National Building Museum Explores ‘Green Community’

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President Barack Obama’s environmental-friendly plans have gotten a lot of publicity, but there’s another green part of the nation’s capital that fits the bill.

The National Building Museum is featuring Green Community, an exhibit open through Oct. 25, that according to the museum’s Web site, “explores the origins of our precarious ecological situation and introduces communities large and small where citizens, political leaders, planning and design professionals, developers, and government agencies are working together for a more sustainable future.”

At the exhibit, the question of “what makes a community green?” is explored, including such issues as whether it’s easy to walk around, resourcefulness, recycling, and green government initiatives. There also is an exploration of new technologies using existing, familiar resources: earth, air, fire and water.

Additionally, there is a focus on Greensburg, Kan., which employs wind turbines to provide energy. Tornadoes are prevelant in the region and a very forceful one measuring 1.7 miles wide killed 12 residents and damaged or destroyed more than 90 percent of the structures in the community on May 4, 2007.

Greensburg is trying to harness that to improve the community and the environment through a Long-Term Community Recovery Plan. This plan seeks to develop a local ordinance requiring that all new municipal buildings be designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Development (LEED) Platinum standards; develop and implement a green home and business incentive-based certification program; and rebuild the county recycling center.

Created by an act of Congress in 1980, the National Building Museum has become one of the world’s most prominent and vital venues for informed, reasoned debate about the built environment and its impact on people’s lives. Its exhibitions, educational programs, and publications are well-regarded not only for their capacity to enlighten and entertain, but also as vehicles for fostering lively discussion about a wide range of topics related to development, architecture, construction and engineering, interior design, landscape architecture, and urban planning.

Exhibit Tours are offered Thursday through Saturday at 11:00 am and Sunday at 11:30 am., subject to availability.

Photo Credit: Alan Lishness via Flickr, Creative Commons

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