Archival work

If you have taken a tour of the building in the past 6 months, you've probably noticed hand-drawn charts like this one lining the walls. The good news is we've documented our work. The bad news is it's understandable only to those who did the work (in the case above, it was the water group). So we have formed a small group of dedicated people - I'm calling us archivists - who will be working until the end of July taking all of this work off the walls and translating it into another form onto our website. There are 6 of us who'll be doing this work: 2 intern pioneers, Kirsten Lyons and Kevin Gardner, plus Joe Gallagher (a closet editor), Tom and Peggy Brennan, and Ashleigh Chatel. Kirsten, Joe, Kevin and Tom are pictured below. The group is working 9-5, Monday through … [Read more...]

A celebration and a visit

This past Wednesday the Zero Energy group met once again, but this time to celebrate the conclusion of their work. This group has been meeting longer than any other - they began in September - and I'd like to suggest that they feel more passionately about their work than any other group. This group represents, in many ways, the heart and soul of the building construction work. It was up to them to figure out ways to heat and cool the building by using as little energy as possible, and because of their efforts, it now looks like we'll be able to heat and cool this 11,000 sq ft building as if it were only 1,000 sq ft. We are eternally grateful to them and their dedication to this incredibly complex task. They are, from left, Tom Brennan, Kirsten Lyons, Ken Byczynski, Laura Long and Laurie … [Read more...]

Interior Design

Here is our preliminary sketch of the interior design of the building done by Woody Melcher of Woodbury Associates.  To orient you, the top is Second Ave, the alley is to the left, the back of the building is bottom, and the newer section of the building and the parking lot are to the right. So if you walk in the front door, top, you come across a waiting/reception area next to an information center (with long rectangular table). Just beyond the new stairway, you'll see, from top, an indoor/outdoor room, the kitchen, and booths and tables for eating. The blank space to the left is reserved for businesses. Beyond the group of chairs (design center) are small 'huddle rooms' for private work and meetings, and 3 bathrooms, one with showers.  Also, to the left, you'll see our alley … [Read more...]

Natural daylighting

As you may know, we have been working diligently in the area of zero energy design, which means that any energy we use in the building must somehow find another way of being produced, so we essentially use no energy. Really tough. We have been working first on passive design elements, such as thicker walls, better insulation, natural air flows, and natural day lighting. The work this group has done is truly amazing. Below is Laura Long, a member of the zero energy team and employee of NORR, explaining our natural day lighting plan. … [Read more...]


We have a few small groups working on areas of interest this winter, and one area has been transportation. We have a specific perspective about this area: we want to encourage as many people as possible to arrive at the GG in something other than a car. So we are building lockers and showers into our design for people who might be walking or biking. We will have indoor bike racks. We'll provide water. And we will help you map your bus trip.  For more details, see our transportation plan. … [Read more...]

New logo

I wanted to introduce our new logo, done by graphic designer Charles Moceri. Charles incorporated a number of elements into the design that are significant to us, but may not be apparent to you all, so I want to explain them. The rings represent something fundamental to our project: our 3-pronged decision-making process. For everything we do here, every decision we make, we consider environmental integrity, economic justice and community well-being. If one of these elements is missing, it will not be sustainable. The outer ring represents the fact that the work here takes place in an incubator of sorts. We give businesses a place and support to grow and move on. The earth represents the fact that our most fundamental relationship is to the earth. Most people who see the logo will see … [Read more...]

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