Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Green Meeting

. Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I've got a big meeting today to talk about what may the first LEED certified jail in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Rumor has it that another firm is also designing a proposed LEED certified jail too, so I hope that ours gets certified first and/or has a higher ranking (certified/silver/gold/platinum). This will be my first LEED job, and boy, is it a doozie - a 600 bed prison with future capacity to expand to 1,000 beds.

My job has lots of duties. Sure, I spend a lot of time sitting at my computer drawing ductwork and piping, so it's good to get out of the office every now and then. Sometimes it meens going out in the field and checking in an on the evil and sinister Lord Contractor to make sure he's not up to any dirty tricks. I'll be doing that on Thursday. But today is a big meeting a couple hours away from the office. There will be a big group of us going to this meeting, so we'll have lots of conversations going during the ride to and from. The meeting is to discuss which green strategies we're going to persue in our effort to become LEED certifed. Jails and prisons are occupied 24/7/365 and use tons of energy and water. There are some design strategies that we can't use due to security reasons, so it will be a challenge. Part of the meeting is to also remind the Owner that even though some of these measures initially cost more, they typically have a good payback (within 3 - 5 years). I know we plan on doing a vacuum plumbing system to reduce water consumption. It will be cool if we end up doing a grey water system as well.

I used to get pretty nervous when it came to public speaking (especially in school). It has gotten a lot better. I think practice makes perfect and it certainly helps when you know what the hell you're talking about.