Guava & Bananas with Prof. Armory Lovins

As the Founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) in Colorado, Professor Armory Lovins had always inspired Graeme with his bold ideas on sustainability.
His ground-breaking ideas on energy efficiency and renewables have been leading the field for more than 40 years and he is widely acknowledged as the Einstein of energy efficiency.

TBC, GB & Prof Amory Lovins at Lovins-passively heated home.Graeme had already ‘met’ Armory on a conference call during one of Melbourne’s many lockdowns, but the chance to meet him in person and visit his home was a rare pleasure. The meeting was part of a group visit to the (RMI) Innovation Center in March 2023, as part of a PWN Insight Tour.

The group enjoyed being hosted by Armory on a tour of the 15,610 square-foot office building and state-of-the-art convening centre. Now mostly retired, Amory came back specifically to host the group and lead an insightful tour of the amazing, energy-positive building.

“It was inspiring to witness the bold innovation and creativity in the RMI Innovation Centre,” says Graeme. “The Centre was designed primarily as a comfortable workspace, but it also acts as a “living lab” that demonstrates the process and performance behind one of the USA’s most energy-efficient buildings.”

The Centre is a ground-breaking experiment in energy efficiency and Amory’s presentation reflected his intimate knowledge of passive building design and energy efficiency. To protect the world’s climate, we need to start by slashing the energy needed to power our buildings. This currently uses nearly three quarters of America’s electricity, with only 22% coming from renewable sources. Armory explained that through these innovations, low and positive energy building systems have the potential to have massive impact on reducing carbon emissions globally, by building simpler, less complex and less expensive buildings. Interior Atrium

After Amory’s talk, Graeme gifted his new pen-friend a signature Lignor biro made from Lignor’s Engineered Strand Lumber (ESL®) and a set of patented Cross Laminated Strand Timber (CLST®) coasters, each with a different environmental message. He also presented him with a CLST® chopping board, hand-crafted in his home workshop.

Amory fully endorsed the potential for CLST® as the next Generation of CLT. Graeme explained, “With the World Bank forecasting the demand for timber to quadruple by 2050, we should waste no time in using currently underutilised pulp plantations for stranding and converting into long-lasting engineered wood products and carbon sinks. The natural process of photosynthesis is the only proven mass carbon storage system we have.”

Graeme also took the opportunity to give Amory a card illustrating an earlier meeting with Sir David Attenborough during which he gave Sir David his first Lignor pens, coasters and chopping boards. Armory was impressed to hear that the resin used in the gift items was benign once set – so much so that it had even been used to make coffee cups.

Later that evening the group was hosted by Judy and Amory Lovins at their own home, which uses the same design principles as the RMI Innovation Centre. The group admired the passive laundry drying and passive heating techniques in use and marvelled that passive heating could allow bananas and guavas to be grown in their own home.

By |2023-09-08T15:07:50+10:002023-08-25|

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