Laura Eder
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Laura Eder

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AIA+2030 Series Begins with a Bang!

The first session of the AIA+2030 Professional Series is behind us and as a participant and a part of the planning committee, I am even more excited for what is yet to come!

From Ed Mazria coming to Dallas to kick off our series with a special keynote presentation, to our three amazing afternoon session speakers, Monday was full of inspiration about what we can accomplish through design. We were able to begin to understand what the 2030 Challenge is all about.

Heather Holdridge of Lake Flato Architects started off the series with not only a presentation on the technical skills of 2030 documentation, but also facts about what Lake Flato is doing to improve on their designs year after year. Lake Flato has a motto that “If you can measure it, you can improve it.” To me, this makes a lot of sense because how can you truly improve the design and energy efficiency of your buildings without measuring where you stand now. When are we going to realize that first we need to measure where we stand, before we can move forward?

Nishant Kanapilly from Clearly Zimmermann Engineers in San Antonio gave insight into a current project they have in the schematic design phase. He may have presented on a specific project, but this guy is by far the coolest and most advanced engineer in collaboration that I’ve ever met! He talked about all the great things his MEP firm is doing toward sustainability. However, what really hit home with me was all of the integrated design processes they are involved in early on in projects. They are even tracking their own office towards meeting the 2030 challenge and trying to improve. And that’s quite amazing!

Doug Pierce made it in time to add his perspective on the topic, even with a cancelled flight!  Doug is a sustainability leader at Perkins + Will and he discussed the variations between the 2030 Programs, the Challenge, the Commitment, the Districts, etc. This information was great to help better understand each of the different paths and what each means. Doug brought a very different perspective to the group being from a large firm and from Minnesota! The message that I walked away with was to optimize systems in a building, not maximize.

It was an amazing first session! Now, who’s ready for 9 more?