Last night, I had the honor and deep pleasure to host a “Beer Talk” (a monthly soiree dedicated to sustainability and green building, created by architect Bill Hutchins), where Sandy Wiggins gave a presentation featuring the redevelopment of the Hard Bargain Farm Environmental Center. Hard Bargain had committed to using the Living Building Challenge as a guiding methodology, and the Center decided to host an extensive four day charrette to create a preliminary design.
Sandy’s story centered around the “hard bargains” that were an essential part of the process, and the inspiration that resolved a seemingly intractable dispute over the siting of new structures on the farm. The inspiration came when one of the participants was so angry and frustrated with the process, that he left the charrette to wander the site. The Aha! moment came from contemplating a patch of moss, and the realization that as life forms adapt to specific environments, so to can designers adapt their buildings to sun or shade–even within the rigorous demands of the Living Building Challenge.
The underlying theme of Sandy’s presentation was this: that the greatest task we have as designers and builders–and as those who commission and inhabit our buildings–is to be aware that every decision we make has consequences that impact our environment and our future on this planet.
Thank you Sandy!