Date: July 6, 2011
Place: General Services Administration, Washington DC
Interview: Antonio Alonso, Regional Chief Architect
Hi, I'm Antonio Alonso. I'm the Regional Chief Architect for the GSA (General Services Administration) National Capital Region.
My role is to review designs and approve design work what we hire architects who work on our buildings. Again, we do large new construction and renovation projects. And my role here as an architect with the government is to manage the design and lead a team of other architects, engineers also, historic preservationists, interior designers all working on these projects, and reviewing them.
Buildings have a great impact on our environment and one-third of all greenhouse gasses come from buildings.
One of our favorite things we've been doing is using green roof technology on many of our projects. When it rains, what happens here is this area of green absorbs water and doesn't allow it to run into the gutters and down into the street where it gets mixed up with the sewer system. It also keeps the roof cooler than a traditional roof, so it serves as a form of insulation to the building.
Energy Efficient Lighting:
So what was used here at One Constitution were two types of lighting that were different. One is called a compact fluorescent lamp. It is a fluorescent lamp that is very energy-efficient and lasts a really long time.
The other is something called an LED light, a light-emitting diode. These types of lights produce very little heat, they're cool to the touch, they last a very long time, and they're very durable. They're also environmentally conscious because they're made without any type of toxic material such as mercury.
How do I become an architect?
Architecture is an art and a science. So mathematics is very important. Geometry, for example, is fundamental to understanding and it's a skill that all architects needs to have. So study your Geometry.