KBB - November 2010 - (Page 40)

Profile Q&A Eric Corey Freed organicArChitECt Principal of organicArchitect in San Francisco, Eric Corey Freed was 8 when he knew he wanted to be an architect and 10 when he attended a service at Beth Sholom Synagogue and discovered Frank Lloyd Wright:“I’m sitting in the seat and as birds are flying overhead, their shadows are passing along the floor, because it’s a translucent palace. It was the most beautiful thing you could imagine.” Following the experience, Freed spent his junior high and high school years researching Wright and tracking down former apprentices, some of whom became his first mentors. Wright’s work, which “put nature as the most revered source and inspiration,” helped inform Freed’s belief that sustainability and architecture go “hand in hand” What are the most common misconceptions consumers still have about sustainable design? The two main ones are: All green buildings must be modern and the second one is still—to this day—that we can’t afford green building because it costs more. To the people who continue to insist on the latter, I ask a very simple question, which diffuses the situation: “Well, how many green buildings have you built?” And they always say, “None, I haven’t built any.” But people do continue to think that… And we’ve now seen nearly 200 years of the extension of that thinking. Which is we’ll build buildings any way we want and we’ll externalize the costs on the end user or someone else. We’ve made buildings that are dependent on oil, which we no longer have; electricity, which we can no longer afford to produce because of carbon emissions; and natural gas, which makes us sick. So you pick your poison. We can’t afford to keep building buildings this way, because we’re going bankrupt—emotionally bankrupt, physically bankrupt and even biologically bankrupt. I’ve spent the last 18 to 20 years telling people, “You’re looking at it from the wrong direction.” We’re not taking a traditional, toxic building and adding green stuff to it. Of course that’s going to cost more. What we need to do is rethink it from the start as a green building. When you do that, you immediately find the opportunities. So where does the audience of K+BB fall in this? Your audience is perfect for this because what they don’t understand, but need to, is that you can still design beautiful buildings that are inspirational, joyful and made of luxurious materials, but you can design them responsibly so they don’t consume materials to their extinction and waste and had a lasting impact on his career. And what a career it has been. Cited by Philip Johnson as “one of the real brains of his generation,” Freed founded his firm in 1997, co-developed the Sustainable Design programs at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and the University of California Berkeley Extension. He sits on the boards of Architects, Designers & Planners for Social Responsibility, the U.S. Green Building Council’s Green Home Guide and West Coast Green. He was the founding Chair of Architecture for The San Francisco Design Museum and is a regular contributor to a variety of publications. Freed has also written several books, including more recently Green$ense for the Home. energy or water. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. Sustainability is just another aspect of the design solution. What aspects of green design should kitchen and bath designers be paying more attention to, but aren’t? There are things you should do automatically in a kitchen or bath, such as picking appliances that save energy and save water. Then there’s this other layer of considerations, such as picking formaldehyde-free cabinets, or allowing daylight in—and not just because daylight is proven to make you feel better, but just because it’s more beautiful and it reduces the amount of time you run the lights. A third layer relates to things we do out of habit or tradition. It’s always useful to take a step back and question some of these things. For example, why are we still flushing the toilet with clean water when we can use gray water? What “words of wisdom” can you share with designers interested in “going green”? Start now. Stop waiting. So many designers, architects and even students say they’re taking this class, getting this certification, saving up money to become a LEED AP and then they’ll start. That’s not the way it works. If you see something you believe in, you shouldn’t wait. You’ll make mistakes and missteps, but it doesn’t matter, because at least you’ll be moving in the right direction. Any tips for designers on how to persuade their clients to “go green”? First, health is the biggest pain point you can push on a client, especially a residential one. So when a client brings in a sample of something inexpensive they bought at Home Depot, for example, you can have a Continued on page 42 40 + K BB November 2010 / www.kbbonline.com / The Official Sponsor of KBIS www.kbis.com http://www.kbbonline.com http://www.kbis.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of KBB - November 2010

KBB - November 2010
Table of Contents
Online Contents
Online News
Editorial
Letters to the Editor
Focus
Trends
K+BB Product Innovator Awards
Products
Profile
Inside Job
Social Worker
Editorial Index
Ad Index
Favorites

KBB - November 2010

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