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Take-home themes

April 29, 2009

Apologies for the lack of a true live blog yesterday. We’ll make up for it with continued anecdotes from yesterday’s What Makes it Green? event in Seattle.

Overall, the jury found the submittals to be of high quality and on par with the best projects they are seeing around the country and world. And they also appreciated the elements that make architecture in the Northwest particular to our place. Plentiful geothermal applications and unique attention to water were specifically noted.

The jury also concentrated on community connections—“Why this project, why here?” asked Gwynne Pugh. They were consistently interested in how occupants come and go from a building, thus pushing the envelope on site selection and truly integrated design.

Harkening back to the themes laid out by program co-chairs Tom Paladino and Dave Goldberg, jurors looked for a project’s big idea, its analytics, and how it turned out. Rigorous analyses that drove design decisions were few, but the jury was impressed with the examples they found. Working within tight budgets and market-rate construction was applauded. Authentic evaluation and reporting were rewarded, and taking this a step further, Kevin Hydes urged reception attendees to find what’s not working—positing that this is where the real learning and success lies.

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