Newsletter | Jul/Aug 2009

San Francisco Federal Building Entry (all photos: C.E.Orazi)

Editior's Note

by Carolyne Orazi
In these turbulent economic times, it is best if we can help out our members in any way, therefore, if you are seeking employees or know of any openings that our members might be interested in, please feel free to email me with the information. I will be happy to post the information in the newsletter and on the OWA website. My email address is:

Please note: The Steering Committee has discussed the opportunity of turning the newsletter into an online paper solely. Please join us in October for our annual OWA Business meeting at the offices of Barcelon + Jang to discuss your thoughts on this topic.

Also, if you haven't yet done so, members please renew your 2009 OWA membership.

OWA Panel Discussion: Women in Green, Aug 18th

The OWA will host a panel discussion on Tuesday, August 18, which will focus on women leading in sustainable design and development. The discussion will be moderated by Kira Gould, co-author (with Lance Hosey) of the book Women in Green: Voices of Sustainable Design (Ecotone Publishing, 2007), and will start by addressing the question: “Why women and green?” with a look at the sensibilities that are leading innovation in the green development world.

Kira will engage the perspectives of a panel of five such leaders. We’ll hear from architects Marsha Maytum and Anni Tilt, who, with their respective firms, Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects and Arkin Tilt Architects, have won national design awards and recognition for sustainability leadership; Gail Brager, PhD, is a Professor (Building Science) and Interim Chair of the Dept. of Architecture, at UC Berkeley, and is the Associate Director of the Center for the Built Environment, an industry/university collaborative research center focused on improving the design, operation, and environmental quality of buildings.; Lisa Michelle Galley, cofounder an managing principal of Galley Eco Capital, advises investors and developers on maximizing returns and environmental value from green investment programs; and Laura Rodormer, manages the Green Consulting Services Division of Swinerton Management & Consulting, before which she was Commercial Green Building Coordinator for the City and County of San Francisco.

Please join us for a lively discussion about the sensibilities and ways of working that will be required—and are being tested today by these leaders—to promote needed evolution in the real estate and AEC industries. We have come a long way, and women are better represented in all these fields today than a generation ago, but these fields are still slow to change. Together, we can discuss how to increase the pace of change and make these fields more effective on all fronts—ecological, social/cultural, and economic.

More information on the Event is here.

OWA Exhibition for AIASF Architecture in the City, Sep 1st

Announcement: Upcoming OWA Exhibition for the AIASF Architecture in the City Festival September 1-30, 2009, to be located at the ARCH Store at 99 Missouri Street in San Francisco.

All current OWA members are invited to submit 30”x 30”, dry mounted boards showing work related to sustainable design, green landscape or green architecture. Projects do not have to be LEED certified. A pdf file of the board(s), if available, would also be appreciated for inclusion on the OWA website. The deadline for submissions is August 25th!

The Exhibition Fee will be $40 per board. We will be planning an Opening Reception for the Exhibition on September 8th from 6 P.M. to 9 P.M. We will follow up with more details by email. We have two sponsors and hope to attract more. For more information please contact: Darlene Jang or Carolyne Orazi.

Complete information is here.

Member's Forum: Annette Janotta

by Annette Janotta
Thank You

Last night I finally sat down to watch the movie, Milk. I was avoiding it because I knew it would make me cry. Even though, I am ashamed to say, I knew nothing of Harvey Milk before the movie came out. My only excuse is that I grew up in Florida (not of the Anita Bryant stock, thankfully) and was a child when this was all happening. None of my gay friends has ever mentioned Harvey Milk to me. It seems his influence was taken for granted by younger generations. Not out of maliciousness, just that his influence was so large and great that it was easy to forget a generation or two later. Kind of how a great dancer makes the moves look so easy until you try and do it yourself.

Watching this movie made me ask the question, “What have I been taking for granted, thanks to the hard work of others?” An obvious answer is my career and the many choices I have.

A generation of bold and indomitable women worked so hard and sacrificed their time and comfort so that they and their successors could have an equal position in the workplace. They started their own businesses, stood up to discrimination, and pushed the glass ceiling up higher and higher so that we could slide into our positions with ease. Now the career struggle seems to be how to best balance work and personal/family life. We would never have that choice if it weren’t for the hard work of the women who came before us. Women, whom I might say, are still kicking-butt out there!

So I wanted to say thank you Ladies. Thank you for making those dance moves seem so easy. I’m sure if we heard the stories of what you put up to have what we do today, we’d understand how hard it was to build the muscles we have in the industry today.


Hello Ladies,

Are you or is anyone you know an avid doodler? Do you find yourself scribbling away subconscious works of art while on conference calls or in meetings? If so, I invite you and your doodling friends to participate in a side project I’m working on about creativity.

In response to an experience I had years ago, I recently started the World Doodle Project (WDP) to research and celebrate creativity from people of all walks of life.

I believe that doodles are a graphic manifestation of our subconscious minds and are a window to the innate creativity that we all share.

Is there a common thread to our doodles? Do doctors doodle differently than lawyers? Do the Japanese doodle differently from the Italians? What about the shapes we seem to doodle over and over--what do they mean?

It’s a broad and playful endeavor, but I’m hoping to find answers to these questions by collecting doodles from people around the world--and at the same time celebrate the creative energy that we all have flowing through us. Because whether we studied art or not, our collective creative energy is there.

Go to to look through galleries. WDP is in its early stages, so feel free to send any suggestions you have--and your doodles!


OWA Tour of San Francisco Federal Building

by Carolyne Orazi

SF Federal Building Chihuly Chandelier

On June 16, 2009 thirty members of OWA and their guests visited the San Francisco Federal Building; the greenest Federal building in the country. The tour was arranged and led by OWA member Kathleen Cruise. The building was completed in 2007 and was designed by Thomas Mayne of the architectural firm of Morphosis, located in Los Angeles, CA.

The overall building was conceived with the concept of sustainability in every step along the way. The building shape and the materials used were selected specifically to utilize natural ventilation, cooling, and lighting. The construction of the building carefully implemented methods for cost-effective construction minimizing waste and energy consumption. The overall cost for the building was $242.00 per square foot. There are four tour stops open to the public within the building: Main Lobby, Conference Center, Elevators, and the Skygarden. The Main Lobby is an interesting cathedral–like space with rectangular light squares jutting out into it. The floor composed of highly polished concrete features a grand central staircase that promotes exercise. The Main Lobby has excellent acoustics. The buildings elevator system is designed stop at every third floor to, once again, promote health and exercise (disabled access is available on each floor). The conference center rooms are located in the basement and exhibit art from Rupert Garcia, Raymond Saunders, Hung Liu, and William T. Wiley. The Skygarden is a three story open space with fantastic views of San Francisco to the north and south side of the building. The Skygarden is equipped with movable table and chairs for employees and visitors to enjoy.

The building does not have a conventional HVAC system. The first five floors are fully air-conditioned however; the upper floors have windows that “automatically adjust to admit fresh air into the building for natural ventilation and cooling. The building is sited to make optimal use of the natural prevailing winds that come from the northwest and pass through a sophisticated window system.”* The use of vertical glass panels deflect sun and direct air flow on the north side of the building. On the south side, the perforated scrim panels provide shade for the building from the sun.

If you missed the tour, the building is open to the public Monday through Friday, between 9:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. You will only be allowed to visit the aforementioned locations.

*According to the U.S. General Services Administration pamphlet for a self-guided tour.

SF Federal Building Skygarden

SF Federal Building Main Lobby

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