Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Monday, May 28, 2012

Huntsman Hall May Go Green and Win Gold

Huntsman Hall may go green and win gold

Utah State expects new buildings that it helps fund to meet certain earth- and energy-friendly standards when it comes to designing, operating and maintaining the facilities. These standards are set by an independent, internationally-recognized organization called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED.

The private organization offers up a list of specific green building standards and awards points to organizations that meet those standards. Depending on how many points are earned, a project could win a silver, gold or platinum medal. If you want state funding, your project must qualify for at least a silver medal.

In some cases, reaching certain levels can increase costs, so we have to be strategic as we decide where to invest our limited resources. We are sure we can reach the silver level, hopeful we can earn a gold medal but think it’s highly unlikely we’ll be able to afford qualifying for the platinum medal.

We are, for example, planning on putting in the right kind of native grass in our plaza area between Huntsman Hall and the new Agricultural building to save on water costs. One standard we’d like to meet but may not be feasible is to ensure that at least 90 percent of the structure has natural light. Creating an inviting facility with lots of natural lighting has always been one of our goals. We don’t yet know if as much as 90 percent of it will have natural lighting.

By using LEED standards the state gets third-party verification that a facility and has been “built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality,” according to the LEED Website.

The organization was created by the U.S. Green Building Council in the year 2000 and uses a rating system that’s an outgrowth of an open, “consensus-based process led by LEED committees,” the website says.

So, we won’t just be talking green; we’ll be documenting what we are doing so that when the LEED assessment team visits we’ll make the grade and hopefully earn gold medal status in the process. It will be our gift to Mother Nature.

Ken Snyder

Friday, May 25, 2012

Redefining Success

Redefining Success 

Although I make less than $20,000 a year and live in a small basement apartment with my husband, I consider myself successful.

I have a job, a supportive family, and a shelf of Ramen Noodles. What more could I need?

Sometimes in the world today, I think we get caught up on what the definition of success is.

I admit that it would feel great to meet the world’s definition of success by having lots of money or a nice car, but I would have to ask myself if it has any meaning. Wealth, fame, and power are not set in stone. As we have seen in recent events, such as JPMorgan Chase’s multibillion-dollar trading loss and fluctuating unemployment rates, money doesn’t mean stability.

I was reading the book Success Built to Last: Creating a Life that Matters by Jerry Porras and Jim Collins, and in the first chapter they redefine success.

“The real definition of success is a life and work that brings personal fulfillment and lasting relationships and makes a difference in the world in which they live.” (pg. 19)

I think something that can always be relied upon is simply ourselves. If we strive to create a life with meaning every event, good or bad, can help steer us in the direction we want to go.

Porras and Collins go on to say that when we find the job that brings meaning into our lives we would be “willing to do it for free, for its own sake.” (21)

As students there is no better time to prove our passion to our future employers. So go ahead take that entry level job that might pay off, or accept that internship for no pay. It might give your life more meaning, and that’s a redefinition of success.

--Klydi Heywood

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

In this case, what’s on the outside counts too

When one constructs a new building there is much discussion, deliberation and planning that goes into figuring out what will go into it. There’s also an awful lot of creativity invested in deciding what it will look like. People may not realize, however, how much thought goes into figuring out what the landscaping around the building will look like.

Right now if you travel west from the George S. Eccles Business Building toward the new College of Agriculture Building and Old Main you’ll discover a parking lot that separates our building from theirs. Once Huntsman Hall is finished, nearly all of that parking lot will be gone and replaced with some green space that we are calling “the plaza.”

Below is a picture that will help you envision the area I’m talking about. The way it is represented in this concept drawing isn’t necessarily the way it will look. That’s what we are deciding now. We are considering questions like, where will we plant trees? How many will we plant? What kind of trees should we plant? Will there be park benches? Should we put up a statue to someone so the pigeons will have a place to land?

Did you realize there were so many decisions that need to be made when a new facility like this goes up? Even the type of grass that is planted must be decided. We want to put in some sort of native grass so it will require less watering to keep our plaza green and inviting. These are all details that we must work out. In the not too distant future someone will probably kick back on the grass there and do some studying. Only those of you who read this blog will understand how much planning went into developing that little patch of ground. Maybe you’ll appreciate it a little more than others who don’t even know they are on “the plaza.” Just remember to look for a statue and if there’s one there, watch out for pigeons.
Ken Snyder