Is the A/E/C industry ready for a social platform to ” lead transformative and perhaps disruptive change” by increasing the transparency of the $15 B HVAC market?  With the launch of recool, Roger Chang and Westlake Reed Leskosky think so.

Welcome to recool, a new platform for the exploration and discussion of design and technology solutions for the built environment. recool: solutions for a warming planet.

The term “recool” is inspired by the heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) term, “reheat.” Reheat coils are commonly used in HVAC systems to prevent overcooling of spaces for temperature and humidity control. On a global scale, we view our impact on climate change as a form of reheat. recool is intended to counteract this global issue, through open and candid discussion of design and product applications.

The site launched over the past few weeks and is definitely worth a look. 


Day Job plug….

The Drive to 500! 2013 promises to be an amazing time for the Vibrant NEO effort and Northeast Ohio. In getting ready for the coming year, we are making an end of year Drive to 500 Facebook Likes. (I actually think we can get quite a bit more!) Share it with your friends throughout the region.

Like Vibrant NEO here… http://www.facebook.com/VibrantNEO




engaging online


Having recently completed a review of on-line engagement platforms for my day job, I came to the realization that quite a bit of tools to chose from.  It was amazing to see the multitude of options and new technologies.  The consulting firm, Wise Economy,  has published a new white paper about online public engagement platforms that are available commercially in the United States.

“This white paper was developed to orient readers who are interested in local public participation to some of the existing online platforms and services available at this time, and create a base level of understanding with regard to each approach’s strengths and most appropriate applications

The reader should note that the field of online public participation is a young one, and that new providers appear on a regular basis and may not be captured by this white paper. Existing providers also update their applications regularly and may add subtstantial capacities within a short time frame. Finally, the reader also note that online public participation providers are generally early stage firms, and vary widely in terms of their internal capacity and stabiliy.”

Click to access the paper.

Zero Landfill, an initiative founded in Cleveland a few years back, “fortifies classrooms + artist studios with creative materials donated by interior designers.” With 22 new markets since 2006, the organization has been expanding rapidly and wants to grow to 50 cities in 2013.  They recently launched 12 Days of Reuse, a Peerbackers campaign to help the organization get to its next million pounds. Their goal is to raise $12,000 over the next 12 days.

Over 1 Million pounds of discontinued specification samples have been repurposed by the interior design industry through ZeroLandfill™ projects operating in 22 markets since 2006.  That’s a lot of fabric swatches, ceramic tiles, wallcovering books, laminate chips and carpet tiles!  Help us expand this program to 25 new North American cities in 2013 where we will help even more arts educators, working artists, non-profits and home schoolers find and use interesting and diverse materials donated by design professionals. Let’s see how fast we can divert the next million pounds of pristine materials from the waste stream and into local classrooms?

Each day we will offer donors a unique item inspired by ZeroLandfill™ programming.

Select your favorite or collect them all, your support will be evident in creative projects based on ZeroLandfill™ materials.

Why is it important to grow ZeroLandfill™? When design materials are discontinued by a manufacturer, the samples are pulled from the shelf of thousands of design firms nationwide. A large percentage of these items usually end up being disposed of as waste even though they are brand new in most cases.  ZeroLandfill™ volunteer teams collect these items and donate them to the community where they take on new life and meaning.  This material is too beautiful to be thrown away. Come be a part of this amazing work…your support touches thousands.

Visit their peerbackers site to donate.


Kaid Benfield at NRDC highlights EPA’s Community Sustainability Awards

Today, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced seven winners of its 2012 National Awards for Smart Growth Achievement.  As I have noted in the past, the smart growth awards are given for creative, outstanding initiatives that protect the health and the environment of our communities while also strengthening local economies.  One of this year’s winners is a personal favorite, Denver’s Mariposa (South Lincoln) revitalization.

EPA honors seven outstanding community sustainability projects | Kaid Benfield’s Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC.

Why Build Green?

Last night I came across a new infographic that featured my pre-NEOSCC, Sustainable Rhythm (https://sustainrhythm.wordpress.com/) market research work. The graphic published by Green Building Canada is entitled Why Build Green? and includes data from the Opening the Door to Green Building Studies that I completed. I thought some of you would appreciate taking a look … http://greenbuildingcanada.ca/2012/why-build-green-infographic/

A little background on the studies…

Opening the Door to Green Building Communications Study, 2010-2011 – Three studies (N=550): Alberta, North Carolina and Ohio.

This analysis, one of the first of its kind, engaged multiple perspectives (owners, facility managers, consultants, product companies, real estate and contractors) in the building industry to examine issues of the overall market, the perception of the financial investment, the role of certifications and finally how the benefits of green building and energy efficiency are being communicated among building design and construction professionals.  Studies have been featured in CBS News Moneywatch, Environmental Leader, USGBC Chapter Newsletter Hot Topics, Journal of Commerce, Eco-Homes Newsletter, Structural Engineering News, Chicago Real Estate Agent Magazine, Ann Arbor.com BuildBest White Paper Library totaling over 40 publications.

This was in my sole proprietorship days running a consulting company called Sustainable Rhythm.

BTW… I am still blogging here (infrequently) in my spare time… and tweeting at @sustainrhythm.  Who knows, maybe the Rhythm Report can be resurrected at some point?


Plain Dealer’s Steve Litt article in Architectural Record on Cleveland Regaining its Urbanity

Though its population has shrunk to just below 400,000 from nearly 1 million in the 1950s, Cleveland is experiencing a $6 billion burst of development that includes everything from big downtown projects to the fine-grained revival of a half-dozen neighborhoods. An influx of young professionals, drawn by jobs in tech, digital media, marketing, and biomedical companies, has led to a tight downtown rental market with a residential population of about 10,000 and growing, and an occupancy rate of nearly 96 percent.

Cleveland, Ohio | American City | Features | Architectural Record.

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