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You Had Me at ‘Napkin Scribble’

Dennis invited me to this meeting, saying that he and Christy would value my presence. I took this to mean that they still valued my direct, honest opinions and comments—yay!

The meeting participants were just Shafraaz, Christy, Dennis and myself.

Shafraaz toured Christy and Dennis through two buildings to show them some completed local projects that incorporated some of the aspects they were considering for their buildings.

I think it was really good Shafraaz could show Dennis and Christy what their money can buy locally and give them a physical sense of what the spaces could be like. This way they can visualize what they like and what they don’t like.

The meeting at OCE was amazeballz! Dennis was all fired up about the Living Building Challenge (LBC). He was hell bent on the full throttle certification until we all talked more about the cost implications. I was glad to have Shafraaz there to speak to some of those costs (i.e., cost of composting toilets).

The answer then was that we would still register for the LBC, but focus instead on the petal certification with possible Net-Zero Energy (NZE) certification too. I was tasked with registering the project ASAP.

We also talked at length regarding the materials petal as it is quite challenging, but we (EcoAmmo) specialize in material data collection and working with specification writers to have them implement our researched products. We will work with Shafraaz’s team to get’er done! And where we cannot find an alternative, we can speak with the LBC contacts and request an ‘exemption’. Since the LBC group is keen to get more projects on board, they said they are okay to negotiate exemptions, as long as they make sense.

Then we turned focus to the design. Shafraaz had in front of him what he described as a ‘napkin scribble,’ but it was wonderful! Immediately I could see where all the programming would fit and it felt right! The building shapes were still based on the most efficient ‘box,’ but when combined became so much more! The atrium space was now a triangle and the walking lengths of the ‘petals’ (which we took to calling the three buildings radiating from the atrium) were short enough that the atrium would be the most logical way to connect to the other parts of the building thereby encouraging the ‘mixing’ and ‘connections’ that Dennis and Christy desire.

Then it also became apparent to us that this shape is already so close to being like the mosaic logo and the apple seeds, and consequently aligning with sacred geometry. Dennis looked up a three-petal flower and up came an orchid. Everything just seemed to fit. I was very impressed and happy to see Shafraaz’s napkin scribbles— I was proud of him. I hope it showed him he can do this on his own. He doesn’t need the entire six-person design team to come up with something amazing. He is great!

We explored this in-depth, discussing how to deal with the elements, the landscaping, and how to carve out the building to add visual interest while maintaining the overall effectiveness of the program design within the building itself.

Shafraaz was tasked with making this idea come to life for a presentation on Friday. I asked him if he could double-check sizes and shapes against the Fibonacci numbers—“No problem!”

Dennis and Christy seemed happy with this idea. Hopefully I didn’t overstep my bounds—my enthusiasm for the project makes it easy to speak my mind and the excitement is hard to contain. However, I know that Dennis and Christy would speak up if they didn’t approve.

I am unbelievably pumped to see what Shafraaz comes up with on Friday! Wooot!!


Website: EcoAmmo

Stephani Carter, LEED AP, EcoAmmo

Stephani is all about the action and proving that Edmonton can build incredibly aesthetic buildings while being respectful of the environment they occupy. Steph is passionate about making sustainability a fun and engaging endeavor.

She’s the subject-matter expert in green building-rating systems, and facilitates group discussions to ensure that it’s the cutting edge, cool, sustainable project it’s supposed to be. Her company is going to be one of the first tenants, so she brings a user perspective to the table.

Stephani is somewhat of a collector of all things cool, but has a penchant for things that are old. As a young lady, she always dreamt about restoring historical buildings to be cutting-edge eco-friendly, or retrofitting classic cars with emission-free engines.

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