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Photosynthetic Materials Presentation Ushers In Renewed AIA East Bay Committee On The Environment (COTE)

Bristol, UK Architect Craig White, RIBA of White Design gave a dynamic presentation to AIA East Bay members on May 4th, laying a broad-ranging and persuasive argument toward “sustainable carbon-banking bio-based material systems for the circular economy.” Their work has evolved from ModCell panelized straw bale walls to Coobio, to innovative collective financing for housing in Bristol.

Craig’s presentation was courtesy of the California Straw Building Association (CASBA) who featured him as Keynote Speaker for the 2017 Straw Building Conference that same weekend.  He also spoke at the Department of Art + Architecture at the University of San Francisco.

Philip Luo, AIA, invited attendees of Craig’s AIA East Bay talk to reconvene on June 22nd for a COTE Happy Hour, at which over a dozen members generated a good number of ideas to focus on. Among them:

  • contributing monthly articles to ArchNews
  • participation in the chapter design awards
  • assisting with pre-review of sustainability supplements
  • hosting design seminars on Embodied Carbon, Drawdown, Biophillic Design, etc.
  • featuring subconsultants with expertise in efficiency and sustainability
  • generating a list of top ten low carbon to-dos and tools for project analysis
  • partnering with local and national organizations
  • reaching a broader audience, and
  • branding AIA East Bay as the greenest chapter in the US

We note that our chapter is home to many firms with national recognition for their COTE and other award-winning work, along with many companies and nonprofits creating a better world located within our territory (Healthy Building Network, Green Science Policy Institute, Watershed Materials and the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, to name just a few).  AIA East Bay members Larry Stain, FAIA and David Arkin, AIA are respective chairs of the Reuse and Renewable Materials task forces of the Embodied Carbon Network, with many others in the East Bay community participating.

Seventy-five AIA East Bay members are COTE subscribers and we invite all others to join us and follow both the local and national knowledge communities.  Contact AIA East Bay staff if you need assistance adding yourself to COTE and look forward to future articles and reports from other AIA East Bay COTE members.

By David Arkin, AIA – Arkin Tilt Architects

Pictured is the Nucleus Centre at Hayesfield Girls School in Bristol, UK by White Design.  The ModCell straw bale wall panels were assembled with the students at a ‘flying factory’; each wall panel sequesters over 3,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide gas; pargetting of the lime plaster finish contributes to this unique and beautiful design.

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