Letter: Asheville’s architectural style should be green

Graphic by Lori Deaton

In response to the Mountain Xpress article “Balancing Act: How Will New Downtown Construction Affect Asheville’s Future?” [July 18] there was a glaring omission of the general population’s interest in a greener Asheville.

We have a Green Built Alliance and a mayor who have committed to reducing greenhouse gases in Asheville with the help of city staff and Council members. The current city goals are 80 percent carbon reduction by 2050, including a 4 percent annual cut in the carbon footprint.

Architecture that will help our future most in Asheville includes the following list of design features: buildings are user-friendly; they have small footprints with multiple uses; they have access to greenery (via rooftop or surrounding edible gardens and parks); they take advantage of solar power and alternative energy; they save power by needing less cooling and heating through insulation and orientation and efficient appliances; they save water through low-flow faucets and grey water recycling; they consider the waste stream in composting, sewage and recycling systems; they reduce dependence on cars; and they keep our night skies dark.

I am not too concerned about the façade of a building and would rather see creative designs that reflect many Asheville citizens’ values and true Asheville style.

— Barbara Sloss
Asheville

Editor’s note: Thank you for mentioning the importance of environmentally friendly building principles and systems. Although the Style issue was focused on aesthetics across a variety of subject areas, Xpress has reported extensively over the years about local environmental efforts, including green building. For example, see avl.mx/56r, published last fall, and, in this issue, “Nothing But Renewable: SACEE Votes on 100 Percent Green Electricity Goal for Asheville.”

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