While the world keeps spinning around you, there's nothing like slipping on the noise cancelling earphones and experiencing something the way we too rarely do today. In a sense, I feel like I discovered a place analagous to this--right in the middle of the bustling Downtown Crossing area of Boston.
Billed as the first, and one of a kind, the new NEXUS Green Building Resource Center, even though it's only in its first weeks of existence as a full immersion green building experience, is that place. And from what I saw and heard there, I'm already hopeful that others will pop up around the country. We need places to where we can see, feel, experience and...think green. By 'we' I don't mean only professionals, but rather anyone remotely interested in saving money, lightening their load on the planet, and investing their eConsciousness in a design-related project. Large or small.
So what is NEXUS, exactly? It's a bright, open space eight floors up that welcomes you with a genuinely friendly "Hi. Feel free to walk around and explore...coffee's over there...or, would you like a quick tour first?" Take the tour. What you'll see is a generous Showroom of green technologies, products, and services (I don't know where else you can see and touch all this stuff in one place). A Resource Lounge, where you can pick up and leaf through a wide spectrum of books, CDs, reports, and magazines on sustainable design and construction--and lots more. An e-Lounge, set up for quick access to Nexus' e-Directory and on line resources. A Sample Library, where you can get your hands on, and compare the latest in sustainable materials. An Event Venue, where meetings, networking events, and training sessions can be hosted.
Perhaps best of all, though, is that NEXUS is staffed by experts, who's primary job seems to be to inform, rather than sell you anything. This became evident to me as I turned a corner towards the back of the showroom, expecting the end of my tour, and saw instead the opening to the offices of the Green Roundtable. The GRT, as it's known in the 'trade', is the non-profit organization behind the NEXUS project, and is itself a gold mine of knowledge and resources for the architects, builders, communities, businesses, and individuals it serves.
From green building 'Boot Camp' to talks, workshops, and presentations on subjects like Tips for Home Renovation, Green Building for Kids, and Green Office Systems for Energy and Lighting, NEXUS is the definitely the place to get smart, and get inspired.
I had a chance to speak with Barbra Batshalom, the GRT's Executive Director during my drop in (shows you how 'open' the place is), and I sensed the far-reaching vision behind NEXUS. Now, I could be wrong, but next time you're looking to see what a jolt of green energy might do to your outlook, stop by...and see for yourself.