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Peaceful resolution with environment page 2
Martial-art school in Spotsylvania being built with green methods and materials

 Insulated concrete form walls were built by Quinn Construc-tion of Glen Burnie, Md. Windows are key to the design.
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Date published: 11/21/2008


The building's orientation plays a key role as well. It faces south, allowing it to benefit from the sun's warmth during the winter. Overhangs and trees will limit summertime sun infiltration. By taking advantage of the sun, and the body heat of students engaged in physical activity, little additional heat will be needed.

Owens' firm created a "solar study" that provides a virtual look at how the sun will strike and enter the building over the course of the day, and how that will differ in summer and winter. It also shows where trees should be planted for the most benefit. Visit owensar chitects.com/aikidostudio .htm to have a look.

The building is built on a concrete slab and constructed of rebar-enforced insulated concrete forms. The foam forms are stacked to make walls and then filled from the top with concrete.

The wood roof trusses and framing are from Eagle Rigid Spans, whose Web site points out that it takes 17 times more fossil fuels to produce a ton of steel than a ton of wood. Manufactured wood and plywood that encapsulates insulation provide the strength necessary to create wide-open interior spaces for students to use.

Beneath what will be a light-colored metal roof are structural insulated panels by FisherSIPS that sandwich thick foam panels between plywood sheets.

Continuing the use of concrete, a natural and plentiful building material, the exterior walls will be covered in PermaCrete, a stucco-like product that's stronger and more flexible than concrete to resist cracking after continued freeze-thaw cycles and intense summer heat.

To put it all together, Goldsmith brought in Ian Conrad of Conrad Green Enterprises of Purcellville, one of a limited number of Virginia contractors who handle this type of construction. Conrad said that because of that, he's staying busy during the downturn and now has three jobs going at once.

Goldsmith said all of the construction methods used in the building could be broadened for larger commercial applications, or scaled down for smaller residential projects.


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Aikido is described as "a non-violent martial art that focuses on self-defense, personal growth and conflict resolution."

School manager Aviv Goldsmith said the dojo he's building is modeled after the Iwama Dojo in Japan, and aims to harmonize with nature like those in Japan do. But the similarities end there. Japanese dojos are very primitive, lacking the showers, air conditioning and locker rooms that the new dojo will have to cater to American expectations.

Goldsmith emphasized that aikido, while having belts that signify skill levels, is also designed to be a way of living one's life peacefully and in tune with nature.

Goldsmith said he came here after living in Nevada for 17 years because of the climate. He said he could have chosen anywhere in the east-central part of the country, but that the perfect site turned up along Hickory Ridge Road in Spotsylvania County, about a mile south of Massaponax and a mile west of U.S. 1.

He hopes the school will increase awareness of aikido in the area. Through his contacts in the martial art, Goldsmith wants to host international aikido seminars at the site in the future. Visit familyaikido.org for a closer look.