Monday, February 15, 2010

Autodesk Gallery and LEED

The ADN DevLabs was held at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco. The Autodesk Gallery is definitely worth the visit if you are in San Francisco near Market Street. The one thing I did notice was the LEED plaques plastered throughout the gallery.

When you put LEED plaques up I tend to look at what’s going on in the space more then I normally would. How are the occupants using the facility? Can I find the thermostats controlling comfort for the users? What could be done better? After all I took the test and past to become a LEED AP.

The first thing I noticed, while standing alone in the space, was that all of the exhibits were on and electricity was flowing. My first thought was, this is Wednesday and the Gallery is open to the public, but not for another 5 hours, why are all the exhibits on? Seems very wasteful, and I would expect more from a LEED Platinum Certification space. I asked if the exhibits were always on and was told that Autodesk tried to keep all of the exhibits on all week. A bit of wasted electricity. As I walked around the space I noticed other power goblins on. Such as the 3D printers humming away, but not producing anything.

The DevLab was confined to a small corner of the Gallery overlooking the Ferry Building. You could tell it was an exhibit space due to the projector constantly splashing images against a blank white wall. It didn’t seem like it added to the function, but kept changing from image to image and no one asked for it to be turned off. Regardless it was using energy that could have been conserved.

I checked out the bathrooms, they are large and spacious single user behemoths. I was surprised with all of the space there was just a toilet in place and not a waterless urinal; why would they rob me of using a waterless urinal to relieve my bladder and save water at the same time? I was a bit disappointed. In the bathroom they did have a cool high velocity air hand dryer, unfortunately I had used the paper towels placed conveniently next to the sink before noticing it. You’d think that a city that outlaws throwing away coffee grounds would outlaw paper towels in restrooms with air dryers.

Overall the LEED certification matched the purpose of the space, mainly marketing. It screams we care about sustainability as long as it is good marketing. After all there isn’t as much marketing impact coming into a room and turning on each exhibit as you view them. It’s much more impactful to come into a fully visually interesting room, but it also screams energy wastefulness. Is LEED about sustainability or marketing? Autodesk has pushed the needle further to the marketing side for me.

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