Can a Luddite Contribute to a Hackathon?by greenspacewriter 08/28/2012
*** A Guest Post by Andrew Haner ***
When offered an opportunity to participate in this event, I quickly accepted. My lack of understanding at what a hackathon actually was has not lessened my enthusiasm in any way.
I use technology comfortably, but I’ve always been most comfortable with a pen in hand and a small ream of trace cascading to the floor as ideas flow from my hand to numerous quick line strokes. So, the idea of participating in an event with quality tech specific minds can be a little intimidating.
Fortunately, we are addressing subject matter dear to me, what can all of us do to make our lives, our communities, our immediate environment more sustainable? Fortunately, this is a manifestation of technology and tools I have knowledge and experience using.
That being said, prior to flying off with an army of motivated participants to hatch the next great idea in our six hour demolition derby of ideas, it is instructive to remember that the beauty of sustainability as a subject for exploration, besides its obvious importance, is that it offers contribution potential for the technocrat and the technophobe alike.
Sustainability is pursued at the cutting edge while also built on lifetimes of precedent earned through experience. For every advance made in the realm of solar panels, water resource management, and air quality control through science; equal contributions are made by understanding the environment and resources we deal with at a more elemental level.
Take the design of a new building as an example. Prior to specifying any sustainable technology items like smart switching, low flow plumbing fixtures, or energy saving appliances, early less technical decisions govern the over all success of the project. How shall I site the building on a side to allow for maximum access to wind and light? How do I layout the glazing to allow for passive solar heat gain in the winter, while still designing overhangs or louver systems to lessen the same heat gain in the summer? What materials are best to use for each individual building for lessening shipping and travel?
There are many variables to consider, both low and high tech. With this in mind, I am looking forward to collaborating with my team to brainstorm some potential solutions to sustainable issues we’re facing today. I hope a few of you reading this consider joining us, no tech experience required. Solving problems requires the view from many perspectives.
Andrew Haner is a Registered Architect and LEED AP who considers sustainable practices every day at his studio, www.sun-tect.com.