but at the conclusion of the post, I wanted to know more about what was happening with the program.

Green Historic Preservation with Patrice Frey (Podcast)

Green Historic Preservation with Patrice Frey (Podcast)

This week at Green Heart Town we have a very special guest. We interview Patrice Frey, President and CEO of Main Street America about her background in sustainability and her role in the movement of green historic preservation. 

In recent years, there has been a growing undercurrent of people who appreciate historic buildings as both culturally significant and inherently sustainable resources. Living in a Green Heart Town requires understanding the deep value your historic properties offer. Through my work with the Oklahoma Main Street Program, I have been fortunate to follow this ray of truth and learn from sustainability champions like Patrice. 

Die Hard: 7 Ugly Sins Killing Your Community

Die Hard: 7 Ugly Sins Killing Your Community

American culture has rejected sustainable community development for too long. Even though many of us want make our community stronger, the historic heart of our towns are often weak and perforated - due to the sins of our fathers. Some of us are guilty too! Like a dead whale launched to the beach by a tidal wave, many of our communities' best properties lie broken, abandoned, and steadily decaying. How did things get this way? 

Through my work as the staff architect for the Oklahoma Main Street Program, I have come to find resonance inside the bowels of the past. Often far from revitalized, our historic downtowns broadcast your town’s self-concept - just like a neon sign. 

Whole Building Life-Cycle Assessment & Historic Properties

Whole Building Life-Cycle Assessment & Historic Properties

"When we build, let us think we build forever.” John Ruskin's words evoke the notion of building in a sustainable manner, thereby leaving a legacy to future generations through the story of our places. Every day in my work at the Oklahoma Main Street Center, I am fortunate to encounter historic buildings that mirror Ruskin’s ideals; however, I have also seen in the modern building movement that we have lost our way in designing sustainable places over the last half century. 
  
I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on a wonderful experience from 2015. I visited Taliesin West in early October to attend the the American Institute of Architect's (AIA) first joint colloquium