Archive for July, 2009
If you are not a design enthusiast, you may not be a subscriber of Dwell – the at home in the modern world magazine. But if you are a green enthusiast that also enjoys modern, sustainable design then Dwell will have plenty of reading and viewing pleasure for you. The current issue – September – features one of Green Living Consulting’s clients: Taylor Gourmet, a Philadelphia hoagie deli and Italian market in Washington D.C. Owners David Mazza and Casey Patten are featured because they live above the deli, having converted a former beauty parlor on H Street NE into a mixed-use live/work space that embodies urban, and green living (click here for the online feature).
GLC couldn’t be happier to see them featured (pages 92- 99) for multiple reasons:
a) We love when our clients get good press for their business successes, which often include their green initiatives, or are at least due in part to their efforts to lessen their impact on the environment while also delivering top-notch products and services.
b) Casey and Dave chose the H Street NE district to build their home and Italian deli. The H street NE corridor – which starts roughly at the boundary of North Capitol (near D.C.’s Union Station) and extends to 15th street NE – used to be a thriving commercial district prior to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, which sparked riots that caused destruction from which the corridor has not since recovered. A transition is underway, however. New restaurants and bars have invigorated parts of the H Street corridor, often referred to by DC residents as the Atlas District (the streets from about 11th – 14th NE) because of the historic Atlas theater, a former movie theater that now houses a Performing Arts Center. The Rock-n-Roll hotel also reels in young, hipsters who want to spend their evenings in a grungy bar listening to bands that they didn’t have to spend a paycheck on to hear.With a trolley car scheduled to be installed and other redevelopment efforts planned by D.C.’s Office of Planning, whispers of this corridor becoming a once-again thriving district are not unrealistic, and probably not too far off.
c) H Street is near and dear to our heart. Green Living Consulting not only has shared office space along the corridor, we are also part of a major initiative with DC Greenworks and H Street Main Street organization to Grow H Street NE Green – starting with educating the local business community on the benefits of greening their operations and taking advantage of government grant programs to add green roofs. Our hope is that if other businesses along the corridor witness the benefits that implementing green practices has both for their pocketbooks and reputation as well as the environment, as Taylor has demonstrated, then they will be motivated to make even small changes that collectively will serve to have a big impact.
d) We would be lying if we weren’t also thrilled at getting a name mention on page 98 of the feature article, given our love for Dwell and almost all things both modern and green!
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Green Living Consulting was recently interviewed by Athletic Business magazine regarding the green movement in health clubs. As Andrew Cohen, author of the article “Eco Logical”, points out that health clubs, and many business in general, started focusing on green practices and the marketing of their green efforts a few years ago. “Then came the global economic meltdown, and going green immediately took a backseat to staying in the black.” The article mentions our work with two of DC’s health clubs – VIDA Fitness at the Verizon Center and CycleLife USA in Georgetown.
One thing we’d like to emphasize that was not clear in the article is that we do support LEED (which is a little misleading from the author’s statement that green consultants sometimes dismiss LEED because of its cost). Where we see a bridge in our services and rating system with what LEED provides is the tranistion from construction and design to the everyday operations. We look at some of the interior design and infrastructure to assess at what point a committment was made to integrate “green” – whether in building design, furniture, wall and flooring selection, etc, to practices and products used to support the services once open for business. For example, in a health club, we like to see a committment to good air quality considering that people are coming to a club to get in shape and improve health. If a club member is inhaling VOCs (volatile organic compounds often found in paints, carpeting and other synthetic materials) while exercising, they could be increasing their risk of cancer or other illnesses as those toxins are exposed to their body. There are a number of ways to improve air quality post-construction and design, including ensuring adequate ventilation, adding air purifying plants, and using non-toxic cleaning products on all surfaces and machines.
There’s much more to the green side than good air quality, and so we target a number of areas that create a overall sustainable operation. For health clubs, integrating green practices is a way to cut operating costs as well as create a healthy environment good for people and the planet.
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