BIO: Ecological Principles in Buildings & Cities
Human activities are now the dominant influence on climate, ecosystems and biodiversity. Clearly our buildings and cities can no longer justify outsized demands on land, materials, energy, water and resources.
Today’s visionary practitioners have rejected the Anthropocene model and are building with an ecological mindset. They are leveraging natural processes in design, materials, construction, and operations to create a deeper integration between biology and our urban developments.
The 2020 Green Building Festival presents some of the most innovative approaches for buildings and cities to both mimic and nurture ecosystems. Explore Biodiversity, Biomimicry, Biogenics, Bioresources, Bioeconomy and other generative processes that strive to achieve circularity and the enhancement of nature in the built environment.
Registration is open for a $50 Digital Green Building Festival Delegate pass.
COVID-19 Update: The 2020 Green Building Festival will be held virtually.
Schedule: (Eastern Standard Time Zone)
October 14: 10 am – noon
October 15: 10 am – noon
October 16: 10 am – 3 pm
With a $50 Digital Pass, GBF20 Delegates will receive
- Exclusive ‘live viewing party’ invites for all presentations
- Exclusive access to speaker Q&A’s
- A one week pass to the virtual poster presentation and exhibit hall
- Exclusive access to the virtual networking reception with break out rooms and small group access to Festival Presenters
- Continuing education hours certificate for GBCI, OAA, OALA, OPPI & PEO, and AIA.
Naturally Inspiring: Biomimicry in Buildings & Materials
Innovations in self-replicating building materials and in biomimetic approaches to building design
Dr. Wil Srubar
Associate Professor, University of Colorado Boulder – Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering Program
Keynote Presentation – Carbon-Storing Bio-Architecture
Dr. Srubar is co-founder and current co-chairman of the Embodied Carbon Network (now CLF Community), a 2000+ member organization of industry professionals dedicated to understanding, quantifying, and reducing embodied carbon in the construction industry.
Dr. Srubar holds a PhD from Stanford University, as well as BS and MS degrees from Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin, respectively.
A pioneer in the field of Engineered Living Materials, Dr. Srubar’s latest work explores concepts related to “algae architecture” and the feasibility and scalability of “growing” building materials with negative carbon footprints using photosynthetic microorganisms.
His work is is supported by the US National Science Foundation, ARPA-E, and DARPA’s Biological Technologies Office and has appeared in The New York Times, The Conversation, and The Huffington Post.
Architect, Biologist and Partner, Art&Build Architects
Keynote Presentation – The Return of the Living
With decades of design awards behind them, the Europe-based practice features an internal Lab whose teams work with biologists, academics, industrialists and research groups to develop biomimetic concepts which can be transferred to mainstream construction practice. Notable projects include Europe’s largest new healthcare project - Nantes teaching hospital - and dozens of mass timber projects both delivered and under construction across Europe.
Steven lectures widely on subjects that bridge biology and the built environment, exploring the very nature of intelligence informing architects and the building sector at large.
Steven Ware will focus on four key areas- Biodiversity, Bioresources, Bioeconomy, Biomimicry - which could combine to become cornerstones for future design. Each term is a field of study for the practice’s Lab whose role it is to take a step back from the conventions of project briefs and identify specific barriers and opportunities. From his standpoint as an architectural practitioner and trained biologist, Steven uses his practice’s current projects to illustrate how recognition of the living can become an inspiration for the creation, transformation, and regeneration of our built world as the responsibilities of living in the Anthropocene weigh in.
Earth Sciences & the Ecological City
Panel Discussion – Earth Sciences and the Ecological City
Associate Professor & Associate Dean of Research, Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto
Prof. Margolis is the Founding Director of the U of T Green Roof Innovation Testing Laboratory (GRIT Lab), which received the 2013 American Association of Landscape Architects Excellence Award in Research. The GRIT Lab conducts interdisciplinary research on the environmental performance of green roof and green wall technologies in relation to green building standards and regional sustainability objectives.
She serves on a number of advisory committees for the City of Toronto, providing guidance on the Green Streets Technical Guidelines, Pollinator Protection Strategy, Toronto Green Standard, and Eco-Incentive Program.
Green roof research: Past errors and future improvements
Cities and governments worldwide are investing heavily in green infrastructure to address climate change adaptation and mitigation, aging grey infrastructure, and loss of ecological functions and biodiversity.
Toronto has been a leader in encouraging green infrastructure implementation and is the first city in North America to require green roofs on new construction. Over the last 10 years, Toronto issued upwards of 700 green roof permits with well over half a million square metres of vegetative coverage.
However, there are significant gaps in industry practices and design guidelines with respect to the desired functions, including runoff reduction, increased cooling by evapotranspiration, plant survival, and provision of pollinator habitat.
This talk will describe the research findings as well as a novel approach to green roof design guidelines based on a 6-year experimental study undertaken by the University of Toronto Green Roof Innovation Testing Laboratory.
Sales Specialist - Growing Media, Resource Recovery
Walker Environmental, a division of Walker Industries
Nicole has an Honours Degree in Environmental Science (Horticulture & Natural Resource Management) from the University of Guelph.
Soil Science: Policy, practice and contracting for biological health
In building and urban development, soil science is a fundamentally critical but poorly understood element of a biologically healthy ecosystem. Specifications for sites and even municipal guidelines betray a widespread misunderstanding of good science and best practices.
Nicole North will illustrate where the problems lie and what changes need to take place in policy, practice and contracting to ensure optimum biological health.
Associate Professor, Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto; Adjunct Professor, University of Waterloo
Her research and professional work span from urban, peri-urban to rural landscapes and their interfaces. Her work focuses on conservation, restoration and long-term strategic planning and management of trees, woodlots, forests, green-areas and green systems that: support biodiversity and environmental protection; sustain cultural landscapes, and their urban and rural communities; provide a range of ecological goods and services; and support and enhance human health and wellbeing.
Her work and research are aimed at providing real-world solutions and tools to support strategic conservation, restoration and integrated spatial planning of green areas in settled landscapes. Danijela works closely with diverse stakeholders, partners and community groups engaged in land and natural resources conservation, protection, management and planning.
She teaches graduate, undergraduate and professional development courses in urban forestry and landscape architecture.
Development within Natural Systems
Urban development at all scales is still based on the outdated principle of “development first, nature after”. This has resulted in the most productive soils and ecosystems being degraded and paved, water runoff intensified, wetlands drained, forest fragments removed, natural vegetation homogenized, and numerous ecosystems and species brought to extinction. These environmental problems have been amplified by climate change impacts.
Under the umbrella of reactive land use policies and existing practices, “nature” is limited to the post-development greening of leftover locations, where trees and vegetation are established in sites of deprived quality.
Plans and designs based on “nature first” require fundamental shifts in policy, culture, professional practice and education, and changes taking place in development from both the bottom up and top-down.
Green, livable and sustainable urban development can be accomplished by conserving and restoring nature within and around cites, and by building new communities that are in synergy with the land and natural environment. A process governed by ecological principles and integrated spatial landscape planning can result in development that operates within the bounds of the natural environment and ensures that each land parcel is an ecological facet of a larger connected, green system.
Bio City Approaches
Integrating biological health into the design of cities
Peter Kindel, AIA RIBA ASLA
Director, City Design Practice, Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP
Keynote Presentation – Biomorphic Urbanism & the Future of Cities
Currently a Director of SOM’s City Design Practice for western North America, Peter is focused on the unique issues facing western cities and regions. His previous projects at SOM include a National Plan for the Kingdom of Bahrain, Chicago’s Millennium Park and China’s Chongming Island Master Plan, among other notable efforts. Peter initiated SOM’s Hong Kong City Design Practice studio, working on projects throughout China, Australia, and Southeast Asia.
Projects on which Peter participated have been honored with over 20 major design awards from the American Institute of Architects, the Urban Land Institute, and the Congress for New Urbanism, among others. With a degree in landscape architecture, he approaches all projects with an appreciation for ecological processes and is dedicated to incorporating sustainable concepts in practice.
Kindel is a member of the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Public Development and Infrastructure Council and is active in interdisciplinary research and pro-bono efforts to improve our cities. These include National Geographic’s Future City project (2019); The Hong Kong Waterline (2016); and The Last Four Miles (2010), a plan to complete Chicago’s public shoreline. His work has been featured in multiple publications and media outlets.
Drawing on inspiration from SOM’s extensive research and urban planning precedents, the Future City addresses urbanization in the year 2050, when the global population is expected to reach 9.8 billion. The project is designed around several key principles, including conservation of ecological resources, dense settlement patterns, and the behavior of people and culture.
Peter will present the concept of biomorphic urbanism that formed the foundation of the Future City project, and how that concept can be applied to cities around the world to address the ecological impacts of urbanization and resource consumption.
The project was supported by interdisciplinary designers across five global SOM offices. The team went through a process called “Now & Next,” where current urban design concepts are evaluated and then reimagined for the year 2050, incorporating the advancement of infrastructure, resources, technology and transportation.
Integrated Project Delivery: Oakville Fire Hall
Advanced low-carbon and bio-centric projects emulate the processes of nature in many ways including project development and delivery. The best of these have abandoned the traditional adversarial relationship between owner, designers and contractor in favour of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD). IPD stresses collaboration and cooperation to ensure that environmental goals are not value-engineered out of a project. As in nature, circularity, resource efficiency and cooperation are key components of the process.
The Oakville Firehall employed the IPD process to deliver an exemplary energy efficient project that features glulam, cross-laminated insulated panels (CLIPs), a charred-wood exterior finish and prefabrication. This panel presentation will include the architect, engineer, contractor and envelope manufacturer discussing how the IPD process differs from the norm and how it was used to develop the design, set environmental goals and ensure a tight construction schedule was met while maintaining its green credentials.
Founder & V.P. Business Development, Element5
Patrick’s specialty lies in his ability to orchestrate mass timber solutions together with a consortium of the industry’s best professional service providers with experience in mass timber. Patrick’s experience in the wood industry is the driving force behind a company capable of providing integrated solutions that combine access to exceptional-quality wood products and a complete range of services to successfully execute timber construction projects on a large scale.
Before founding Element5, Patrick served as Director of Wood Solutions for Spring Valley Architectural Innovations, prior to which he was the Regional Manager for Eastern Canada for Structurlam Products LP, one of Canada’s first manufacturers and promoters of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT).
Steve Holyk, P. Eng
Associate, Structural, LEA Consulting Ltd.
Stephen began practicing in May 2000 and has acted as project manager on projects ranging in value from $20,000 to over $250M. He has experience in many building types including healthcare, schools, universities and colleges, museums, and more recently transit related structures.
Bill Lett, Architect, B. Arch, OAA, FRAIC, LEED AP, ACCA, IPDA
Managing Principal, Lett Architects Inc.
Bill sits as a board member of the Integrated Project Delivery Alliance (IPDA) which supports emergent construction practices demonstrating enhanced industry outcomes. Since 2018, he has lectured with the IPDA in Vancouver, Calgary, Regina, Toronto, North Bay, Ottawa, Quebec City and St. John. Bill holds memberships in the Canadian Green Building Council and the Arts Consultants of Canada. In May 2018, he was convocated into the College of Fellows of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.
Thank you to our valued Green Building Festival sponsors for their support