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Breakout Sessions [clear filter]
Thursday, June 20

9:15am EDT

First Steps for Giant Strides: Using Healthier Materials on Your Campus
Campus construction projects using healthier materials have become both leading-edge and attainable, as a growing data reservoir, increased market pressure and refined processes have slashed the required time and effort by two thirds. Along with fostering a brighter future for all, creating healthier buildings offers novel educational opportunities; a fresh, values-driven initiative that excites donors; and a framework to draw in and engage diverse constituencies.

We begin with the “why” of focusing on materials, including the ways healthier buildings underscore an institution’s social justice message, burnish school brand and reputation, provide more productive workplaces to work and reduce amortized building costs, including lowering remediation costs for renovations or at end of life.

The “how” of healthier materials examines pitching greener buildings to decision makers, maintaining healthy materials buy-in from owners and teams and shrinking the materials palette within and among projects (including how this is beneficial and how to do it). An overview of making the best material choices presents simple strategies for incorporating healthier building materials, explores top product categories for the largest impact, identifies specific healthy building products and where to find more, and explains reasons for using specs as the basis for a transition to healthier materials.

avatar for Charley Stevenson

Charley Stevenson

Sustainability Consultant, Integrated Eco Strategy
Charley Stevenson is a sustainability consultant and green building entrepreneur focused on helping others understand and implement LBC. Since 2010, Stevenson’s company, Integrated Eco Strategy (IES), has managed the green aspects of projects from 1,000 to 500,000 square feet, include... Read More →

9:15am EDT

Lifting the Lid: Designing & Delivering an Effective Living Building Tour
For a Living Building, the project isn’t over once the building is complete. Owners of Living Buildings are uniquely positioned to share their transformative spaces with others, offering a gateway into the LBC community for all. A powerful educational and experiential tool, tour programs can strengthen relationships with local communities, raise awareness of engagement opportunities, and empower building occupants and visitors with a deeper level of living building systems understanding.

In this workshop, three experienced LBC guides will discuss the value, strategy, and impact of building tours, tackling questions such as: How can tours support your institutional or corporate mission? What makes a memorable tour? How do we offer effective tours with sometimes limited knowledge and resources? How can we make our tours accessible to all? What are the goals of a tour program, and how do you know if you’ve been successful? 

We’ll share how Hampshire College and the Hitchcock Center for the Environment leverage tours to strengthen the impact of their Living Building Challenge projects: as part of new building-based research and curriculum, as a component of community outreach and K-12 education, and as a way to involve people in the construction process. Participants will learn how to design tours based on learning theory and proven engagement strategies, including hands-on activities, participatory problem-solving, and digital content. We’ll then invite you to develop a concept plan for your own project tour, offering support and feedback based on our experience. Each participant will leave with a plan to implement a unique, effective, and value-added tour program for their own project or site.

avatar for Sara Draper

Sara Draper

R.W. Kern Center Director of Educational Program and Outreach, Hampshire College
Sara Draper is the Director of Education and Outreach at Hampshire College’s R.W. Kern Center, a certified Living Building and hub of sustainability culture and engagement. In her role as “building ambassador” Sara works across campus and beyond to make the most of the educational... Read More →
avatar for Jessica Schultz

Jessica Schultz

Communications and Living Building Coordinator, Hitchcock Center for the Environment
Jessica Schultz is Living Building Coordinator for Hitchcock Center for the Environment. She developed and leads the Center’s Living Building tour program and manages building system operations. She is a Living Building Challenge Ambassador, is Living Future Accredited, and lead... Read More →
avatar for Josie Eilertsen

Josie Eilertsen

Alumni, Hampshire College
Born and raised in Southern California, Josie Eilertsen graduated from Hampshire College inMay 2018 with Five College Architecture Major and Sustainability Certificate. At Hampshireshe studied sustainable buildings and informal education specifically at the R. W. Kern Center,the 17th... Read More →

Thursday June 20, 2019 9:15am - 10:30am EDT
Room 108 - R.W. Kern Center, Hampshire College

9:15am EDT

Towards A Fossil Fuel Free Campus: Leaders from Hampshire College, Amherst College, and Brown University Share Their Bold Plans and Accomplishments
It's no secret that college and university campuses are heavy energy users with high greenhouse gas emissions (spoiler alert – it's the buildings). The urgency of the climate crisis and student activism, together with rising operating costs have driven many colleges and universities to adopt institutional climate commitments that require bold actions to reduce or eliminate their carbon impacts in just a few short decades. This will require significant changes to how we heat, cool, and power our buildings.

Join a discussion of the programs, projects, and plans they are putting in place to achieve their planned reductions. They'll talk through their explorations of net zero energy, decarbonization, carbon-free electricity, fossil-fuel-free, and more, to show how similar carbon reduction goals can be achieved by wildly differing strategies and by institutions of varying sizes and means. Along the way, they'll share the easy wins and tough calls that went into their latest initiatives (such as on-site solar, off-site solar, fuel switching, and electrification).

• Understand how different colleges and universities approach "decarbonization" or "carbon neutrality"
• Articulate options for renewable and carbon-free electricity supply
• Evaluate options for carbon-free heating systems
• Identify strategies for making and keeping bold climate commitments

avatar for Todd Holland

Todd Holland

Mechanical Engineer, Tighe & Bond
Todd Holland is a mechanical engineer and specialist in energy efficiency at Tighe & Bond in Westfield, Mass.  Design and project management experience includes solar energy, cogeneration, envelope improvements, air-source heat pumps, controls upgrades, variable speed drives, and... Read More →
avatar for Laura Draucker

Laura Draucker

Director of Sustainability, Amherst College
Laura Draucker is the Director of Sustainability at Amherst College. Laura relocated to Amherst from Washington, D.C., where she had worked as a senior associate and sustainability manager at the World Resources Institute (WRI), a global, environmental non-profit think tank. Prior... Read More →
avatar for Jim Brassord

Jim Brassord

Chief of Campus Operations, Amherst College
Jim Brassord is the Chief of Campus Operations at Amherst College. In addition to his Facilitiesresponsibilities, he oversees a number of operational departments including Dining Services, CampusPolice, Environmental Health & Safety, Sustainability, and Real Estate. In his 20 plus... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Stephen Porder

Dr. Stephen Porder

Associate Professor, Assistant Provost For Sustainability, Brown University

Thursday June 20, 2019 9:15am - 10:30am EDT
Room 202 - R.W. Kern Center, Hampshire College

9:15am EDT

Water Resource Management: Onsite Water Reuse for Universities & Campuses
In addition to water scarcity, drivers to consider water reuse now include aging or inadequate infrastructure, resiliency, resource recovery, green-building initiatives (LBC/LEED) and increasing costs for conventional water and sewer. Onsite or distributed systems are located closer to the source and point of use making it more efficient to recover and reuse both the water and embedded energy.  

Case studies will be reviewed including The New School University (NYC) and the redevelopment of Microsoft’s Silicon Valley campus (Mountain View, California). The New School University represents an urban academic application of direct non-potable water reuse within the University Center. This system requires a very high level of treatment in a very small footprint with membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology for flushwater, cooling and laundry reuse. The Microsoft campus incorporates a wetland treatment system that addresses the Living Building Challenge water petal objectives for non-potable water. These projects are a testament to the evolution of distributed systems over the last few decades including changes in regulations, technology and project delivery methods along with the integration of our water and energy infrastructure. This presentation will focus on drivers for these projects, benefits, key challenges, lessons learned, financial drivers/solutions and a discussion as to how the elements of these projects can be replicated at other universities and campuses.

Participants will learn how these approaches can:
• Reduce total water consumption by 50 to 95% and 100% non-potable water use reduction along with associated application to the Living Building Challenge process
• Reduce wastewater discharges and waste loads by 60 to 100%
• Reduce environmental impacts from Combined Sewer Overflows
• Reduce nutrient and chemical loads to water bodies
• Incorporate energy recovery with economical operations that uses the waste as a resource, provides treatment at the source and yields a favorable Life Cycle Cost and Life Cycle Assessment.

avatar for Zach F. Gallagher

Zach F. Gallagher

Executive Vice President, Natural Systems Utilities
Mr. Gallagher is a licensed Professional Engineer and LEED Accredited Professional holding BS and MS degrees from Rutgers University in Bio-Resource and Civil/Environmental Engineering.  He is currently Executive Vice President for Natural Systems Utilities (NSU) and past Vice... Read More →
avatar for Erik D. Eibert, PE, LEED AP

Erik D. Eibert, PE, LEED AP

Assistant Director, Sustainability Initiatives, The New School
Erik is an advocate of the need for business to lead on issues of shared societal and global environmental concern. He currently leads sustainability initiatives at The New School, and operates a small organic vineyard in his hometown of Skaneateles, NY.Erik holds a BS in Biological... Read More →

Thursday June 20, 2019 9:15am - 10:30am EDT
Room 106 - R.W. Kern Center, Hampshire College

10:45am EDT

Equity in the Design Process
A variety of people both inside and outside of higher education have been increasingly working on creating a more equitable built environment that works for all community members.  The Living Building Challenge and Living Community Challenge both have an equity petal that has helped to spur and shape that conversation.  One early lesson is that equity in the built environment hinges on equity of process, on hearing the voices of all, including those in traditionally underrepresented groups.  The feedback and decision making structures in higher education - and the building design and construction process - need adjustments to fulfill the promise of equity.  In our work as part of the building process at Williams, we’ve developed lots of questions and thoughts about equity of process and have piloted a variety of techniques, but we are far from having all of the answers.  This session is intended to be a working session where the facilitators will frame the issue and lead discussions and activities to address the following questions:

1. What voices do we struggle to hear and engage in our existing processes?
2. How can we physically get underrepresented stakeholders in to the room for meetings and discussions?
3. How can we structure meetings and discussion to bring out and hear voices that are frequently minimized or marginalized?
4. What tools can we use beyond in-person meetings and discussions to gather concerns, feedback and questions in an equitable and transparent way?

We also hope to demonstrate some innovative discussion and meeting structures during this session as a way of building attendees’ tool-kits for equitable discussions.

avatar for Amy Johns

Amy Johns

Director, Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives at Williams College
Amy Johns is the director of the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives at Williams College where she works to make the college’s daily operations more sustainable while providing educational opportunities for on-campus communities and off-campus colleagues.  After more than... Read More →
avatar for Mike Evans

Mike Evans

Assistant Director, Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives at Williams College
Mike Evans is the Assistant Director of the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives at Williams College where he delves into issues of sustainable food, waste diversion, the built environment, and equity & justice. Prior to his time at Williams, he worked in the nonprofit world... Read More →

Thursday June 20, 2019 10:45am - 12:00pm EDT
Room 202 - R.W. Kern Center, Hampshire College

10:45am EDT

How and Why to Pursue Net Positive Water on the Campus
The campus setting provides a unique opportunity to shift the paradigm of how humans relate to water. Net Positive Water is more than a simple water budget that balances the demands of people and place. Decentralized water harvesting, treatment, and recycling infrastructure can be implemented using a regenerative approach that creates abundance, resiliency and equity; heals conflict between the built and natural environment; and inspires a multitude of minds to think about our place in the world differently. Through an overview of design considerations, technical strategies, and project examples, participants will learn how we can design integrated water systems that restore the integrity of nature and our relationship with it.

avatar for Robert

Robert "Skip" Backus

CEO, Omega Center for Sustainable Living
Robert "Skip" Backus is the chief executive officer of Omega Institute. For more than 20 years, he has played a leadership role at Omega as operations director and campus manager, maintaining all of Omega’s buildings. In this capacity, he helped Omega lay the foundation for its... Read More →
avatar for Ryan Case Masé

Ryan Case Masé

Project Manager, Senior Engineering Team, Biohabitats
Since 2001, Ryan Masé has been involved in pioneering work to create wastewater treatment and recycling systems designed as analogs of Earth’s rivers, lakes and wetlands. He began his career working with ecological designer, Dr. John Todd. His passion for living water has led... Read More →

Thursday June 20, 2019 10:45am - 12:00pm EDT
Room 106 - R.W. Kern Center, Hampshire College

10:45am EDT

Living Building Tour: R.W. Kern Center
Come explore the R.W. Kern Center, one of just 23 certified Living Buildings in the world.

We’ll lift the lid on the composting toilets, check in on the rooftop solar, and see how we keep tabs on where the electricity goes. Check out the greywater system to learn how wastewater is filtered via the building's indoor plants and sent outdoors to a constructed wetland. See how rainwater is collected, filtered, and treated to make drinking water. We'll also take look at the finishes and materials that make up a Living Building, and some clever and puzzling details you might miss on a casual walk-through. This tour is an authentic account of what makes our Living Building tick- the challenges, setbacks, and successes.

avatar for Sara Draper

Sara Draper

R.W. Kern Center Director of Educational Program and Outreach, Hampshire College
Sara Draper is the Director of Education and Outreach at Hampshire College’s R.W. Kern Center, a certified Living Building and hub of sustainability culture and engagement. In her role as “building ambassador” Sara works across campus and beyond to make the most of the educational... Read More →
avatar for Christopher Nielson

Christopher Nielson

Architect, Bruner/Cott Architects
Christopher is passionate about design that respects our building heritage, supports community, and addresses the issues of climate change. As project architect for the Kern Center, Christopher brought project goals and ideas to life, working closely with the rest of the project team... Read More →

Thursday June 20, 2019 10:45am - 12:00pm EDT
Room 108 - R.W. Kern Center, Hampshire College

10:45am EDT

Translating Science into Practice to Deliver Healthier Materials
Research from Harvard University faculty and other scientists has clearly shown the danger of certain chemicals of concern, yet these chemicals are pervasive throughout many common building materials.  Some of the most effective interventions for enhancing the health, productivity and well-being of people in the built environment can be achieved with healthier building materials and products. Harvard University to using its campus as a testbed to translate science into practice to develop scalable solutions for a healthier built environment. Come learn about Harvard’s transferable approach, best practices and lessons learned that can be leveraged and applied in your built environment work to benefit human and planetary health.  

avatar for Heather Henriksen

Heather Henriksen

Managing Director, Harvard University Office for Sustainability, Harvard University
Heather Henriksen has served as Harvard University’s chief sustainability officer since 2008, advising the President and senior leadership on strategy and building an organizational change enterprise.  Heather leads the Office for Sustainability which oversees the implementation... Read More →

1:00pm EDT

Living Building Tour: The Hitchcock Center for the Environment - Educating for a Healthy Planet
The Hitchcock Center for the Environment is home to the 23rd Certified Living Building in the world and the 4th in Massachusetts. It is a powerful teaching tool that supports a new approach to achieving environmental literacy in the 21st century. The net zero energy building harvests and recycles its own water and is designed to model systems in nature. It uses composting toilets, and was constructed with responsibly sourced, nontoxic materials. Come find out what makes the building a special teaching tool empowering visitors to ask, “what does sustainability look like in the built environment and in my community?”

avatar for Julie Johnson

Julie Johnson

Executive Director, Hitchcock Center for the Environment
For the past 17 years, Julie has worked to strengthen the impact and reach of the Hitchcock Center for the Environment’s mission to foster a greater awareness and understanding of our environment and to develop environmentally literate citizens. She has kept the Hitchcock Center... Read More →
avatar for Jessica Schultz

Jessica Schultz

Communications and Living Building Coordinator, Hitchcock Center for the Environment
Jessica Schultz is Living Building Coordinator for Hitchcock Center for the Environment. She developed and leads the Center’s Living Building tour program and manages building system operations. She is a Living Building Challenge Ambassador, is Living Future Accredited, and lead... Read More →
avatar for Sam Batchelor, AIA

Sam Batchelor, AIA

Partner, designLAB Architects
Sam Batchelor's work is founded in a responsibility to the importance of craft and community. He maintains a hands-on involvement in designLAB’s projects from schematic design through construction and post-occupancy. Sam is an artful communicator, facilitating collaboration between... Read More →
avatar for Kelly Ard Haigh, AIA, IIDA, LEED

Kelly Ard Haigh, AIA, IIDA, LEED

Partner, designLAB Architects
Kelly Haigh is a partner at designLAB architects. She served as project architect for the recently completed Delbridge Family Center for the Arts at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts and the Hitchcock Center for the Environment. Her previous collaborations include the Emery Community... Read More →

Thursday June 20, 2019 1:00pm - 2:15pm EDT
Room 108 - R.W. Kern Center, Hampshire College

1:00pm EDT

Re-Wilding Human Habitat
Regenerative Design stands above mere sustainability by suggesting that reaching balance, in the face of global climate change and the social inequity that accompanies it, is no longer enough. It suggests that we must instead restore each Place we encounter to a condition of wholeness. Seeing nature as inspiration is a key step in restoring our buildings, neighborhoods, communities, and cities to their full potential.

To leverage nature, a critical shift in philosophy is taking place. The built environment is no longer simply a “machine for living” as we have been taught by our modernist, international-style roots. Instead, a new notion of shared and intensely local habitat for people is coming into focus; one that is informed by the simple truth that WE ARE NATURE.

avatar for Amanda Sturgeon

Amanda Sturgeon

Amanda Sturgeon, FAIA is the CEO of the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). She is the author of Creating Biophilic Buildings, the founder and driving force behind the organization’s Biophilic Design Initiative and is a sought-after expert on biophilic design around the world. Amanda is an award-winning architect who enjoyed a successful 15-year career working to harmonize the relationship between peo... Read More →

1:00pm EDT

What I Wish I Knew Before We Started?
The Living Building at Georgia Tech is a partnership between The Kendeda Fund, Georgia Tech, Lord Aeck Sargent and The Miller Hull Partnership, and Skanska to build what is expected to become the most environmentally advanced education and research building ever constructed in the Southeast. Designing a successful Living Building project is by necessity a collaborative and integrated endeavor. The partnership represents a shared commitment between all of the parties to lead, educate and transform in the areas of ecology and regenerative buildings, and create opportunities for replicability for other building owners, designers and constructors.  Join us as we share the collective experience of designing a Living Building Challenge project in the hot, humid climate of the southeastern United States. Representatives from GT, Lord Aeck Sargent and Skanska will discuss the design and construction process and specifically note “what they wish they had known before they started.”  Presented in an interactive format, the panel will discuss what it means to work in an open, collaborative design environment, tell a few stories from the trenches and allows ample time for audience questions to the panel.

avatar for Joshua Gassman

Joshua Gassman

Senior Associate Architect, Lord Aeck Sargent
For nearly 20 years Joshua has led large, multi-faceted design teams focused on sustainable design. During his career he has managed a broad spectrum of projects, ranging from large research labs for major universities to interpretive and education centers. He has worked extensively... Read More →
avatar for John J. DuCongé, RA, LEED AP

John J. DuCongé, RA, LEED AP

Senior Project Manager, The Georgia Institute of Technology
John DuCongé is a Senior Project Manager in the Design & Construction department at The Georgia Institute of Technology (“Georgia Tech”). Prior to joining Georgia Tech in 2000, he served as a Project Architect in Gensler’s Washington D.C. and Atlanta offices for more than fifteen... Read More →
avatar for Jimmy Mitchell

Jimmy Mitchell

Director of Project Solutions, Skanska
Jimmy started with Skanska in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Georgia Tech.  Sustainability is a career passion, one of Georgia’s first LEED managers, created the Atlanta Mission urban garden, and a founding board member of the construction material reuse... Read More →

Thursday June 20, 2019 1:00pm - 2:15pm EDT
Room 202 - R.W. Kern Center, Hampshire College

1:00pm EDT

When Builders Talk – Gaining Knowledge, Insight, and Momentum
A round table of veteran Living Building Makers reflect on how the Living Building Challenge has changed them and their work - touching on the obstacles and opportunities going forward.Deep sustainability goals increase workforce and leadership interest, commitment, enthusiasm and resourcefulness. By gathering as construction and trade veterans of two Living Building projects at two inspired institutions, the panelists will present briefly and then engage in questions and discussion among the panelists and with the session participants. Themes will include building cooperation, problem solving, and inspirational take-aways going forward, along with a generous helping of real time stories!  Presenters include mechanical contractor, electrical contractor, project management staff and the timber design / fabricator for the R.W. Kern Center.

avatar for Jonathan Wright

Jonathan Wright

Founder and Senior Advisor, Wright Builders Inc.
Jonathan has been an active regional leader in sustainable design and construction since the 1970’s. Under his guidance Wright Builders completed over 40 LEED certifications. He provided leadership for preconstruction planning, materials selection and budgeting on both Living Buildings... Read More →
avatar for Mark F. Ledwell

Mark F. Ledwell

President, Wright Builders Inc.
Mark served as Project Manager for the Hitchcock Center for the Environment, and led that team through the final design, permitting sourcing and construction processes. As a skilled craftsman and artisan in his own right, he lent his methods insight and knowledge, along with managerial... Read More →
avatar for Linda Gaudreau

Linda Gaudreau

Operations Manager, Wright Builders Inc.
Linda is responsible for permitting, planning, dispatching at Wright builders. She also manages all aspects of building certifications and compliance for LEED and Living Building Challenge. She has led the teams that, along with designers and consultants, vetted over 800 materials... Read More →
avatar for Chris Carbone

Chris Carbone

Company Steward and Team Leader, Bensonwood
Chris is recognized as an innovator in wood based, off-site construction systems, and leads the Bensonwood engineering department in developing creative solutions for sustainable architecture and construction. He has spearheaded Bensonwood's involvement in mass timber, working on... Read More →
avatar for James Moran

James Moran

MJ Moran Mechanical Contractors, Founder
Jim has nearly 50 years’ experience in the mechanical trades, and his firm services projects throughout western New England. He and his firm provided expert mechanical services for the R. W. Kern Center, and were instrumental in solving many process and construction questions as... Read More →
avatar for Jamie Crocker

Jamie Crocker

President, Crocker Communications, Electrical Contractors
Jamie and his team provided electrical services for both Living Buildings on the Hampshire College campus, providing ingenious and beautiful exposed work, resourcefulness, problem solving, and integrating with other trades and designers. They arranged with their suppliers to ensure... Read More →

Thursday June 20, 2019 1:00pm - 2:15pm EDT
Room 106 - R.W. Kern Center, Hampshire College