We recently found ourselves at a lot of conferences, and likely ran into more than a few of you between thoughtful sessions, productive workshops, and electrifying keynotes. In case you weren’t able to make it, here are some of the key points that stuck with us from each:
Getting to Zero National Forum | Pittsburgh, PA
#1: Society’s will conquers all
Warren Neilson, along with Byron Benton, Stephen Selkowitz, John Keung, and Khee Poh Lam, discussed the challenges of not only designing to, but operating at Zero Net Energy at the GTZ Forum.
When asked how much they felt technology, finance, and society’s will would play in moving our future toward carbon neutrality, Warren and Byron agreed that people would have the largest role. Plenty off-the-shelf technology can be employed to achieve zero carbon buildings today, and while the financial economics are absolutely critical to creating a zero carbon future, the main challenge is a lack of understanding the financial benefit of high performance zero carbon buildings rather than a lack in capital to invest in them. As such, we as industry thought leaders need to prove the business case for ZNE buildings and better communicate it to others to guarantee action.
Rocky Mountain Green | Denver, CO
#2: Insulator seeks LPC certification
DLR Group shared some of their exciting work at RMG. Specifically, they highlighted the use of a bio-phase change material that acts as an insulator for a school they designed in Arizona. On the campus there are two buildings with the same orientation — one with bio-phase change material and the other without — both with sensors located throughout the space to measure multiple indoor air quality metrics. Results of the study will be released when they have collected enough data. Best of all, this bio-PCM is completely natural and is pursuing ILFI’s Living Product Certification!
Living Future unConference | Portland, OR
#3: The best way to make money is…
Majora Carter gave an insightful keynote on real estate development and talent retention. Among the many bright minds that LF18 attracted, her simple yet resounding tip to the crowd? “If you want money, ask for advice.”
#4: Apply biomimicry to your organization
Jolene Goldsmith and Kristen Magnuson also dove into stok’s nature-inspired organizational structure with biomimicry specialist Diana Hammer, tying key facets to biological processes for increased engagement and better decision-making. More to come on Org Bio soon!
ULI Spring Meeting | Detroit, MI
#5: Capital markets live assessment
Industry leaders shared their predictions and perspectives on capital markets in a rapid fire live-voting panel session at the ULI Spring Meeting. With questions ranging from cap rates to growing sectors, 11 ULI leaders weighed in on 10 key areas to watch for real estate, providing thought-provoking insights.
#6: The rise of modular
Speaking of all these micro-lessons, Kasita’s modular micro-home took center stage in Detroit for going a step beyond traditional modular. As construction and labor costs continue to rise, prefab becomes an increasingly attractive option for developers. Said Kasita’s principal architect Dason Whitsett, construction in a “controlled factory environment is not subject to the whims of the market.”
Looking forward to the many conferences to come! If you’d like to connect at an upcoming event, reach out to our team!