Monthly Archives: June 2012

Off Color Water – seriously

Most off color references are to comic relief that is of the dark variety. But this is no joke and the off color water I’m referring to is technically known as “gray water.” So gray water is somewhere between “white water” and “black water.”  White being potable or drinkable water and black being considered sewage i.e. containing human waste which is sent to sewage treatment facilities for clean up before it is returned to the environment.

The thing is that appropriate gray water can be recycled and used for other purposes like landscape irrigation or in our case for use in flushing toilets and urinals after which the water is sent to the municipal sanitary sewer system for treatment. This is yet another way to conserve precious potable water and is also gaining the Visitor Center project LEED points. Once again, several points are in the balance for sustainable design. Continue reading

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Filed under Design, LEED ®

Water for the Spirit

The homelands of the Chickasaw were rooted in the southeastern states of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee and these places are the spiritual heart of the Chickasaw Nation. With their strong connection to the land there has always been a commitment to good stewardship of the earth that provides for their prosperity.

The Chickasaw culture and heritage have always had roots in nature and the elements and water has always been an important and spiritual part of their life. They typically developed their settlements along rivers and historically dominated much of the waterways between the Gulf of Mexico and the Ohio valley region. The waterways also provided an opportunity for trade which greatly benefited the tribe.

With water having such a strong influence on the history and culture of the Chickasaw, it was decided during the design phase to incorporate a water feature as a part of the Visitor Center to make this element a part of the experience for visitors. Continue reading

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Filed under Background, Design, Materials

Local Beta – the donut palace

I have been dabbling in the world of investigative reporting and visiting local establishments to discover local color and stories. There are any number of interesting things going on in towns like Sulphur and its fun to find out about the local folks and their hangouts. So I plan to share some of the local places for those of you that may be first time visitors to the area sometime in the future. I refer to these establishments and town intel as local “beta.”

One local phenomenon is Donut Palace located directly west and across the street from the Visitor Center site. Their concoctions of flour with goo on top are to die for. It’s a busy place, opens at 5 am and closes at noon. Local color abounds in Sulphur and there is no shortage at the donut shop. It attracts an interesting variety of clientele. There is a steady traffic of locals, construction workers from the Artesian construction site and a continuous flow of vehicles pulling through the drive-in window. I think construction workers can sniff out these shops miles away even though this one is just across the street. Seating is limited with just two tables which are typically occupied by the locals that are regulars. Continue reading

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Harvesting Rain – a precious commodity

Stormwater is a primary source of water in many parts of the world and a sustainable approach to the control and use of rain water is something that should be taken to heart. As part of our pursuit of LEED certification for the Visitor Center, a significant number credit points is being gained from the incorporation of a Rain Harvesting system. Up to 6 points are in the balance based on being able to achieve 3 specific credits well. The credits are as follows: Continue reading

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Filed under Design, LEED ®, Materials