Interview with PM of the Construction Group, Lucile Glessner:
Interviewer Kayla Aldridge.
1. What have you learned about construction on campus this semester?
One thing I noticed is that because there are so many different architects and two or three people trying to manage them, this unfortunately leads to inconsistencies on campus. I believe if we see the campus as a whole rather than focus on it as different parts we can ultimately make better decisions; decisions that make sense.
While researching campus-wide trash and recycling receptacles I thought it would be helpful for navigation purposes to use ones that color coordinated with specific areas. For example, students would read signs as to where certain buildings were, and the color on the side that correlated with that specific building, would then have that color receptacle at its exterior. That way, walking through campus, students might be able to navigate more easily. This is just one example of how looking at the bigger, campus-wide picture, different solutions can be discovered that would be impossible to come up with otherwise.
2. What would you like to do more of this fall semester?
I would really like to see the word spread not only about the internship, but also sustainability in general. It would be great to be able to market what we’re trying to do here and attract attention to our cause. I think it’s important to establish relationships with others outside the internship. We need to get others onboard with sustainability and LEED.
3. How crucial do you think the sustainability committee is on campus, and what do you think their role is for West Valley and the community?
The head of the committee, Brenda Rodgers is assistant to the president and could have some influence. For example, the gowns used at graduation were made of recycled plastic. I think the committee really needs to just keep finding ways to involve students and faculty in sustainable practices. If we can keep adding sustainable principles to our campus everyone will get used to the ideas and it will come naturally.
4. As a professional designer, has this internship changed your practice or the way you talk to clients?
It has actually been life changing. Before I was happy doing what I was doing, but now I would like to go further. I don’t think I want to concentrate on residential anymore after I’ve seen this bigger picture. I try not to be too pushy with my clients but I definitely would like to educate them about more sustainable options.
5. As designers, what is the most important thing interns should get from their experience within the internship?
I think it’s important to become LEED accredited and get to that next level, and I know a lot of people join for that reason, but I hope the interns also decide to do it for themselves. In French you would say “prise de conscience” which means “conscious grasp”. I think students can get so much out of this internship it can really change their lives. Learning about sustainability and LEED can really open people’s eyes and create awareness within the community, and I believe that is the most important thing: building the community.
The world seems to be missing this sense of community. When people don’t know their neighbors they just don’t care. But when you think more about the people around you, you can gain awareness that can be inspiring.
I never used to care anything about community gardens before, but once I learned more about them, and saw them utilized in schools, I saw how beneficial they can be and how they bring people together. These are the “bigger picture” ideas I hope for with this internship.