Fall 2006 www.dvgbc.org
helped me grow as a person. I
Meet Rob Diemer,
have met some very inspiring
Chairman of DVGBC
people. I have had a chance to
When did you first become aware of work on projects and initiatives
environmental concerns? that are far removed from engi-
neering. To me, this personal
When I was a kid growing up in the 1960’s, there
growth has been the real value of
were public service announcements on the TV about
my involvement with the Council.
pollution, littering, etc. I remember all the coverage
about Love Canal. I knew the environment was As the DVGBC’s new chair-
important, but it wasn’t personal to me. In 2000, I man, what are the elements that make up
started hearing people talk about green buildings, this initiative about which you feel most
and I was asked about sustainable design in several
Gold Sponsors passionately?
project interviews. I started educating myself on
I think the DVGBC has an opportunity to be a
sustainability and LEED and gradually realized that
catalyst for positive change in Philadelphia and
this was something that I wanted to be involved in.
the Delaware Valley. If we as humans are going
In June 2001, I went to a seminar at the Fuel Cell
to reverse the affects of global warming,
Research Institute in Irvine, California to learn more
Americans needs to demonstrate leadership by
about fuel cells for a client that was interested in
changing the focus of our country from a con-
them. California was in the middle of rolling black
suming, extractive economy to a sustainable,
outs and power outages, and everyone I met was
regenerative economy that also addresses social
very excited about green buildings. I caught their
justice. This is the legacy we must leave our chil-
excitement. When I got back to the east coast, I
dren. As Al Gore says, it is a moral imperative.
decided to sign up for the USGBC annual meeting
(pre-GreenBuild) in Tucson, AZ. I have gone back There is a lack of leadership at the top necessary
every year since then. to lead the American people to a sustainable
future focused on the triple bottom line. Change
Silver Sponsors When and why did you become actively
will need to be initiated from the bottom up, and
Armstrong Ceiling Tile involved in DVGBC?
our regional chapter needs to play a role by help-
Once I realized that I wanted to be involved in ing define and advocate for a more sustainable
green buildings, I needed to find a way to get future for the Delaware Valley.
Brandywine Realty Trust
opportunities to work on green building projects.
Bruce E. Brooks & Assoc.
In the short time the DVGBC has been in exis-
Corporate Lamp Recycling I thought that it would be good to get involved in
tence, we have shown an amazing ability to get
WS Cumby & Son
the USGBC but hadn’t yet found a way. In 2002 I
LF Driscoll Co. things done and to demonstrate leadership within
was at Green Build in Austin, Texas in 2002 and
both the USGBC and the region. It is this capaci-
attended the USGBC member day. I think the
ty that excites me the most about the DVGBC.
Herman Miller Inc. DVGBC was recognized as a new chapter that
day, and I saw Scott Kelly holding the chapter And what are your priorities?
flag. When I saw him later on at the conference,
My priorities are for the DVGBC to take an active
I introduced myself and said I wanted to get
role in advocating for change in the Delaware
Johnson Controls, Inc.
involved in the DVGBC. He immediately put me
MAB Paints Valley. My hope is that by engaging community,
to work on the Educational Programs committee.
business and governmental leaders and organiza-
How has your involvement in DVGBC tions, we can have a greater impact. I believe that
Mohawk Fine Papers
impacted your engineering practice? our advocacy needs to be focused on two primary
PECO Energy objectives; making sustainability a priority for
My practice is totally different now then it was 5
Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley and expand-
years ago. I try to concentrate on green buildings
Paul H. Yeomans (PHY) ing the demand for green buildings. The two
and LEED projects. Through my involvement in
Consulting Engineers, Inc.
objectives go together because as the region gains
Sherwin Williams DVGBC, I have met a lot of people and gotten
a better understanding of the benefits of sustain-
involved in a lot of projects to which I wouldn’t
Urban Engineers ability, and begins to move toward more sustain-
have otherwise had access. Beyond my engineer-
able government and business practices, the
ing practice, my involvement with the DVGBC has
demand for green buildings will increase as well.
High Tech High Living the Future reduce water use by 60% as compared to a stan-
dard building. A vegetated roof on the school’s
in a New Philadelphia
performance center will help control water runoff
High School during rain storms and an Energy Star roof with
strategically placed shade trees will reduce the
Today, graduating from high school with just the
urban heat island effect. Over 90% of all wood
three R’s doesn’t cut it. Graduates will enter a
used in this project was sustainably harvested as
world that demands individuals with sophisticated
approved by the Forest Stewardship Council.
skills such as problem solving, effective commu-
nication and critical thinking. For this reason, the
Superior indoor air quality will result from the use
School District of Philadelphia (SDP) teamed up
of low emission paints and materials and advanced
with the Microsoft Corporation, to create a new,
ventilation systems. During construction more than
750-student, 180,000 ft2 high school in West
50% of all waste was diverted from landfills by
Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, where the primary
recycling and when the school is in operation a
100 North 6th Street goal is to infuse technology or “digital literacy”
comprehensive recycling program will manage the
into every aspect of the learning environment.
Philadelphia PA 19106
building’s waste paper, metals and plastics.
Extensive studies have confirmed that a facility
The combination of excellent daylighting, high
with fresh air, daylight, and superior indoor air
efficient lighting, a well designed building enve-
quality is a key component of high quality educa-
lope, and an innovative “ice storage” HVAC sys-
tion. With this in mind, the SDP decided to con-
tem will result in energy savings that are expect-
struct the School of the Future as a high perform-
ed to exceed the current building codes (ASHRAE
ance green school. It was designed by the Prisco
Sponsor Spotlight 90.1) by 49%. With financial support from a
Group of Howell NJ, using the LEED (Leadership in
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental
AKF Engineers, LLP Energy and Environmental Design) rating system
Protection Energy Harvest Grant, 10 kilowatts of
is an award winning as a tool. LEED demands that environmentally
electricity will be generated from solar panels on
mechanical and sound building technologies be used resulting in
the school roof and through building integrated
electrical engineer- operational cost savings for the School District
solar glass panes. Though these and other fea-
ing consulting firm through energy, water and operational efficiencies
tures, the building will become a living textbook
specializing in green and better performance of students and staff from
as students will monitor and analyze building sys-
buildings and sus- improved indoor air quality.
tems as part of their learning process.
tainable design. The
The School of the Future has many unique fea-
firm has offices in The School of the Future serves as an outstanding
tures. A system is in place that collects rainwater
Stamford, CT; New example that “high tech” commands “high per-
from various roofs, and gravity feeds it into a
York, NY; Princeton, formance. The School District of Philadelphia is to
30,000 gallon underground tank. This rain water
NJ; Philadelphia, PA be commended for creating this vision that will be
is then pumped back up to the school to be used
and Arlington, VA. modeled around the country.
for flushing toilets and urinals. This combined
with other water efficient design is predicted to
(as of October 2006)
DVGBC Website Hits
The Microsoft School of the Future, designed by the Prisco Group to be built in Fairmount
Park, is a high performance green school. The School District of Philadelphia anticipates
Spring 2006 cost savings through energy, water and operational efficiencies and better performance
Fall 2006 of students and staff from improved indoor air quality.