Plumbers Oppose Green Skyscraper Design For Philadelphia

According to this Sunday's Philadelphia Inquirer, the local plumber's union is opposed to Liberty Property Trust's plans to complete 'the tallest LEED certified skyscraper'. "The 58-story Comcast Center rising over 17th Street is already destined to be Philadelphia's tallest and most environmentally friendly skyscraper. But its developer, Liberty Property Trust, dreams of claiming an even more prestigious title: America's tallest green building". It appears that the building permit disagreement between the Union and the City stems from the fact that less labor is required to install waterless toilets. Without the waterless toilet option included, the overall rating may not be as favorable, but more importantly, the finished building would consume an extra 1.6 million gallons of water per year. Also from the Inquirer: "Ironically, the Philadelphia Water Department has been looking for ways to reduce the water flowing into the city's overburdened sewer system". "...Said Robert D. Solvibile Sr., who runs Philadelphia's Department of Licenses and Inspections, the agency that enforces the city's building code. "We're afraid that if they're not properly maintained, dangerous gases could come into the room and harm people."" Ohhhh,... Dangerous Gases oozing in through cracks! Now we're so confused about which toilet would be better. Compare: a made up threat of dangerous gases on the one hand; and on the otherhand, risks of climate change, drought impaired water supplies, and a polluted river.

If only there were a design that eliminated two kinds of spin at once: the obfuscating kind that a lobbyist produces and the kind you get with water swirling down the drain of a century-old urinal design. Quick someone...invent this magic, because : - - "If the 975-foot Comcast Center fails to win the council's certification, the title of tallest green building will fall instead to New York's 962-foot Bank of America Tower, going up across from Manhattan's Bryant Park - complete with waterless urinals".

Next it will be Chicago's turn to up the ante. Los Angeles? Barcelona? Tokyo? This is one race we're going to sit back and enjoy. Big picture: a plumber's union can't stop the flow.

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