Green in the Desert

“Energizing Taliesin West” is a new initiative begun by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to turn Taliesin West into a center for sustainable, green energy. The program has the potential to make Taliesin West a “net zero” facility: producing as much energy as it uses. The Foundation is working with Big Green Zero.

Though the press release does not mention the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, this announcement is good for them too. Living and working in a complex that aspires to balance energy consumption and energy production is a advantage that most schools cannot offer.

From the press release:

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation is working with Big Green Zero, a team of energy engineers and planners, to launch Energizing Taliesin WestTM, a pioneering integration of sustainable energy and sustainable architecture. The Energizing Taliesin West™ program will both transform Taliesin West into a sustainable energy laboratory and advance the Frank Lloyd Wright legacy of sustainable architecture as the property celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2012.

The program was initiated after a recent Big Green Zero energy audit indicated that the Taliesin West energy bill could be reduced by as much as 51 percent through simple conservation methods, alone. In addition, the property has potential to achieve a “Big Green Zero” by producing as much energy as it uses each year.

As the Energizing Taliesin WestTM program gets underway, Big Green Zero is pursuing partnerships with sustainable energy product manufacturers and distributors, utility companies and contractors who would like to donate their products and services to this unique series of energy experiments and educational outreach.

“For almost a century, Frank Lloyd Wright defined sustainable, organic architecture. Taliesin West served as his laboratory. We are excited to be advancing Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision and legacy through the addition of sustainable energy to this laboratory,” said Robert Roth, Ph.D., CEO of Big Green Zero.

Big Green Zero has identified and will develop a number of projects that will be part of the extensive retrofitting process, including energy efficient lighting, energy management controls, energy-efficient roof and window components, innovative heating and cooling systems and a variety of other renewable energy production technologies.

“Energizing Taliesin WestTM is an excellent opportunity to showcase the integration of sustainable architecture and sustainable energy, worldwide. We look forward to working with Big Green Zero on this project and thank them for their time and commitment to furthering the Frank Lloyd Wright legacy,” said Anne Maley, interim CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

Taliesin West is home to the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and is also a popular tourist destination in Scottsdale, Ariz. Last year, more than 100,000 visitors came to see Wright’s desert campus where he lived and taught sustainable, organic designs.