Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Ghosts of Gabon

I’ve recently taken up assignment with a multinational EPC firm in West Africa. The opportunity to explore construction means and methods in such a remote part of the world, where virtually all equipment and supplies are imported, has provided many opportunities for reflection. Highest among those is the proliferation of unfinished projects in the capital city of Libreville, Gabon.
Abandoned Sheraton Project

Friday, July 29, 2011

Metropol Parasol Opens in Seville, Spain

Exciting news, the Metropol Parasol has officially opened in Seville, Spain! I had a chance to visit this exciting piece of innovative green architecture last year as part of a class trip through the School of Architecture at Virginia Tech. We did a site tour with the lead engineer and talked about different aspects and challenges of it's construction. It is neat to see the well-laid plans finally realized. See my March, 2010 post for construction photos I took on-site.

Read More at Inhabitat

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chilean Green

Green design and construction truly has become a global phenomenon. While the American press has focused almost exclusively on design and construction trends within our own borders, we have been slow to admire the progress that has been made in other parts of the world. I was keenly aware of this fact on a recent trip to Santiago, Chile where evidence of green design in recent construction was hard to miss. Keeping tabs on green trends in the international construction industry will allow good ideas to flow more quickly as the need to combat climate change grows more urgent by the day.

As is my tradition, I spent the first day on the ground in Santiago walking. And walking. And walking. Getting the “lay of the land” is a good way to scope out spots for potential deeper exploration as well as a good excuse to shed the jet-lag. In so doing I stumbled upon several good examples of good planning and was smacked in the face with some totally unexpected green building. In this city more known for its wine and smog, I was so pleasantly surprised with this observation I decided to report on it here.