The eighth annual Arizona State Conference, themed "Future Forward," was a big success. Ninety industry professionals from all over Arizona gathered with USGBC Arizona at the Tempe Center for The Arts to listen to speakers present on the opportunity for LEED to make Arizona a better and more sustainable place to live, work and play.
Here's a sampling of the wide variety of presentation topics:
- Resiliency. Elaine Aye, Associate Regional Manager, RWDI, kicked off the conference in the morning by discussing resiliency and the need for more sustainable buildings and continued market transformation in a world that is warming and becoming more uncertain through natural disasters and other climate risks. She also discussed a few case studies that demonstrated the changing world and how we will need to adapt.
- Sustainable cities. Mike Zamora, Asia Real Estate Advisors, and Rosanne Albright, City of Phoenix, presented on the topic of sustainable cities. Zamora discussed a framework he developed for thinking about the roles of city government, developers, citizens and businesses in making our cities smarter and more sustainable. Albright shared her experience using LEED for Cities. Phoenix has a LEED Platinum certification, and the process really helped the city coordinate with all departments to use data to make decisions that increase efficiency and sustainability.
- LEED and WELL. A.J. Mach and Ashley Mulhall, both architects at Orcutt | Winslow, presented on aligning client values with LEED and WELL building standards. Their case study was of a senior living client who wanted to create the healthiest building for their future residents. The senior population has particular values and needs that informed the design and the materials used. Mach and Mulhall worked closely with their client and the neighboring community to achieve the goals that were important to the senior community.
- Emerging professionals. A panel discussion during the lunch hour was moderated by Dane Aye-Englert. The panel consisted of Marcus Myers, Sai Krishnan and Tari Wager discussing the impact of a LEED Green Associate credential on your career, how to use LEED material to inform your interests and career path, the role of mentors and more.
- Biophilic design. Sonja Bochart, architect, Tari Wager interior designer, and Rebecca Manhardt, architectural designer, presented together on biophilic design. Attendees understood the importance of connection to nature for humans and identified six elements to consider when incorporating biophilia into our next project.
- LEED for Neighborhood Develpment. Mick Dalrymple, Director of Sustainability practices at Arizona State University, and Brian Kearney, Senior Vice President, Catellus Development, presented on the latest developments of the Novus Innovation Corridor, which is pursuing LEED Neighborhood Development. All the projects located in the corridor are required by ASU to achieve LEED certification.
In addition, awards were presented to two volunteers for their outstanding service to the community. Chad Billings was recognized for 10 years serving on the USGBC Arizona education committee. Billings is the reason we have the state conference. Sandra Bernal was given the volunteer of the year award for her service growing the community of connected green building professionals in southern Arizona. Both are a great value to our community.
After the conference, we held a reception and a human foosball showdown. Henderson Engineers won the tournament...again. Congratulations to the firm. We also thank our sponsors, whose support helped us execute this event.