National Office Furniture making strides in Social Responsibility & Sustainability

Woo hoo for National!  They recently released their 2011 CSR Report (Corporate Social Responsibility Report).  We at Business Environments are happy to represent such a fine company.

You can read the whole thing here: http://www.nationalofficefurniture.com/2011_CSR.htm

Here are a few highlights:

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USGBC Indiana Chapter, Southwest Branch

Did you know there is a USGBC branch in southwestern Indiana?

Yes, there is!  It was formed back in May of 2009 and has been a growing presence ever since.  I am now part of the steering committee and am really excited to be involved.

Today the branch is hosting a webinar for LEED ceu credits.  Check out the details here: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4029313786/eorg

You can now find updated information about the branch here: http://www.usgbc-in.org/southwest/  Including the names and email addresses of everyone on the committee.

AND you can like us on facebook!  http://www.facebook.com/pages/USGBC-Southwest-Indiana-Branch/376318205727777

Indy Airport | LEED

Indiana might not be on the forefront of sustainable building and architecture, but there are a few bright spots here and there.  One of the them is the “new” airport in Indianapolis.  I’ve had the pleasure of attending a couple presentations about its designa and the art program for the terminal–such interesting stuff!  I loved hearing about the concepts behind the design decisions and then being able to actually experience them as a user of the site and space.   It’s been a year or so since I sat in those presentations, so I might not remember the details exactly right, but there are few things that stuck out to me.  The first is the approach to the terminal.  The curves and grade levels are very intentional about revealing views as you progress.  The second is the art program.  I love it!  There some limestone pieces on the wall just behind the checkout counters that kept me occupied for quite a while.  And I am totally, utterly in love with the mosaics and glass pieces.  Did you know that those colored glass panels are actually glass fused within those curtain walls?  I believe they were produced in Germany.  Amazing!  The third is the simplicity of wayfinding.  The terminal is very easy to understand and move around in.

Back in May there was a news release about the LEED certification of the Midfield Terminal campus.  Even better!  Here is the full release as seen on the Green Business Network: http://bit.ly/N0wdxy.

Although the features recognized by the LEED certification provide an enhanced experience for visitors and employees and support their well-being,they also add great value through measurable efficiency gains in energy,fuel,and water usage. In fact,the investments in sustainable design recognized by LEED certification will more than pay for themselves through substantially reduced aircraft fuel usage and cuts in terminal campus energy and water usage. (emphasis is my own)

We can only do better from here!

FREE Green Building Tour of Evansville | April 14th 2012

This is seriously cool!  I can’t wait.  

Mayor Lloyd Winnecke announces a FREE tour to highlight some of the “green” and energy efficient buildings recently completed in Evansville.  We even get to ride on one of the hybrid city buses.

The Ford Center

Evansville’s Director of Sustainability, Energy & Environmental Quality, Dona Bergman, thanks the following for their participation

  • ECHO Housing
  • HOPE of Evansville
  • University of Evansville
  • Oaklyn Branch Library
  • Wesselman Nature Society
  • Evansville Vanderburgh County Building Authority
  • Hafer Associates
  • VPS Architecture

 

The tour starts from the Civic Center parking lot on Saturday, April 14th, 2012 at 9:00am and will return at 12:40.

Contact Dona Bergman to reserve your seat!  812-435-6145 or dbergman@evansvillegov.org. 

Oaklyn Branch Library

Nothing is Obvious

Yesterday in my class about sustainability, we continued our conversation about the complexities of trying to make responsible decisions about methods and materials.  One this is for sure, there is NO OBVIOUS ANSWER.  Here’s another question mark:

Harvesting old growth forests = bad, right?  Well, yes.  But forest “plantations” probably aren’t the answer either.  Why not?  Because they take lots of water, fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides to maintain.  Plus, it throws out biodiversity.  Ugh.  The only solution I can think of is to reduce consumption.  Hmm.  Sounds familiar, right?  We need to reduce consumption of a lot of things.

Maybe one day we will figure out how to live with our environment.

Indiana Artisan Marketplace–Put this on your Calendar!

WHAT: Indiana Artisan Marketplace
WHEN: Saturday, April 16, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.Sunday, April 17, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
WHERE: Indiana State Fairgrounds, Expo Hall, Indianapolis
COST: $8 admission (free for children 15 and under) and $3 parking
NEED MORE? info@indianaartisan.org

 

The Indiana Artisan Marketplace is a chance to buy one-of-a-kind artwork and artisan food directly from the Hoosiers who make it, to meet the artisans and to share their stories. Visitors will be able to watch artisans create their food products and artwork, cultivate relationships with their favorite artisans and celebrate Indiana talent and creativity

Indiana Artisans include painters, beekeepers, woodworkers, winemakers, jewelry designers, weavers, makers of specialty cheeses and more. An Indiana Artisan is a Hoosier recognized for careful attention to detail, knowledge of a craft and an entrepreneurial spirit. His or her talent contributes to Indiana’s reputation for quality work.

Coupon here: http://www.in.gov/indianaartisan/pdfs/Rack_Card_Discount_Coupon.pdf

I am really hoping to fit this into my schedule!