Category Archives: Green Building

Nov. 14 mayoral candidate forum will focus on transportation and sustainability

Savannah mayoral candidates Edna Jackson and Jeff Felser will field questions about their positions on transportation and sustainability issues Monday, Nov. 14 at 6:30 p.m. Hosted by the Savannah Bicycle Campaign, US Green Building Council-Savannah Branch and League of Women Voters, the forum will be held at the Coastal Georgia Center, 305 Fahm St.  The forum will start at 6:30 p.m., following a brief reception, and will be moderated by Jim Morekis, editor-in-chief of Connect Savannah.

“As we choose our next mayor, it’s more important than ever to ensure that Savannah grows into the future and grows wisely,” said Mark Fitzpatrick, Chair of the US Green Building Council-Savannah Branch. “Through this forum, candidates can express their vision for how Savannah can be a leader by demonstrating responsible stewardship of our environment while incorporating innovative strategies as part of that solution.”

“We’ve seen a tremendous increase in the use of bicycles for transportation in the community. The City of Savannah government has been a positive influence in that growth, and we hope this forum allows candidates the chance to address how they will help continue this trend and also make transit and pedestrian options more viable,” said Drew Wade, Chairman of the Savannah Bicycle Campaign. “Several long-term transportation planning efforts are reaching the point where those decisions become a critical part of the community we live with for the next several decades; we need to make the right decisions.”

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Frank McIntosh at 912-272-1074 or frank@bicyclecampaign.org.

Sept. 27 forum will probe aldermanic candidates’ positions on sustainability

A forum for Savannah’s at-large aldermanic candidates is scheduled for Sept. 27 from 6-8 p.m. at the Coastal Georgia Center. The event is organized by the Savannah Bicycle Campaign and The Savannah Branch of the U.S. Green Building Council. Details from the Savannah Bicycle Campaign:

Alderman At-Large candidates will gather to field questions regarding their positions on transportation and sustainability issues. The forum is free and open to the public, will be moderated by Orlando Montoya, news producer with Georgia Public Broadcasting in Savannah, and Jim Morekis, editor-in-chief of Connect Savannah. Candidates will answer formal questions delivered by the moderators during the program before taking questions from the audience and from the media.

More information is available here.

Savannah Earth Day Festival assembled of popular components


Forsyth Park will be home to the City of Savannah’s annual Earth Day Festival again on Saturday, April 23. The long-running features individual events and programs that have become immensely popular. The Savannah Bicycle Campaign’s Earth Day Wheelie Bike ride, which attracts hundreds of cyclists, departs from the park at 4 p.m. Earlier in the day, the RecycleRama begins at 8 a.m. and offers drop off service for folks who want to recycle paint, batteries, cooking grease and other materials. Last year’s RecycleRama collected 8,500 pounds of paint and 1,000 tires. It ends at 11 a.m. on the dot. More than 100 exhibitors will offer information on topics from beekeeping to bicycling to green roofs. More information is available on the festival website.

Connect Savannah story looks at local geothermal projects

“Energy Underground” in the Dec. 7 issue of Connect Savannah surveys geothermal efforts underway in the area, including one particularly interesting project:

The recent, and under-reported, symbolic groundbreaking of what will be the Savannah Gardens neighborhood redevelopment of Strathmore Estates, unearthed the city’s game plan to provide geothermal energy to 150 single family homes. According to Martin Fretty, city director of housing, “We’re trying to find ways to put in both Smart Meters and geothermal.” If the city succeeds in this Eastside development, it will be the largest residential use of geothermal in the region.

The recent, and under-reported, symbolic groundbreaking of what will be the Savannah Gardens neighborhood redevelopment of Strathmore Estates, unearthed the city’s game plan to provide geothermal energy to 150 single family homes. According to Martin Fretty, city director of housing, “We’re trying to find ways to put in both Smart Meters and geothermal.” If the city succeeds in this Eastside development, it will be the largest residential use of geothermal in the region.

Read more here.

Class presents ideas that could make strip mall sustainable

whitemarshplaza

Perhaps there’s no type of building that better signifies suburban sprawl than the strip mall. Well, maybe a McMansion would do, but the strip mall has been with us longer and its very form and purpose transmits the essence of sprawl. The buildings are low and long, surrounded by parking lots and, in most cases, reachable safely only by car. Whitemarsh Plaza is a smaller specimen, but it’s location along a multi-lane high speed roadway is common for this variety of commercial development.

Whitemarsh Plaza became the focus of SCAD graduate students. And things continued from there, as SCAD professor Scott Boylston describes on the Emergent Structures blog:

Almost 10 weeks ago, a graduate Sustainable Practices in Design class at SCAD visited a generic strip mall on Whitemarsh Island. We went to visit Wendy Armstrong of Thrive Take Out Cafe to talk about the possibility of creating an outdoor eating area made from building materials reclaimed from Savannah Gardens. You could say that conversation…and those that followed it…wandered a bit.

What began as an idea to create outdoor seating from reclaimed materials expanded to include other ideas, such as green roofs. Mary Landers describes some of the possibilities in her Savannah Morning News story, which features this excellent quote from Boylston:

“You go to this generic mall in suburbia and try to start showing people who are skeptical or unaware that this sustainability idea is not this hippie dippie thing,” he said. “It can be a strong, pragmatic set of solutions.”

Today from 3 until 7 p.m., a reception will feature live music, food and presentations framing the students’ ideas for the shopping center. A vacant storefront will house “videos, conceptual drawings, interactive displays” that provide a vision of what Whitemarsh Plaza could be. Click here to download a flier for the event.