Monday, October 15, 2007

Saranac First Platinum Certified Green Building in Spokane

Some of the Saranac's features,

- Rooftop garden (reduces urban heat island effect, plants convert CO2 back into oxygen, and natural cooling for the summer, insolation for the winter)

- Reused insolation (denim)

- Ground source heat pump (50 degree ground temperature gets pumped up in the summer for cooling and heating in winter) They also reuse waste heat generated in the restaurant.

- 230K solar PV array (will pay for itself in 12 years) installed by Eco Depot

- Daylighting (sensors adjust the indoor lighting depending on ambient day light coming in)

- Roof rainwater collection (used as gray water for toilets and irrigation)

- Dual flush toilets and no-flush urinals

This deserves extra attention (it has already been featured in the local media), as it is indicative of a trend with consumers becoming more and more conscious of their harm and resource footprint which hopefully, is an infectious and unstoppable trend, regardless of whether the gas prises fall again to comfortable lows. It is easy for folks to think only the rich and powerful, or "leaders" can do things like this, but each one of us has a specialty, a unique contribution to make, maybe it is not related to spending money to make green buildings, perhaps it is to make a difference towards beauty in other ways. It does not matter what occupation or environment one works and lives in, you can directly affect those around you. Just by becoming a more conscious human being, one starts changing the world around oneself, automatically. To say one can't make a difference is deep down a way to avoid taking responsibility. As the african proverb says, "One small mosquito can make a difference in your night's sleep." So it is with each one of us, by doing what we know best, we can make a big difference in the world. So who are you?

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