American Art and Architecture: Reflections

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Part I: The Technology Center at Rockland Community College The Technology Center at Rockland Community College is a large, futuristic-looking building. It has a flat, boxy shape and its silver sides are studded with large picture windows on every floor of the towering edifice. However, one of the most distinctive features of building is not visible from the outside: it is a certified 'green' building, reflecting the fact that it is designed to address many of the concerns of the 21st century, such as sustainability, living in consort with the environment rather than abusing the environment, and reducing the financial as well as the environmental costs of using fossil fuels. "This 100,000 sq. ft center is Rockland County's first certified 'Green Building.' The building was the first new permanent construction on campus in over twenty years" (Technology center, 2012, Rockland Community College). According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): "green buildings are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment" through measures such as reducing waste (using recycled or renewable resources in construction) and reducing the use of nonrenewable resources when the buildings are operational (such as through installing solar panels or landscaping with plants that require minimal water use) (Definition of a green building, 2012, EPA). Green building first became popular in the 1970s in the US, because of the rapid

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