Category Archives: Water

The New, Green Museum

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The California Academy of Science in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park has long been dedicated to the study of nature, and after 8 years and half a billion dollars in sustainable renovations, Italian architect Renzo Piano’s design is a pioneer in sustainable architecture. Unlike traditional theater museums, this museum is built inside the park, well underneath it to be more specific. The 2.5 acre living roof is the signature element. After walking the grounds in silence and observing the hills from a run down building, Piano sketched a simple rolling hill with a line underneath and with only his sketchbook, Piano beat the other five competitors.

Not only has Piano’s design been compared to Frank Lloyd Wright’s spiraling Guggenheim Museum and Frank Gehry’s titanium Guggenheim in Bilbao, the new museum is expected to capture the attention of the public with its design and green focus. Hoping to receive the highest ranking from the U. S. Green Building Council, a platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, the living roof absorbs storm water and according to the museum will prevent 3.6 million gallons of polluted water from entering into the eco-system. The living roof is also home to wildlife and California wildflowers. It is said that the roof keeps the building 10 degrees cooler and turns carbon dioxide into oxygen.  Solar cells produce 5-10% of the museum’s energy as well. The structure is insulated by nearly 216,000 pairs of Levi’s jeans, paying homage to the native San Francisco denim company.

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Underneath the living roof, the museum houses the Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium, Kimball Natural History Museum and includes a four story rainforest, a coral reef, a 100,000 gallon tank with Pacific coast marine life, a swamp, a habitat for penguins and exhibit on climate change and global warming.

Piano explains, “You almost never get a chance to build something in the middle of a great park, so it needed to be transparent…here you need to know about the connection with nature, so almost anywhere you are in this building you can see through to the outside.”

California Academy of Science: http://www.calacademy.org/
More on Renzo Piano: http://architect.architecture.sk/renzo-piano-architect/renzo-piano-architect.php

NANCY GANDRUD

The Future of Bottled Water is Dry


Saving our environment is talk. The sale of bottled water has not declined since its introduction. A few facts from the Water Quality Association:

* Bottled water sales and consumption continue to rise, according to statistics released April 9, 2007, by the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) and Beverage Marketing Corporation (BMC).

* Total US bottled water volume exceeded 8.25 billion gallons in 2006, a 9.5 percent increase over the prior year.

* Wholesale dollar sales for bottled water exceeded $10.8 billion in 2006, an 8.5 percent increase over the $10 billion in 2005.

My goal as a designer is to inspire and lead. It is evident that people are still consuming bottled water. This may be the result of too few alternatives. Forget your Nalgene (www.nalgene-outdoor.com/store) water bottle at home and your next alternative is bottled water. Tap water has earned such a bad reputation, spending 2 dollars on 12oz of water seems normal.

As a solution, I propose:

* Providing consumers with easy Internet based access to the quality of their local water supply.

* A nationwide roll out of water fountains. Yes, water fountains. Prior to the ubiquitous plastic Poland Springs water bottle, your average citizen was happy to use a public water fountain.

Some disagree with me because there is no money to be made by giving filtered water away for free. My reply, because it is not in a bottle does not mean it needs to be distributed freely. An example:

A few visionary restaurants in New York and California have offered filtered tap water as an alternative to bottled water. The filtered water costs the same as bottled water, yet has none of the environmental set-backs.

As the cost of producing and shipping bottle water surges and consumer awareness towards the environment increases, the popularity of bottled beverages will decrease.

I am currently designing filtered water fountains for the public space and welcome the feedback of water drinkers, beverage companies, city planners or filtration companies everywhere. NATALIA

Interesting Links

http://www.globalpackagegallery.com/main.php/v/bev/bottled+water/

http://www.wqa.org