On April 30th Hunzinger Construction Company and Sustainable Building Solutions™ held their annual Green Building Conference. This year’s conference was attended by over 125 people and sponsored by Environmental Systems, Inc. (ESI) and InPro Corporation. This morning event delivers great networking, an awesome continental breakfast, and motivational speakers that allows attendees to receive 2 LEED credits and still get back to the office by 10:30 AM. It is a very productive way to start your day!
This year we had two really thought-provoking speakers. Keynote speaker, Katie Kaluzny, Associate Director at the United States Green Building Council Illinois Chapter who shared her insights on why the Illinois USGB Chapter has been rated #1 in the U.S. for two years running with 174 LEED projects approved in 2014 and 42.46 million square feet LEED certified in 2014.
The featured session entitled “Nature Ignores Design That Ignores Nature” was presented by Tom Mortensen, RLA, ASLA, Site Planner and Registered landscape Architect with R.A. Smith National, Inc. and was all about water. His entertaining talk gave attendees his perspective on the over use of the term sustainability. Instead, he prefers to say we can do things that are “less non-sustainable” and that have lessened impacts, and are more logically efficient, because nothing that we do as humans can be completely and truly sustainable. Tom says that even early humans and nomadic tribes would deplete resources in an area and then move on.
Tom shared his interest and passion for using less non-sustainable design practices and methods in the area of site planning and rain water integration. He said that we’ve all been trained to treat water like a waste product rather than a free resource and he prefers to think differently about how to integrate rainfall onto a site using ideas that are rooted in natural systems that make sense, rather than relying on highly engineered, expensive systems, outdated design protocols and mandated ordinances that usually only delay inevitable failure.
All attendees were eligible to receive 2 LEED CEU Non-LEED Specific credit which can go towards maintaining their LEED AP accreditations.