Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Upcoming workshop on #NetZero energy featuring #Biomimicry - May 30th

Designers have many questions when seeking to truly emulate nature in the built environment, where our buildings generate energycapture water, and recycle their waste while contributing to the communities they inhabit:
What role can innovation play in designing net zero buildings - from biomimicry’s Life’s Principles to tools for a new energy economy - and how can I evaluate the return on investment for my clients so that they greenlight the project?

At an upcoming 4-hour in-person workshop hosted by the professional development venture Prairie Lab, LLC, attendees participate in facilitated brainstorming and problem-solving exercises where they seek innovative solutions to the challenge of designing net-zero buildings. During the workshop, participants identify current constraints to designing net-zero buildings, spend time finding innovative solutions to challenges, and learn how to frame the discussion in economic terms.
Register today! 
Friday, May 30th. Program from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm.
Registration and Breakfast at 8:00 a.m.
Venue SIX10 - 610 S Michigan Avenue, Chicago4 CEUs. $250. Register by May 23rd to guarantee your spot!
Prairie Lab, LLCPrairie Lab is a new professional development venture founded by three former Chairs of USGBC-Illinois. We specialize in hands-on, university-style courses customized to a firm’s needs. Occasionally we host public workshops to offer a sample of the Prairie Lab experience. Our expertise is in sustainability, energy, biomimicry, health, business, and facility management.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Dormancy as an Energy Strategy: Learning from our Native Prairie

It’s been a long winter! Can you remember last summer’s lush green prairies when looking at them today, just emerging from their brown and dormant stage? As we drag ourselves out of our own winter dormancy and into the full light of spring, let’s take a moment to consider how our buildings and businesses can begin to emulate the biomimicry Life’s Principle to “Leverage Cyclic Processes” by embedding the ability to automatically respond to local conditions.
By understanding how ecosystems, like our native tallgrass prairie, are attuned to local conditions, we can begin to design buildings that optimize resource allocation while being more responsive to user needs.