Jan 10: Living buildings in Seattle & Pittsburgh

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The Green Building Alliance's INSPIRE speaker series brings a whole raft of green building luminaries in January.  

5:30-8:30 p.m. at Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens.  For more information and to register online, go here.  Cost:  GBA or partner organization member: $25;  non-member $45.  For group rates and scholarship information, please contact Jenna Cramer.  

Chris HellstromChris Hellstern | M. Arch. | NCARB | LEED® AP BD+C | CDTholds a Masters of Architecture degree from Texas Tech University. His thesis work focused on designing a sustainable elementary school in Seattle that allowed both students and faculty to experience the building’s many environmental features through education and practice.
An Associate with KMD Architects in Seattle, Chris has been with KMD over six years working on a variety of building types and LEED projects. Those projects include hospitals, justice, offices and master planning. His most recent project involved the design and construction administration of a pro-bono Seattle project for the Bertschi School that is aimed to achieve The Living Building Challenge v2.0.
Chris serves as a Cascadia Green Building Council Branch member and a Living Building Ambassador for the International Living Future Institute. He also co-founded the Restorative Design Collective and KMD’s Sustainability Committee working to increase the company’s commitment to the environment through their work and practice. He founded the Seattle 2030 Roundtable, which works with local architects to achieve the 2030 Challenge, and was appointed as the first Regional Chair of Washington and Alaska for USGBC Students. Chris has been a speaker at numerous environmental conferences and also volunteers with local school groups, mentoring high school students about sustainable practices.
Before his career in architecture, he spent many years in Alaska serving as a Certified Level III Alaska Naturalist leading outback kayak trips.
Stacy SmedleyStacy Smedley, Executive Director+Chief Enrichment Officer
Membership Chair – Cascadia Green Building Council Seattle Branch, National Emerging Professionals Recruitment Chair –United States Green Building Council, Member – University of Washington Department of Architecture Professional Advisory Council, Mentor – various elementary and high school sustainability programs, LEED BD+C

Stacy has a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of Washington, and 10 years in the architecture profession. Her resume includes the first LEED for Homes Platinum certified project in Washington State as well as the first project built to Living Building Version 2.0 standards, an elementary school science building in Seattle. As an Associate at KMD Architects, Stacy helped found the firms internal Sustainability Steering Committee and continues to affect change within the firm, to increase their commitment to sustainable practices on all of their projects and initiatives. Her inspiration stems from watching her rural childhood family plot of land be encroached upon and eventually turned into a suburban subdivision of asphalt cul-de-sacs and poorly constructed cookie-cutter homes. She told her mom when she was 8 years old that one day she would design buildings that didn’t cut down trees, and that is what she continues to work for today.
mark BuehrerMark Buehrer
Mark is the founder and director of 2020 ENGINEERING located in Bellingham, Washington. He is a registered professional civil engineer, author, and inventor with broad experience in engineering design, construction and project management. Since 1995, 2020 ENGINEERING has been dedicated to providing simple and innovative solutions for the long-term economic and environmental sustainability of local, national and international communities.
Mark conceived and developed the concept of Wholistic Engineering, which provides an integrated "problem solving" approach that considers all issues and possible conditions related to the development of a project, such as: laws & regulations, social concerns, politics, special interests, economic & environmental issues, technology, and resources. 2020’s sustainable and low impact designs include porous pavements and raingardens, rainwater harvesting systems, ecologically based wastewater treatment & water reuse systems, and material recycling and composting facilities.
Mark has provided Master Planning, Engineering Design and/or Construction Management assistance on dozens of LEED, LID and other sustainable type projects in many parts of the U.S.A. He has also been actively involved in 2008 with providing review and comments to codes and standards for sustainable building practices. This has included a white paper by Cascadia Region Green Building Council titled, "Code Barriers to the Living Building Challenge"; Rainwater Harvesting and Water Reuse draft codes for the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) and the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), and the co-authored document "Rainwater Catchment Design and Installation Standards" by the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) and the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE).
Mark has served on the Cascadia Region Green Building Council as a technical development member on the "Site Team" and "Water Team" for the development of The Living Building User's Guide, the continued development of The Living Building Challenge standard and as an instructor of the Living Building Leader certification sessions. Mark is a frequent speaker at various sustainable and LID conference and workshops including, most recently, the 2008 Living Future Unconference in Vancouver, BC and the 2008 American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) conference held in Santa Monica, CA. Mark is a registered professional civil engineer in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii and other states. He has over 26 years of Civil Engineering experience.
Richard PiacentiniRichard V. Piacentini Richard V. Piacentini, executive director of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens since 1994, is responsible for the construction of the first LEED® certified visitor center in a public garden, the most energy-efficient conservatory in the world, the first-ever LEED production greenhouses, and the Center for Sustainable Landscapes, a net-zero energy and water structure designed to meet the Living Building Challenge. Piacentini believes that beautiful gardens can be environmentally friendly, and, with that in mind, Phipps has transformed its operations, displays, flower shows and education programs to reduce waste, save energy and inspire the public with sustainable horticulture and landscaping. Piacentini holds a M.S. in botany from the University of Connecticut, a M.B.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a B.S. in pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island. He is past president and treasurer of the American Public Gardens Association and a recipient of its Professional and Service Awards. Other accolades include a Living Building Challenge Hero Award, USGBC Individual Leadership Award, American Horticultural Society Award, and ASID and Green Building Alliance Leadership Awards.
About the Bertschi School (an elementary school in Seattle): Inspired by the Living Building Challenge and opportunities to apply it to an educational setting, design professionals formed the Restorative Design Collective in order to provide the design and pre-construction services pro brono for the Bertschi School’s Living Science Classroom. The process was non-traditional and highly collaborative in order to design and build a school that not only achieved net-zero energy and water usage, but also serves as an engaging teaching tool for the students. The students contributed to the design process, and brainstormed some of the building’s most unique features. One of these includes a river that runs through a channel in the concrete floor, showing the building’s rainwater harvesting system. The living classroom enhances the school’s sustainability initiatives, programs, and education. Three of the project team members, Stacy Smedley, Chris Hellstern, and Mark Buehrer, will present about this unique and inspiring project. Learn more.
About the CSL: Designed and built by citizens of Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania, the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL)—a dynamic new education, research and administrative facility opening soon at Phipps public garden —has emerged as one of the greenest buildings on Earth. In aiming to meet or exceed the highest standards for sustainable buildings and sites—including, the Living Building Challenge, LEED® Platinum and SITES™—it will generate all of its own energy with state-of-the art technologies such as solar photovoltaics, geothermal wells and a vertical axis wind turbine; treat and reuse all water captured on site; and feature a restorative landscape with many beautiful varieties of native plants. Richard Piacentini, Phipps executive director, will share the CSL story. Discover more at phippsCSL.org.

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