Center hosts sustainable design show

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

BUFORD -- As the county's first "green" building, the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center is a fitting host for an exhibition heralding developments in building design that help reduce our impact on the natural world.

Featuring the work of Atlanta-based firms Houser Walker Architecture and Timmons Design Engineers, as well as Norcross-based solar cells manufacturer Suniva, "The Technology of Sustainable Design" provides a narrative detailing the impact our built environment has on our natural environment and the technological innovation that is reducing that impact. The exhibition was set to open today.

"As our natural resources become more utilized to sustain our population growth it is critical to understand the impacts on the management of these limited resources," said Steve Cannon, executive director of GEHC. "This exhibit is a great learning and teaching tool that demonstrates the knowledge, art and the innovative

opportunities of sustainable design."

The exhibition includes interviews with Hank Houser of Houser Walker Architecture and Amber Welsh of Timmons Design Engineers, as they explain ways to integrate sustainable technology into buildings, as well as images and architectural models of structures that have been purposefully designed to have a low impact on the surrounding environment.

"I think some of the coolest things about this exhibit is the availability of sustainable design, the different products and things that are available and a lot of the practices that are going (on) out there," said Catherine Long, program coordinator for GEHC. "One of the great things about this exhibit, too, provides an opportunity for the public to learn about these different technologies and also learn more about solar energy."

The exhibition demonstrates how Suniva's high-efficiency, silicon photovoltaic cells can be incorporated into building designs to generate clean, environmentally friendly power. Low-impact building materials will also be on display.

"(This exhibition) being here at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center is pretty awesome because they can actually see the design principles put into practice," Long said. "There are several examples throughout this exhibit that show how it's done in different businesses and different things."

"The Technology of Sustainable Design" will be on display through Feb. 27. Exhibition hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. The exhibition is free with paid center admission.

GEHC has also planned a brown bag lunch from noon to 1 p.m. Jan. 27 featuring a discussion with Houser with Houser Walker Architecture, Welsh, with Timmons Design Engineers, Cannon and William Silva with United Renewable Energy. Registration for the luncheon is required by Jan. 22.