BOOTHBAY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Maine's architects and engineers are being told to design buildings that will take care of the planet, as well as the people. The American Institute of Architecture (AIA) says buildings need to be designed and built to be "carbon-neutral", in order to reduce the emissions that many people blame for global climate change.
The AIA Friday hosted the first of ten classes to teach carbon neutral building ideas to engineers and architects. The session was held at the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden, in a building called the Bosarge Family Education Center. That building opened in 2011, and is designated as "LEED Platinum", the highest level of green building certification available.
The architects have started a special training program for others in the profession, called "Maine 2030" to learn design and construction techniques that will create buildings that are both energy and carbon neutral. The program is already being provided in some other states by the AIA, but this is the first such session in Maine. AIA members involved with the training program say being energy and carbon neutral doesn't have to make nuildings unaffordable. Judy Johnson, a principle with Harriman Architects, says the initial cost of highly efficient buildings is more than offset by long term savings. And she says building designers and owners need to also be conscious of more than their own budgets. "You're not thinking (only) about me or the client, but about what's best for the planet as well."
The Education Center at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is open for visitors most days.