Stephanie Aurora Lewis

Stephanie Aurora Lewis

Stephanie, an NCARB registered architect and LEED AP, draws upon her studies in architectural history and theory from Sarah Lawrence College and her master’s degree in architecture from The Ohio State University. Providing copy for publications and performing marketing work for the construction industry, Stephanie works as an independent freelancer from Columbus, Ohio.

Living Green in Outdoor Spaces

Wed, Jan 13, 2010
Don't Mow Your Lawn

Prevailed upon by a technocratic society, people are frequently alienated from nature and social interaction. As such, rumor has it that ecological outdoor living spaces are greatly coveted safe havens. The sky’s the limit; an outdoor living space or room can take on the functions of any interior home space within the constructs and limits of any locale. This is green architecture at its best; it brings the residents and their visitors' mental, emotional and physical conditions back into sync with nature.

Greenhome Journal

Wed, Jan 06, 2010

Homeowners are motivated to build a “greenhome” or to renovate their existing home for a variety of reasons, such as: saving money as utility costs rise, an enthusiasm and respect for nature, to achieve a healthy living space, and even to enjoy the advanced technologies associated with energy efficiency. Yet, a “greenhome” is a process more than a sum of products. Record the process, perhaps in a journal1, including websites and data about what and where the materials and services were purchased, various installations and reconstruction stages, experimental discoveries and failures, a record of costs and savings, and a record of temperatures to measure efficacies of eco-friendly materials and technologies. A journal, like that of a gardening journal or a travel journal, can help to keep the ball rolling and to act as a display of accomplishments for others who may follow in your footsteps.

New Year's Football: Go Green

Fri, Jan 01, 2010

"It's Time for Some Trash Talk" is the banner on the opening page for the Philadelphia Eagles' Go Green website. Christina Weiss Lurie, co-owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, initiated a Go Green program for their NFL team. By using 100% clean energy on game days and by recycling 100% of all trash collected, the Eagles' Go Green program is the most environmentally friendly program in the NFL and most likely throughout all pro-sport organizations. Lurie explains their motivation for the program, which was unveiled in 2003, "We have always felt strongly that what we do on the field should be parallel with what we do off the field. We also feel strongly that we need to give back to the community."

The Eagles' Go Green website has information about how much carbon a fan burns while traveling to the stadium for a home game; a green calculator; a program that allows fans to purchase a tree in honor of the Eagles; details about the Eagles' Go Green program; and more information about sustainability in general.

The Green Flip

Wed, Dec 30, 2009
LEED V3 Provides New Tools.

Many homeowners are running amok trying to sell their homes in a downturned economy. The design/build professional Christopher Prelitz, LEED AP, founder of Prelitz + Partners, owner of New Leaf America, and author of the book Green Made Easy, has been renovating buildings with green features since 1993. An active member of the sustainable building community of Southern California for nearly 20 years, Prelitz says, "If you green it, you will sell it." Perhaps Prelitz's most profitable market is green-ovating homes and flipping them for nice profits. The concept sounds "easy," but doing a green renovation is often seen as such an elephantine task that many walk away from the idea with their eyes dazed over.

The Everyday Guide for Transitioning to a Green Lifestyle

Wed, Dec 30, 2009

If you are one to make New Year's resolutions or goals, may I recommend Prelitz's Green Made Easy book? As the title of the book suggests, the idea of 'making green easy' is one of our greatest challenges, as I alluded to in the feature article this week. Not only homeowners, but professional architects and those in academia find sustainable concepts difficult to manage, largely because of complex mathematical and engineering concepts.

Prelitz told me during an interview yesterday, "Green Made Easy was designed to reach a wide spectrum of the population, so it covers many facets of sustainability. For the design professionals, there are four chapters devoted to passive solar design."

Green Made Easy exemplifies Prelitz's view that sustainability goals are achieved through education. With regard to LEED, Prelitz believes that LEED's strength is indeed sustainable education. However, when it comes to using LEED's resources, Prelitz believes, "LEED is a measurement tool; not a design tool." The main design tool we need in our back pocket is green knowledge that leads to a dynamic green design intelligence.

The History and the Problem with Solar Energy

Mon, Dec 28, 2009

Solar energy technologies were discovered by the ancient Greek society, yet we are still uncovering today how to store the sun's energy for use on those days when cloudy cover prevails and there is no sunshine to capture. Many alternative energy sources, such as solar energy, have been overshadowed, as well, by fuel sources such as coal and natural gas, once seen by early industrialists as abundant and seemingly limitless.

MIT's Chemistry Professor Dan Nocera and his research team offer society new hope for taking solar energy technologies one step closer to an in-home reality.

We'll Have a Green Christmas with Cowboy Bob

Fri, Dec 25, 2009

One of our KnowledgeBase writers, Robert Klar, otherwise known as Cowboy Bob, is a holidays enthusiast who would like to share some of his ideas about how to make the holidays an enjoyably green experience. He shares with us a few tips about LED lights that tie into the At Home article Christmas Light Safety. As for me, I greatly enjoyed walking through the Columbus Zoo's new LED Wildlights Display, sponsored this year by AEP with over 3 million brightly shining bulbs.

While we hope to inspire families to change out their traditional Christmas stings of lights with LED's this year, like Prince Charles has done for Buckingham Palace, the greater goal is to invoke a stronger, more broad use of the new LED technology in all light sources. After all, 6% of all electricity use in the U.S. comes from lighting sources. LED's are more than twice as efficient as compact fluorescents. So, look forward to watching how LED technology progresses in the coming years.

Happy Holidays!


Don't Just Stand There; Make Buildings Better

Wed, Dec 23, 2009

Autodesk released a new online game called Retrofit Online Game for Green Buildings yesterday, intended to raise green awareness and be publicized through social media. Though China technically emits more CO2 than the U.S., we are still the leading country emitting CO2 per capita. No, of course we are not proud of our ranking?!

Check out the new game. Find out how much energy it takes to use a hair dryer and how much CO2 a typical American household outputs each day. It takes about 20 minutes to complete the video and quizzing portions. It is funny that you, the construction worker, have to work against a woman who is throwing her coffee mug at you, a man who is breaking windows as you work, and an annoying bird that throws you off the ladder.

Maximizing the Sun's Heat

Wed, Dec 23, 2009

According to Architecture 2030, the key to preventing the impending loss of our polar ice caps (as written in my recent blog post) is to reduce our use of coal, which is used to generate electricity. Mazria, the founder of Architecture 2030, recommends we reduce our use of coal first by using passive solar solutions, and then by supplementing those solutions with active eco-friendly technologies to get us to cut emissions that ultimately lead to the melting of Earth's polar ice caps.

The Knowlton School of Architecture (KSA) and The College of Engineering at The Ohio State University partnered to compete in the 2009 National Renewable Energy Lab's Solar Decathlon Competition that was held in October at the Oval in Washington D.C. The team of OSU architecture and engineering students, led by David Nedrow and Deanna Hinkle, who both were graduate students in the Masters of Architecture program at OSU, presented a compelling design that functions off-the-grid (the home generates its own electricity and does not depend on traditional public utility services) with both passive solar design and active solar technologies.

It's Not Just the Polar Bears that Need the Ice Caps to Survive

Mon, Dec 21, 2009

Coldness as we know it may begin to change, no matter if global warming is a "natural fluctuation or an effect of industrial society's releasing heat-trapping gasses into the atmosphere," as reported in John Noble Wilford's New York Times article Ages Old Polar Icecap is Melting, Scientists Find, written nearly ten years ago. Scientists have proven the ice cap is melting in the summer at a greater pace and more aggressively than at any other recorded time in history.

Page 3 of 4