Tuesday, May 22, 2007

'Eco-Tecture' in the Times Magazine
New York Times Magazine dedicated its Sunday issue to the subject of green architecture. It even coined a new word to talk about it: eco-tecture. While I don't think that word will catch on, the six articles in the glossy insert provided lots of insight and eye-popping photography. An article by Nicolai Ouroussoff asked this about the Europeans: "Why are they greener than we are?" The answer: The EU mandates it, the U.S. government doesn't. The piece notes that Germany and the Netherlands are especially good are designing buildings that don't create a drag on the environment. German buildings gulp one-third less energy than their American counterparts. The outspoken Thom Mayne, an architect, makes an appearance dissing LEED certification, the voluntary U.S. green standard. "Energy consumption, the organization of the workplace, urbanism -- they're all seen as interlinked [in Europe]," he says. "Here, the whole focus is on how to get these points. You just check them off: bike racks, high-efficiency air-conditioning units -- it's very narrow."

Other articles in the series focus on architects Shigeru Ban and Glenn Murcutt, enviro-friendly houses and power sources for home and car.

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