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Thread: Green building in planning

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Green building in planning

    This is my first post so let me first introduce myself. I live in Seattle and work for AIA Seattle doing green building and sustainable development as well as managing a gallery there. My educational background is in philosophy, but I'm planning on a career in planning.

    At this point, I'm trying to decide on grad school issues. I'm debating between landscape architecture and planning. I've searched the forums already and read the prev. threads dealing with this subject, but I have afew nagging questions. My main interests are in the intersection of green building strategies with urban design and historic preservation.

    With these interests, which makes more sense: an MLA or a MUP with a certificate in Urban Design (like the program at UW). Do issues like licensure, the ability to stamp/certify drawings/plans, etc make Landscape Architecture a more flexible/marketable option than Urban Planning?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by mobiusstrip View post
    This is my first post so let me first introduce myself. I live in Seattle and work for AIA Seattle doing green building and sustainable development as well as managing a gallery there. My educational background is in philosophy, but I'm planning on a career in planning.

    At this point, I'm trying to decide on grad school issues. I'm debating between landscape architecture and planning. I've searched the forums already and read the prev. threads dealing with this subject, but I have afew nagging questions. My main interests are in the intersection of green building strategies with urban design and historic preservation.

    With these interests, which makes more sense: an MLA or a MUP with a certificate in Urban Design (like the program at UW). Do issues like licensure, the ability to stamp/certify drawings/plans, etc make Landscape Architecture a more flexible/marketable option than Urban Planning?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
    Welcome. Do you have any examples of how green building ties in with historic preservation? I am very interested.

    SInce you already work for AIA, have you considered earning an MArch? You could still branch off and focus on urban design or historic preservation. Most, but not all states, place a premium on licensure, but you can still do most of the same jobs as a landscape architect. I would recommend taking the LEED-AP exam. It's open for anyone and maybe your employer can pay for it.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    It's interesting b/c the green building and historic preservation folks sometimes talk over each other (at least in seattle), but there is quite a bit of common ground. Adaptive reuse is the most obvious example, but also taking development cues from older districts (compactness, mixed use development, human scale development, etc).

    As for getting an MArch, I've thought about that option. The thing is that I think architects generally work with a level of technical detail (HVAC, IAQ, Lighting, etc) that I'm not really interested in on a day to day basis. Architects also tend to work without the long range planning considerations that I find really important. I also don't have a visual design background so the idea of building a portfolio is a bit daunting. Of course, the latter issue will also come up if i go landscape arch.

  4. #4
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    Welcome. Do you have any examples of how green building ties in with historic preservation? I am very interested.
    I've got a presentation a friend of mine did on green building & HP. I'll try to find it and send it to you.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  5. #5
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    green building and hp

    Hey...I completely understand where you are going with the green building and historic preservation. The grad school I attend (UF-very far away from you) has the master's program in urban planning located within the same college as landscape arch and building construction. UF offers certificates in historic preservation and sustainability in conjunction with any masters degree within our college. One of the classes I took for the historic preservation certificate was sustainable construction taught by Dr. Charles Kibert (you may know who this is in regards to green buildings). If you are really interested in the two together I suggest you check out UF. PM me for more info!
    Last edited by beach_bum; 17 Feb 2008 at 8:11 PM.
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by beach_bum View post
    Hey...I completely understand where you are going with the green building and historic preservation. The grad school I attend (UF-very far away from you) has the master's program in urban planning located within the same college as landscape arch and building construction.
    Thanks for the info. I'm orignally from B'ham, AL and not too keen on being back in the southeast unfortunately. Thanks though!

    Anyone else?

  7. #7
    Dan Staley's avatar
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    MLA vs MUP

    Well, I got my MUP at UW and I worked with both the LArchs and MUPs on projects.

    While I learned to respect the hard work and education the LArchs did and had, I still would choose an MUP, as the scales at which you will work will be more varied and potentially larger as well. You'll also mingle with the Construction Management folks at UW and get a sense of what they are doing. Point being MUPs touch more in my view than the LArchs do, as they get killed for two years while getting their MLA.

    I have had zero problem doing the green site design stuff with an MUP. Check out this blog from a classmate at UW with a conc in Urban Design for an interesting perspective (some commenters there have same).

    Good luck and go git 'em.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian RubberStamp Man's avatar
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    Interesting comments on the topic. I would have thought that the route to go is Arch for green buildings. Sounds like DS has some good leads though.

    Generally where I am most of the "green" building is done by Archs b/c of their knowledge of the building code, which Planners and LandArchs don't have the same depth of.

    Planners try and set the policies and incentives to establish green buildings with the implementation done by archs. We have a green building enclave done in this fashion. LandArchs can help with native plantings to reduce and capture runoff, but for our enclave this was also done by engineers.

    Urban Design still tends to concentrate of the built form and its interaction within the neighbourhood and community, while green building is more about a reduction in total inputs and outputs on a buildings function. Design here tends to be more functional than representational - i.e. siting to maximize solar gain, geo-therm pump wells, etc.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan Staley View post
    Well, I got my MUP at UW and I worked with both the LArchs and MUPs on projects.

    While I learned to respect the hard work and education the LArchs did and had, I still would choose an MUP, as the scales at which you will work will be more varied and potentially larger as well. You'll also mingle with the Construction Management folks at UW and get a sense of what they are doing. Point being MUPs touch more in my view than the LArchs do, as they get killed for two years while getting their MLA.

    I have had zero problem doing the green site design stuff with an MUP. Check out this blog from a classmate at UW with a conc in Urban Design for an interesting perspective (some commenters there have same).

    Good luck and go git 'em.
    Very good blog. This will definetely help when I am visiting schools and firms out in Seatle and Portland next year

    Several landscape architects at my firm have been concerned about the lack of green building standards as applied to planting plans and site plans. Most of the LEED systems have been used for architecture or interior design. USGBC has developed a pilot ratings system for neighborhood development, so that site plans and planting plans may be elligble for LEED points.

    http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=148

    I think it is a very well-written document and incorporates a lot of smart growth principles, but should further develop criteria for native plantings, hardscapes, and best management practices.

  10. #10
    Dan Staley's avatar
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    How do green buildings and sites get built.

    I'm finishing up a large subarea plan based on LEED-ND principles & with transects, using incentives for green buildings and sustainable site design. The scale is different than your typical project.

    I went into urban planning because I wanted to make spaces for green infrastructure, after getting an urban forestry undergrad and realizing that being proactive and making more room for trees was better than being reactive and wishing for more trees. Same with green buildings and sustainable sites. I call myself a green infrastructure guy, and to do that I have to do plans to make that happen.

    You can be an arch or a LArch, but you have to wait for projects to come along in jurisdictions that allow sustainable projects. Why not just make the allowances for them to happen? In my mind, this is more efficacious for getting things done.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    Very interesting stuff, guys. Thanks!

    I'd love to hear more from those who have worked in urban design (particularly those involved in sustainable dev/green building) about who you work for, what your role in the project is, etc.

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