Beginning on Earth Day, April 22, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation will launch a new initiative focused on educating the public about how sustainable practices play an important part in conservation for National Historic Landmark sites, like Taliesin West in Arizona and Taliesin in Wisconsin, and how these practices can serve as examples in other facets of society.
Through the end of the year, the Foundation will share monthly blog and social media posts, as well as videos on thoughtful ways – both big and small – to build and live better as part of its Living with Nature: Sustainable Practices from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation campaign. The topics will share examples of what the Foundation is doing and how the public can incorporate these practices into their own homes and lives.
“We’re excited to lead the conversation on how National Historic Landmarks can become more thoughtful and sustainable in their conservation practices, and how these practices can benefit society as a whole,” said Foundation Vice President of Preservation Fred Prozzillo. “At the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, we’re tasked with preserving Wright’s two homes and sharing the great architect’s legacy for generations to come. As we maintain these landmarks and honor this legacy, we consider Wright’s reverence for the natural environment and spirit of innovation in all of our work. This means looking at how we care for these buildings, and their surrounding natural landscapes, and asking if what we’re doing is the most sustainable and thoughtful, with our available resources.”
Recently, the Foundation has implemented several major sustainable initiatives that have reduced energy consumption, employed techniques to work more efficiently in harmony with the natural environment, and embraced innovative technologies to reduce the sites’ overall impact on the landscape. Such undertakings include:
• Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems. Last year, at Taliesin near Spring Green, Wisconsin, the Foundation installed a geothermal heating and cooling system. These systems use the natural temperature of the ground to heat and cool air that moves through the building. Because geothermal heating and cooling systems, also referred to as geo-exchange systems, harness the temperature of the ground, they are much more environmentally friendly than traditional heating and cooling systems, and greatly reduce heating and cooling bills.
• Solar Panels. In 2012, the Foundation introduced a program to reduce its energy consumption. The installation of the solar field at Taliesin West, donated by First Solar, now provides about 50% of the power consumption at the campus, moving the Foundation much closer to the goal of being a net-zero site. While the solar field is nearly the size of a football field, it does not affect views of the historic site.
• LED Lighting and Updated Mechanical Systems. Through partnerships with OSRAM SYLVANIA and Studio Lux, the Foundation carefully installed new LED lighting throughout Taliesin West that has greatly reduced energy consumption, while keeping intact the historical values of the spaces. The Foundation has also initiated the use of energy-efficient HVAC systems throughout the property.
To learn more about the campaign, visit FrankLloydWright.org/LivingwithNature.