Friday, September 18, 2015

Meet Fast Forward Presenter >> Laura Blau

What is your Big Idea for Philadelphia?
The Great Transition, Philly-Style: Shifting Away from Fossil Fuels

We can transform three conflated problems, with their dead-end, Band-Aid, “silo solutions,” into a visionary 21st century opportunity to actuate what economist Lester Brown calls the Great Transition.

Problems: 1) there is a 10-25 year window to mitigate global climate crisis by reducing our carbon use. 2) the Marcellus Shale gas “Energy Bridge” increases (not lowers) CO2 emissions when including methane leaks, while jeopardizing our water supply and tearing up our land. This non-renewable resource is predicted to last 30 to 100 years. 3) Replacing Philadelphia’s deteriorating gas infrastructure is estimated to cost over $1.46M/mile over 38-66 years.

Bold synergistic solution 1, 2, 3 - Wean Philadelphia off gas! How? By retrofitting whole neighborhoods using proven Passive House science-based efficiency strategies.

By starting with our poorest communities with the most vacant sites. Paid for by a combination of reallocated infrastructure dollars, state/federal grants, PECO incentives, savings from LIHEAP, utilities, other social service dollars, and tax abatements, to name a few. We will permanently improve and “future-proof” our building stock while creating jobs, improving air quality, health, land values, and saving tax dollars.

Plus Philadelphia will lead the nation in super-efficient, all electric, solar-ready 21st century buildings... next great city!
Laura Blau AIA, LEED BD+C, CPHC is principal of BluPath, an award-winning Philadelphia architecture and Passive House Consulting firm. She worked previously at MGA Partners on the award-winning Byrne Federal Courthouse lobby. Laura is a founding member and Vice President of the Greater Philadelphia Passive House Association and has served on the Board of the Delaware Valley Green Building Council. She has taught architecture at Temple and Philadelphia University and provided seminars on sustainable design for professional organizations at international and regional venues. Laura was an award-winning fine artist prior to receiving her March from the University of Pennsylvania, and is co-author of a book, Frazier Forman Peters- Westport’s Legacy in Stone.

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