Another event to plan for

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NESEA's 2009 Green Buildings Open House will return the first Saturday in October, which falls on the 3d this year, and I highly recommend it. Last year, G. and I went out to western Mass. and toured five or six great places, and then had the chance to follow up with a couple of other places on a second trip. A lot is happening out there.

"The Greening of Southie"

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A documentary on the Macallen Building, the notably green-spirited, brown-colored, wedge-shaped building on the edge of Southie and the South End in Boston, will be shown at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline Monday at 7 p.m..

The building is certified LEED gold and was a top 10 choice of the American Institute of Architects' Committee on the Environment.

Smackdown meet-up

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A couple of dozen participants in the Energy Smackdown gathered for pizza, veggies, soda, and celebration last night at the Regent Theatre in Arlington to cap off the energy-saving competition's second season.

About 30 families from Arlington, Medford, and Cambridge vied for team and individual honors in the yearlong effort, whose larger purpose was to explore, experience, and model strategies for reducing humankind's impact on the planet.

Forging the philosophical and the practical

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It is emblematic of a larger condition that I've not reported before now on one of the most thought-provoking and valuable presentations from Building Energy '09, the annual conference of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association held earlier this month in Boston — the keynote by Marc Rosenbaum.

Rosenbaum's comments were literate and far-reaching, on one of this century's most vital issues — how do we maintain life as we know it as traditional fuels decline and the climate changes?

But I chose instead to focus first on the contentious LEED public forum of the night, and the release of recommendations by the state's Zero Net Energy Task Force just before he spoke. There's some argument to be made for the latter — actual news — but I judged both to be shinier that Rosenbaum's topic, deep-energy retrofitting.

I have my reasons, but still, you could say my actions reflect the general outlook: people are more attracted to the glitz and gadgets around energy issues than they are to the real best solutions — conservation and efficiency. I'm totally sold on them, without reservation, and still, I'm getting to that portion of the conference three weeks later. 


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