Yang energy has been a focus of many of my recent posts, including those referencing the PCBC (Pacific Coast Builders Conference) event. Now I want to spotlight some of the Yin energy I saw and experienced at PCBC.
Yin energy is passive, recessive and containing, which means it can become stagnant. Instead of an active growth energy, it's more hold, surround, control energy. It's less "doing" and more "being" - or more meditative and contemplative. It's more of an experience and feeling rather than intellectually learning, thinking and asking questions, regardless of the industry. Hence, trade shows, conferences and conventions tend to be Yang energy by their very nature and intention.
Finding Yin qualities and energy at a trade show or convention takes effort and observation. When I attend one of these events, I find all the Yang energy overpowering to me. I often find the need to leave such events in order to create balance in myself. Water is Yin energy and that's where you'll often find me.
So let me concentrate on the Yin energy of water.
With new Title 24 codes as part of CalGreen the center of attention at PCBC, water and energy efficient products were a central theme - from low-flow faucets and toilets to water conserving irrigation products and grey/black-water systems. Grey water systems allow you to use water from sinks, tubs, showers and washing machines for reuse in other ways, many of which could be irrigation. Black water systems use the water from toilets and generally are even harder to get building departments to permit due to the "contents" apart from water and sanitation issues.
Along the lines of toilets and their usage, here is a story related to water conservation and inherent costs of maintenance. It's about human nature or psychological habits regarding water usage.
Chip Heath's presentation on "Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard," showed a very interesting series of slides. It was an airport restroom in Europe where the janitorial costs for cleaning services were getting out of hand. I believe it was Chip's client who asked him to do a study and come up with a solution. Now mind you this is his story and I'm retelling it as I think I heard it, so please correct me if you know something different.
It was the Men's Restroom. Apparently the "aim" achieved by many was less than accurate. Hence, the need for much higher cleaning maintenance costs than in the Women's Restroom. How do you solve this kind of problem? You have a "fly" etched or painted in the urinal in the area best suited for optimal aim to reduce "random spraying." This acted as a "target for the men" according to Chip, solving the problem by reducing them "missing the mark."
This rather simple act allowed the janitorial service to not only reduce their time and costs, it reduced the amount of water needed to clean the restroom.
Changing habits! How difficult it is for us to do that! So when it comes to using less water in our daily lives when bathing, washing or irrigating, the industry is working to find solutions. I saw some beautiful toilets, faucets and shower fixtures to help us achieve Title 24 compliancy. Repurposing a cargo container, where design ingenuity came into play, to create a small bathrooms. Also displayed were bath tubs for Aging-In-Place and retrofitting showers into existing bathtub locations with easy-to-clean/mold-resistant surfaces.
Reducing water consumption is a Yin quality as we are minimizing usages as opposed to actively increasing it, which is the opposite Yang perspective.
Water itself is a Yin energy, especially when it is in a contained state as opposed to moving or releasing. Capturing water, as in capturing rainwater, is another form of Yin energy since we are gathering it.
Several products at PCBC captured one type of water for use in a different way - basically recycling it. One was the Aquios under-sink-inside-cabinet unit that caught water from the sink drain to use for flushing the toilet. Another was a container product designed to be used either vertically or horizontally, which would allow it to fit under a deck, that would divert rainwater through gutters and downspouts, holding it for use as irrigation water when needed.
These are a few of the Yin energies of PCBC, especially with regards to water. Of course, to sit and rest - experience and feeling - another Yin area was the lobby.
There, as you came down the escalators from registration at the connection between the North and South Halls of Moscone Center in San Francisco, was the lovely quartet playing a variety of music styles. In this space many weary bodies rejuvenated themselves with food and drink while they "experienced" respite for body, mind and spirit as they were transported to a space and time for "feelings" of yesteryear - I being one of them.