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Friday, May 4, 2007
—By Katy Devlin, e-newsletter editor, e-glass weekly

The theme of this year’s AIA convention: growing beyond green. The seminars are dedicated to energy-efficient trends, the exhibitors are displaying the latest and greatest green products, and aside from the magazine-sized show catalogs, the convention has gone virtually paperless.

So, with the green theme top of mind, it’s hard not to notice all those energy-wasting, greenhouse gas-producing elements that are vital parts of the show.

This morning, I hopped onto a large charter bus carrying only three passengers. After a short trip, my trio of riders joined 25 others on a second bus that sat—engine running—for more than 20 minutes before carrying us 15 miles to our green-focused convention.

Once there, I sat in windowless seminar rooms to learn the importance of daylighting on productivity. I shivered in air conditioning as speakers discussed the importance of natural ventilation.

I certainly don’t mean to criticize the conference organizers. In fact, AIA went above and beyond to green the convention.

Rather, this has made me acutely aware of how easy it is to sacrifice the world around us for convenience. The bus driver could have waited for more passengers to fill the bus, but then I wouldn’t have arrived at the conference at my desired time.

The green theme also makes me so appreciate the projects going on out there that are leading the trend to curb our energy usage and limit our reliance on carbon-based fuels.

Below, I’ve listed a few projects by green leaders that presenters have brought up as case studies in the past two days.

The Solaire:
A 27-story building in New York City by Pelli Clark Pelli Architects, with all low-E glass, some photovoltaics and a roof-top garde. This project earned LEED Gold.

Octagon Park:
A residential development on Roosevelt Island across the East River from Manhattan with a whole rooftop array of photovoltaics and argon-filled IG with a low-E coating.

Philadelphia Forensic Science Center:
This laboratory, originally built in 1929, was renovated for green, bringing daylight in to reduce use of indoor lighting. And, there’s a PV array on the roof of this one too.

Since I won’t be building any PV-clad, carbon-neutral spaces for myself anytime soon, I’ll do what I can when I can. Like today when I took a quick visit to the Alamo … and walked.
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Coming to San Antonio for the first time for the AIA show? Here's some information to get you started.


San Antonio

Population: 1,144,646
Famous spots: The Alamo, River Walk
Fun fact: Named after the Portuguese St. Anthony of Padua
In the news: The Spurs beat the Denver Nuggets 4-1 in round one of the NBA playoffs May 2.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007
By Katy Devlin, e-newsletter editor, e-glass weekly

I arrived at the San Antonio, Texas, airport this morning and headed straight to the convention center for the start of the AIA show. Through the shuttle bus windows on the way to the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, I took note of the glass office buildings and high rises that the Alamo city has to offer.

In the midst of all that gazing, my glass-focused internal monologue started up again—I wonder who supplied that glass? The heat gain on that façade must be brutal in the afternoons. Those floor-to-ceiling lites have got to weigh a ton; I wonder who did the installation?

I decided to satisfy that internal industry voice and use this blog to share just a few examples of notable glass and glazing within blocks of the convention center. I dragged Glass Magazine’s editor-in-chief, Matt Slovick, on a search for glass. Here are a few things we found. If you know of more interesting glass and glazing applications in the city, leave comments, and we’ll try to check it out before the convention ends on Saturday.

We didn’t have to go far to find a great façade. In fact, this one is actually part of the convention center. The glass allows the inside registration area to fill with daylight, I’m sure greatly reducing use of interior lighting. And the exterior metal system—just awesome.

Right across the street from the convention center is the San Antonio River Center, a mall with shops opening to the outdoors on the first floor and glass-enclosed shops above. You can see there’s a hint of reflectivity on that glass, but from where we were standing, you could see sharp, clear views into the opposing shops.

My photography doesn’t do the Tower of the America’s justice. So, click here to view some professional images. I’ve heard from several native San Antonians that the views from the glass-enclosed restaurant at the top are just breathtaking.

Our brief San Antonio glass tour, however, didn’t come without a few failures. Here’s an image of a cracked (and taped) piece of bent glass on the revolving door of a local hotel—which will remain nameless. The hotel’s glass-clad tower also featured quite a few failed units—though I couldn’t quite tell what the problem was from the ground.

Check out tomorrow’s blog for coverage inside the expo. And see next week’s e-glass weekly to read convention news.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Editors from Glass Magazine, a publication of the National Glass Association in McLean, Va., travel around the world every year to cover the top conferences and trade shows for the glass and glazing industry. From Atlanta to Italy, Las Vegas to Finland, our editors are there, on-site, even when you can't be.

While we offer detailed news and information in our weekly e-newsletter, e-glass weekly, and in Glass Magazine, our blog gives us the opportunity to provide immediate news, photos and commentary of the meetings you care about.

And with this blog, we're becoming interactive. Feel free to comment on our posts, tell us your own experiences and ask questions.

Starting this week, Katy Devlin, e-newsletter editor, will start blogging from the AIA Annual Convention 2007, May 3-5 in San Antonio.
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