At Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, the new Center for Sustainable Landscapes, billed as “one of earth’s greenest buildings” (though it is plainly various shades of brown and grey—perhaps someone in the public-relations department is colorblind), will soon be open. Dr. Boli and a few hundred other supporters of the conservatory were given a tour of the building this evening, and the offices (shown above) particularly caught his attention. On the right in the photograph we see a wall of glass through which sunlight pervades the offices during the day, making electric lighting unnecessary. Furthermore, if someone feels a need to adjust the temperature inside the building, the glass can actually be raised to admit fresh air from outside.

Dr. Boli mentions this astonishing technological innovation because he himself predicted it a little more than a year ago as a fixture of the office building of the future:

Large openings covered with glass in the walls of office buildings will virtually eliminate the need for artificial lighting during the day, as it will be possible to harness the light of the sun itself for most everyday tasks. A clever mechanical arrangement will make it possible to raise the glass panels, allowing natural air circulation that will greatly reduce the need for artificial climate control.

If this prediction has come true, can the rest of Dr. Boli’s predictions be far behind? They laughed at him as a visionary dreamer, but they will be sorry—all of them—when they see his predictions coming true one after another. To prepare yourself for the marvels of a future that may be only moments away, read the original article.


  1. paul says:

    You marvel me with your predictions, Dr. Boli!

    The brilliant minds at Phipps must’ve been staring at the ceiling and the walls when they received this epiphany; where were you when you made your prediction, Dr. Boli?

    I guess I expected more greenery in a Phipps “green building”, but I suppose the infusion of oxygen from too many plants would only serve to keep the employees awake throughout the day – and that would prove to be counter-counter productive.

    I always feel like quoting Pres. Reagan whenever I see cubicle walls, “Dr. Boli, Tear down this wall!”

    I apologize for sounding so mean spirited tonight – I love the Phipps and Dr. Boli – I better open a window a get some fresh air.

  2. Violet says:

    Opening a window only works in specific climates, however. Here in south Texas, opening a window to get cooler would be throwing gasoline on a fire.

  3. Greybeard says:

    If offices allow sunlight and fresh air into the cubicles, will the bureaucrats entombed therein soon achieve the level of productivity demonstrated by construction workers who stand in the sun all day rotating their portable sign from Stop to Slow and back to Stop again?

  4. J. Seymour Clifford M.Arch says:

    Spent much of my post-graduate degree incredulous at these green innovations. Cantilevered portions of a building that shade glass window openings, just another great leap forward for the ambitious discipline to which I aspire.

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