2014 Session 8: Beyond Green

Date: April 4, 2014
Time: 12:00 pm – 5:00pm
Led by: Ana Baker, AIA & Jason Kasparek, Associate AIA, LEED AP BD+C, APX

Session 8 PDF


Session 8, Beyond Green, was a dynamic afternoon that provided information on the next era of sustainable design in a variety of formats.  This session planned by Ana Baker, AIA of Cunnigham Quill Architects and Jason Kasparek, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP or ZGF Architects, posed the important questions of what is next in green design and construction, and how do we go beyond LEED and the conventional approaches to sustainability.

Bill Browning of Terrapin Bright Green kicked off the conversation with a presentation on his research and project work that was influenced by the ideas of biophilia, which looks for connections between humans and other natural systems and patterns.  Commonly referred to as biomimicry, this process looks to nature for inspiration and solutions for design problems. He had the group glued to his presentation as he outlined the 14 patterns that inform the built environment, and how design benefits from incorporation of these principals.

Diane Sullivan, senior urban planner of the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) and Otto Condon, AICP of ZGF Architects next spoke on a case study, the SW Ecodistrict.  Have you ever wondered how to transform an enclave of mid-century modern federal buildings into a vibrant thriving 24-7 community where people, live work, and play that reduces greenhouse emissions and creates new sources of renewable energy?  NCPC and the extended team of partners and consultants are trying to answer that question (and many more) as they attempt to achieve their goals set out by Executive Order 13514.

The group then had a tour of the USGBC headquarters.  The office space is a showcase of sustainable materials and design approaches and showcases the newest LEED evaluation tools.  One of the most intriguing aspects of the tour is the new LEED dynamic plaque. This plaque is coming soon to a project near you and the USGBC headquarters has the first prototype installed so they can see if their facility is successful at meeting their energy and water reduction goals.


The final part of the session was a round table panel of leaders in the field of sustainable design moderated by Ana and Jason.  The panel represented a range of interests and roles in the discussion – large and small design firms, engineering firms, general contractors, and academia.  Panelist included David Bell, AIA, LEED AP, Founding Principal and President, Bell Architects, Chris Grech, RIBA, Director, Master of Sustainable Design Program, Catholic University of America, Anica Landreneau, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, Principle, Director of Sustainable Consulting, HOK, Bungan Mehlomakalu, PE, LEED AP, Principal, Integral Group, and Apryl Webb, LEED AP, AVS, Preconstruction Manager, Skanska USA Building. A great discussion took place, engaging the audience, and addressing the future trends of the profession.


The theme of resilience and how our designs need to respond, change and stand the test of time was prevalent in all of the sessions and provided the group with a new way to look at the future of sustainable design.