28 March 2009

Earth (Half) Hour

It was exciting to hear that the icon of the LDS Church, the Salt Lake Temple, would be apart of Earth Hour 2009. From the hills north of the city, the view is spectacular and provided a good location to see the lights go out. It was exciting to actually see the temple lights turned off in support of an important moral issue of our time. Unfortunately, from this vantage point, the temple appeared to be the only building in the city participating in making a statement about climate change. I kept waiting for the State Capitol lights to go out, but they never did. Surprising for a city signed up as a 'participating city'.

So the lights on the temple went out at 8:30pm. I was hoping that the other temple lights seen from the hill (Draper and Jordan River) would also go out, but they didn't. Heading down the hill to Temple Square to get some up-close shots, I was surprised when the lights came back on at 9:00pm. The video only partially shows this, since I had to quickly grab the camera and turn it on. So instead of Earth Hour, we'll call this one Earth (Half) Hour. But it's a great start. Maybe we'll get the full hour next year. And maybe we'll get other temples and all of Temple Square involved as well. Hopefully the Church will continue such an active and visible role in increasing awareness about global warming.
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27 March 2009

New LEED Certified Chapels

The new US/Canada meetinghouse standard is being developed with several prototypes being designed and built. These new prototypes will be LEED certified, registering under LEED Version 2.2 before the new Version 3 launches next month. The first of these was registered yesterday with the US Green Building Council and will be located in Eagle Mountain, Utah.

USGBC Details of Eagle Mountain site

Site location

View Larger Map
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Salt Lake Temple Going Dark for Earth Hour

Earth Hour 2009 is shaping up to be the largest yet with widespread participation throughout the world, including Hollywood, the pyramids of Giza, Broadway theaters, the Acropolis of Athens, the Las Vegas Strip, and … … … the Salt Lake Temple.

That’s right, the lights on the Salt Lake Temple will be turned off from 8:30 - 9:30 pm tomorrow (Saturday) according to LDS Church spokesman Scott Trotter.

He is quoted in the Salt Lake Tribune today as saying, "Prudent stewardship and wise use of resources are principles that Church leaders have emphasized throughout the history of the Church. The Church encourages its members to join with their fellow citizens in supporting worthy programs that will make their communities better places to live and raise their families."

Happy Earth Hour! (and don't forget to turn out those lights)
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02 March 2009

Travel Habits

The following is new today on the LDS Church Intranet:

Choose Travel Habits to Improve Air Quality

The choices we make as individuals collectively make the biggest difference in our air quality. In cooperation with state and local leaders, we encourage you to change your travel habits to improve air quality.

Drive Less
Use mass transit - call 1-888-RIDE-UTA (7433-822)
Rideshare, vanpool, or carpool
Walk or bike
Telework or compress workweeks
Use alternate transportation especially on "red" and "yellow" air quality days
Take the school bus to school

Drive Smarter
Arrange errands into one trip
Maintain vehicles
Avoid peak drive times
Drive the speed limit

Be Idle Free
Only warm up your engine for 30 seconds before driving
Turn vehicles off while waiting

FACT: If Wasatch Front drivers parked their vehicles for one day per week, emissions would decrease by 6,500 tons each year. (Source: DAQ Mobile Source)

For more information, visit cleanair.utah.gov, travelwise.utah.gov, and slcgov.com/slsolutions.
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I guess you really can find beauty from one of the worst blights on our cities: billboards.

These stunning photographs are by Branislav Kropilak. He also has some beautiful images of parking garages on his website.


If only we could see the billboards from this vantage point on a regular basis. Looking up from below really highlights the amount of light pollution many of these billboards put off as well. (And they don’t get turned off – they are typically on all night.)

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01 March 2009

Temple Design: Concept Model

Here is a first pass at the 'Temple as a tent in the wilderness' - one of two ideas I am exploring for a temple. Please see this post for background on the project. Basically, viewing our existence as a journey in the wilderness, the tent provides us a vertical axis to God and a means of progress to find God.

First sketch

Plan sketch

The journey begins as you approach the building and are drawn in towards the openings at either side. You then proceed beginning at the base, moving upwards through the ordinance rooms culminating at the sealing rooms at the top. The movement occurs along a vertical axis - the elevators and stairs, (colored in red) represented as the tent pole in the metaphor.

The large slotted screening element wrapping around the building would be south-facing to capture sunlight; providing a place of refuge from the sun. The separation between the main volume and this screen provides the entrance to the building. During the heat of the day, this screen will be bathed in light, providing shade to the ordinance rooms. At night, the opposite would hold true, with the light emanating from only the open slots.
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