downsizingenvironmental designLifestyle September 8, 2010

Inspired by Oberlin College

Spent the last week in Ohio at Oberlin College, getting my son all set up and ready for the new school year. I can’t believe how fast summer flew by!

I have to share this great shot of Peter with his life all packed up in four…yes FOUR, boxes! How did we go from a stuffed garage to that!? That’s what I call downsizing!

My son, as many of you know, is studying music and the new music building – The Bertram and Judith Kohl building – here is simply stunning. Leed Gold certified, it sets a stellar example of environmentally friendly construction. Local architectural firm, Westlake Reed Leskosk, oversaw construction and implemented the master plan for this amazing building.

The Bertram and Judith Kohl Building promotes green building practices and sustainable strategies and planning opportunities; including geothermal heating and cooling with radiant panels, energy efficient systems and lighting, roof gardens, storm water run-off collection and filtration, and the use of local, recycled, and sustainably harvested materials. –  Oberlin Press Room

Sounds good to me! Now for some eye candy…

Images via Westlake Reed Leskosky

One of the other buildings on campus that must not be overlooked, is the beautiful Oberlin Conservatory of Music, founded in 1865. It is the nations oldest conservatory and the only one directly linked to a liberal arts college. It is especially fitting to pay homage to this structure this month since, Japanese-American architect, Minoru Yamasaki, also created the beloved World Trade Center.

Wondering why all those tiny, narrow windows? Well, it turns out that Mr. Yamasaki was terribly afraid of heights. The World Trade center had the same skinny windows!

Here’s some more shots of Peter practicing one of the Steinway pianos – (the school has 200) – for practice! Nice!

Can’t wait to hear all the wonderful music flowing from these buildings as classes start this week! Have a great first week Peter!!

Okay…one last thing about this fabulous school! President Obama just awarded them the National Medal of Arts Award! Woo!

So now that your kids are shipped off to college…why not reduce your own carbon footprint and downsize…in style! Is “green” architecture important to you? Would it affect your next home purchase? How does it feel to have an “empty nest”? I would love to hear what you have to say.

Have a great Wednesday!