Environmental architecture examined during ‘Green Givens Week’

Green Givens, a University student group dedicated to raising awareness about environmentally sustainable architecture and design, will sponsor “Green Givens Week,” a series of exhibitions, talks and film screenings, at the School of Architecture’s Givens Hall April 11-18.

Green Givens Week kicks off from 5-7 p.m. today with a closing reception for Ten Shades of Green, a traveling exhibition of sustainable design organized by the Architectural League of New York, currently on view in the Givens Hall main lobby.

The reception will also serve as the opening of the Green Givens Display, a student-organized exhibit of sustainable building materials. (Homasote Co. and Renew Wood Inc. provided samples ranging from cork flooring and compressed fiber siding to bamboo shingles.)

The display is intended both to familiarize students with sustainable alternatives to traditional building supplies and to demonstrate that, for architects and designers, sustainability is a broad philosophical approach extending from initial design conceptions all the way through final construction.

The show remains on view through April 18. Regular hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Additionally, Green Givens will screen It’s Not Easy Being Green, a short, lighthearted documentary about local views of green design, at 5:30 p.m. April 18 in Givens Hall’s Kemp Auditorium. The film, conceived and created by University architecture students, includes interviews with local architects and environmentalists ranging from senior Hanna Beth Blum, president of Green Action, the University’s student environmental organization, to Peter H. Raven, Ph.D., the Engelmann Professor of Botany in Arts & Sciences and director of the Missouri Botanical Garden.

The film also examines an independent study project through which students, over the last two semesters, helped plan and a new course to be offered next fall about sustainable architecture.

Finally, at 6:30 p.m. that day Green Givens will host a roundtable on “The Human Niche: Sustainability for the Built Environment” in Givens Hall, Room 113. Senior Craig Hutchinson will moderate the talk; panelists include Jane Wolff, assistant professor of architecture, and Dan Hellmuth, affiliate assistant professor of architecture.

Topics will range from the practical, environmental and even moral imperatives of green design to potential economic tradeoffs, the role of governmental regulation and the developing market for green materials.

All events are free and open to the public. For more information, call 935-6200.