Aviv Goldsmith’s new Aikido dojo is being built Green, from the ground up. While it still employs some conventional building materials, they are being used in relatively unconventional ways, and some changes are downright radical. Large spans of metal, for example, have been replaced with engineered wood trusses because, according to Eagle Rigid Spans’ website, steel takes 17 times as much fossil fuel to produce as wood does. We’d also add that you need far less tons of wood than of steel to make those trusses, so it’s actually a lot more than that. All of this makes sense, especially from a martial art with a name that means “The Way of Harmonizing With Energy.”
Other considerations going into the mammoth structure include utilizing the sun’s rays as efficiently as possible. There are plenty of south-facing windows, and the entire facility has an open feel to it. The building sits upon 20 acres, and most of that land will be mowed only twice a year, to retain water and keep things green and natural. Temporary ponds have been established to facilitate the efforts. Insulated concrete walls as well as structural insulated roof panels are part of the plan as well. The roof panels will protect the roof from the sun’s rays during the summer months, and keep the biomass heat stored from the sun’s rays from escaping when it’s cool out.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency has issued an Innovation award for the design, and the state of Virginia has likewise given accolades. We add our support as well. Instead of being destructive, this project promises to create a Greener space than it started with. What a wonderful way to harmonize with the environment!