Slow Food & A Small Footprint: Charleston Architect Serves Up “Green” Options

Whitney Powers, AIA
Whitney Powers, AIA

March 30, 2009 (CHARLESTON, SC) – Want to eat and live well in harmony with the natural environment? “Green” architect Whitney Powers, AIA, of Studio A, Inc, in Charleston served up solutions for reducing your home’s carbon footprint during Slow Food Charleston’s “Spring Pot Luck” dinner held Sunday, March 29, at the Circular Congregational Church in downtown Charleston.

Powers was the featured speaker for an event that celebrates “the pleasures of our bountiful Low Country spring produce.” Participants bring culinary dishes to share that are made of fresh, locally available food.

One of the city’s primary leaders in sustainable design, Whitney Powers used the new “green” Sunday School addition at the historic church on Meeting Street to point out principles of sustainable architecture – principles that can apply to anyone’s home.

A modern building within the historic church campus, the Sunday School building features certified woods (ensuring that the wood comes from a responsibly managed forest); salvaged, recycled and locally available materials; a geothermal heating and cooling system; rainwater collection cisterns; low water usage plumbing; natural ventilation and day-lighting; a deep roof overhang to protect the southern exposure and save energy; a vegetated roof; a constant indoor/outdoor connection via porches and exterior circulations paths; and overall durable construction.

“The various examples implemented in the addition can be departures for what we might consider for our own homes,” she said.

Powers worked with fellow “green” architect Frank Harmon, FAIA, of Raleigh, North Carolina, on the addition to downtown Charleston’s oldest church and the renovation of Lance Hall. She has also designed a variety of other sustainable structures throughout her career, including a residence on Johns Island in Charleston that features all of the same “green” principles as the Sunday School facility.

Besides more professional awards she’s received over the years for her work, Powers commitment to sustainable design saw her crowned as a “green goddess” in Skirt! Magazine last fall. Her work has also been featured in numerous magazines and on HGTV. For more information, visit

“Slow Food” is a global, grassroots movement whose members promote “a world in which all people can eat food that is good for them, good for the people who grow it, and good for the planet.” To learn more, visit

There is no cost to attend Slow Food Charleston’s dinners but guests are encouraged to bring a dish to share with the group. For more info contact or call her at 843-225-4307.

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