ErbWire: The Built Environment

Thought in Action at The Erb Institute

Constructing Green Conference

Constructing Green LogoThe Erb Institute will host the “Constructing Green: Sustainability and the Places We Inhabit” conference May 20-22. Participants will focus on strategies, relationships and opportunities inherent in green building.
Erb Associate Director Andrew Hoffman is organizing the conference, which will be held at the Ross School of Business. The school earlier this year earned a LEED silver designation by the U.S. Green Building Council, a Washington D.C.-based, nonprofit coalition of building industry leaders.

Featured speakers include:

  • Monica Ponce de Leon, the Eliel Saarinen Collegiate Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning and dean of U-M’s Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning;
  • Jill Lerner, FAIA principal at Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates PC, the architectural firm that designed the new Ross School building;
  • Scott R. Ceasar, senior vice president and director of sustainable design at Cosentini Associates; and William D. Browning, partner at Terrapin /Bright Green.

Hoffman notes that buildings consume 40 percent of the world’s materials, 12 percent of all freshwater, 40 percent of the world’s energy and 71 percent of U.S. electricity. Buildings also produce 40 percent of U.S. nonindustrial waste and create 36 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions that cause climate change, reports Hoffman, whose recent memoir Builder’s Apprentice describes his career path, including working as a carpenter and builder.

More on the Conference
Watch a Video Interview with Andy Hoffman on his new memoir
Learn more about the book

Holy Cross Abbey Report CoverSustainability and the built environment is also a popular topic for Erb students working on master’s degree projects.
Recent projects include:

  • Holy Cross Abbey: Planning for a Sustainable Future by Kathryn Buckner, Alex Linkow, and Charlotte Coultrap-Bagg, all Erb ’11;  Craig Cammarata, MPP/MS Sustainable Systems; Jessica Neafsey, MLA; and Chris Stratman, MS Behavior, Education, Communication.
  • Greening Brownfield Properties by Jennifer Casler, Erb ’11; Yang Chen, MA Applied Economics/MS Environmental Policy and Planning; Joshua Cregger, MS Environmental Policy and Planning; Scott Kalafatis, Master of Urban Planning/MS Environmental Policy and Planning; Timothy Meernik, MS Sustainable Systems; Mukesh Patir, MS Environmental Policy and Planning; and Jingyuan Wang, MLA.
  • Sustainable Urban Redevelopment in Detroit by Zach Robin, Erb ‘10; Elizabeth Durfee, MS Urban Planning/MS Sustainable Systems; Christopher Nordstrom, MLA; Sarah Foulkes, MS Sustainable Systems; Tyne Hopkins, MS Environmental Policy and Planning; and Amanda Stone, MS Behavior, Education and Communication/Environmental Policy and Planning.

Alumnus Jennifer Layke joins Johnson Controls to launch Building Efficiency Institute.

Jenn LaykeJennifer Layke, Erb ’97, who was deputy director of the climate and energy program at the World Resources Institute (WRI), joined Johnson Controls in Washington, D.C., in January as director of building efficiency and sustainability. The Institute for Building Efficiency will focus on seven areas: Existing Building Retrofits, Green Buildings, Smart Grid and Smart Buildings, Renewable and Distributed Energy, Clean Energy Finance, Carbon Management, and Energy & Climate Policy. Layke was the lead staff negotiator for WRI in the U.S. Climate Action Partnership. Read more about the Building Efficiency Institute.

Thought in Action at the Erb Institute


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