Power Play

We blog about projects, and we blog about sustainability.  And we really like to blog about projects which “buy in” to the idea that they can set examples for others.  And it’s icing on the cake if it involves games or sports, especially on Father’s Day!

This weekend we came across a story about – of all things – a new hockey rink – in Falmouth, Massachusetts, and its outstanding consideration of energy and sustainability in its design and in its planned operation.

The article comes from The Cape Cod Times.  Here is a link to the entire story, we encourage you to read it.

But what struck us was the way that just one or two people in this project made the difference.

To quote the article,

“The rink is equipped with a number of energy-saving features, including a waste heat recovery system, lighting that is free of chlorofluorocarbons and advanced insulation. Many of these features were researched and planned by Sia Karplus, director of research at Science Wares, a Falmouth architecture and engineering company.

Karplus said she had worked on planning highly energy-efficient homes in the past and volunteered to help make the rink as energy conscious as possible.

“In many ways it’s a refrigerator with the door open,” she said of traditional skating rinks and their inherent energy waste problems. She then asked, “What can you do to make the most energy-efficient rink ever?””


What we want you to notice is the way Sia took this on as a challenge – as we always imagine the best project managers do their work – as change agents and “get-r’done” types of contributors.

Some of the statistics for this ice rink:

  • Cost: $6 million
  • Square feet: 49,000
  • Panels: 3,302
  • Seats: approximately 700
  • Electricity produced: 900,000 kilowatt-hours/year
  • Energy use estimate compared to other similar rinks: 50%

The creators and sponsors of this project are justifiably proud.

You can visit their site and see photos of the construction and some of the very creative energy-saving ideas they implemented by clicking here.

And whether you are a hockey fan, an energy fan, or a project fan, we think you’d agree that although the energy savings may be icing on the cake, there’s no icing on this play!


Hockey Schtick

It’s Stanley Cup Finals time.

Hockey is a rough game, and hits and checking are part of the game.  In this posting you see a photo of the Bruins’ Nathan Horton, who took a vicious blind-side hit knocking him unconscious and jeopardizing his career and taking this important clutch player out of the Stanley Cup finals.  His opponent, Aaron Rome, is also suspended for the rest of the year (and perhaps into next year if the Finals end early).

Not a good thing for sports fans – at least real sports fans.  Play hockey, gentlemen.

So what could this possibly have to do with projects, project management, or the triple bottom line?

As you know, one aspect of the triple bottom line is the environment, and one aspect of the environment has got to be concern for climate change.

In the same Boston Globe that is covering the hockey games mentioned above, there is an editorial in today’s paper called “Playing Rough”.  And there’s the link.  The article talks about the hits that climate scientists take when their research points to climate changes caused by humans.  They get hit blindsided just as did Nathan Horton.

In particular, the editorial covers the “hits” put on (generally) well-respected climate scientist Raymond Bradley, and with another connection to the Stanley Cup, his “hockey stick” graph that shows increases in global temperature that can be connected with industrial activity.  Bradley, who had had enough bullying by politicians, recently wrote a book on the topic, and his experiences, “Global Warming and Political Intimidation: How Politicians Cracked Down as the Earth Heated Up”

With this posting we don’t mean to take sides as much as to request that we as business people do not act like Aaron Rome.  Wait a moment before the attack.  Is it worth jeopardizing TWO careers because you are dead-set against a conclusion, pre-disposed to be in disagreement with it?  Or should you open your mind a bit and consider the analysis provided by a respected scientist?  We vote for the latter.

Have a look at the editorial from today’s Globe, but you can see right there in the 50-ish comments that immediately the discussion becomes polarized, even violent and certainly non-productive.  Let’s stay above the fray.

No biting, no pulling hair, and no blind-side dangerous hits. Okay?