Fresh ideas about design
This past week, Strada Principal Chris Kenney set Philadelphia’s Center for Architecture buzzing with industry experts engaging in a dialogue on Net-Zero and Net-Positive design. The annual CSI/Building Enclosure Council Seminar Day brings together representatives from viewpoints and professions as wide and varied as architects, engineers, scientists, manufacturers, and politicians to discuss many of the pressing issues of our time.
This year, I was honored with the opportunity to participate as both a speaker and panelist, where I introduced the audience to the many definitions of “Net-Zero,” presented anecdotes from my research on the impact of climate change on endemic vernacular architecture, and discussed my passion for implementing LCA to curb carbon emissions.
Throughout the conference, I was delighted with the notable variety of scales and uses of net-zero projects presented. I think the conversation made obvious the burgeoning potential for net-zero buildings in compartmentalized and highly metered typologies, such as residential and biotech, because they already have the infrastructure to control and facilitate net-zero methodologies (in particular, energy). For firms that are already familiar with these project types, it’s an easy way to get ahead of competition since we can readily mobilize and adapt our designs to accommodate net-zero metrics.
I personally subscribe to Bjarke Ingel’s concept of hedonistic sustainability—recognizing that a net-zero trend will only be fully embraced when it facilitates and enhances our lifestyles. This event was a fantastic occasion for learning and disseminating the exact tools and methods to help use achieve the most rigorous sustainability standards while delighting clients and occupants with beautiful and useful spaces!
Collectively, the design and construction industry has risen to the challenge and we’re diligently doing our part in reducing the amount of waste generated, however statistics don’t lie… We still have a long way to go!
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