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USGBC MA EPMA Meeting Presentation – May Meeting

Written by Alex Testa

Alex Testa presents on the process behind designing and building geodesic spheres.

Alex Testa, a Project Manager at Siena Construction, explained how she and her coworkers leveraged their industry skill sets to construct an interdisciplinary exhibit that exemplified sustainable construction.

She and a team of employees at Siena Construction combined forces with subcontractors, designers and scientists to build three geodesic spheres as part of the Cambridge Science Festival. The geodesic spheres were both aesthetic structures and interactive camera obscuras. The spheres were used as an exhibit to demonstrate how the human eye works. They played to a multitude of interests and ages–from kindergarteners to retired professors.

The 10-foot diameter structures were built using Red Grandis Eucalyptus, a sustainable, quickly regrowing tree from Uruguay. The team at Siena designed the spheres in-house, managed the construction with highly skilled millworkers, and created media resources to communicate the science and construction of the project to visitors. To learn more about the geodesic sphere’s history, building process, and materials, watch Siena’s exhibition video here.

Through active engagement and education, the spheres were used to bring the core principles of green building to the public. Alex explained how skills from the architecture-engineering-construction industry can be applied to projects outside of everyday comfort zones, and how working to engage community members outside of the construction industry can benefit everyone.

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