Building science meets climate science: upcoming events focus on role of architects in addressing challenges of climate change

October 25, 2016

Nationally recognized architects and climate scientists to discuss climate adaptive design at symposium on Nov. 4 in Asheville, N.C., at innovation center focused on climate; pre-conference events include workshop on affordable housing plus free public lecture showcasing award-winning ‘living building’ design 

The commercial and residential building sector accounts for 39 percent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the United States per year – more than any other sector – according to the Green Building Council of America. And, buildings consume 72 percent of the electricity load in the country.
“Clearly, buildings contribute to climate change,” says Nathan Bryant, AIA, NCARB, principal at Samsel Architects in Asheville, N.C., and president of The American Institute of Architects – Asheville. “Professionals who design and build – architects, engineers, and construction managers – all have a significant role to play in helping to change this dynamic.”

To help facilitate this change, AIA Asheville presents “Climate Adaptive Design: Building Science Meets Climate Science,” a full day of education on the latest building and climate science, for architects, designers and builders across the Southeast. The event takes place on Friday, Nov. 4, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at The Collider, an innovation center focused on climate, which is co-sponsoring the event. The Collider is located on the newly renovated top floor of the Wells Fargo building in downtown Asheville, at 1 Haywood St., across from Pritchard Park.
On the day before the symposium, which features nationally recognized experts in building science, climate science, and sustainable design, two related events will take place: a workshop on affordable housing and the international sustainable building certification program known as the Living Building Challenge, and a free public lecture showcasing an award-winning Living Building-certified project.

Cost for the daylong course on Nov. 4 is $195 for AIA members; $225 for non-members. Student and government discounts are available. The workshop on Nov. 3 is $50. Space is limited for all events and pre-registration is strongly encouraged. Find more details and a link to register at Architects with questions may also contact AIA Asheville at


Details about “Climate Adaptive Design: Building Science meets Climate Science”

This symposium will incorporate problem-based learning and draw from numerous case studies to help participants identify the role of architects in addressing the challenges presented by climate change. Participants will learn methods to achieve climate adaptive design from experts in both building science and climate science. 

Keynote speaker is Joseph Lstiburek, Ph.D., P.Eng., ASHRAE Fellow, the world-renowned founding principal of Building Science Corporation, a building science consulting and architectural firm with clients throughout North America. He will present on “How Climate Informs Building Science.” 

Dr. Lstiburek’s extensive experience includes working with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America program that led to changes in codes for vapor barriers in the International Residential Code. He has authored numerous books and articles on building science and has received multiple awards, including in 2007, the Energy & Environmental Building Association (EEBA) for the development of building performance and the science of new home construction.
The symposium also includes the following topics and nationally recognized speakers:

Details about the pre-conference workshop on living buildings and affordable housing

On Thursday, Nov. 3, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Western North Carolina Green Building Council will host a CEU-eligible workshop at The Collider addressing two significant challenges in Asheville: green building and affordable housing. This event will be the Asheville kickoff of the Living Building ChallengeÔ, a competition to design a mixed-use, multi-family, affordable housing project in the urban core of Asheville.

“Generally the assumption is that green buildings can’t be affordable,” says architect Emily Coleman-Wolf, NCARB, LEED AP BC+D, of Novus Architects in Asheville. “This competition attempts to bridge the gap between living buildings and affordability. The larger challenge between housing and living buildings is reaching net zero energy and water. Meeting the water and energy needs of the building on site is very beneficial in affordable housing; it reduces the utility bills of people who need it most.”
This workshop is required for anyone who plans to participate in the 2016 Asheville Affordable Living Design Competition; however, anyone can attend. Fee is $50 and pre-registration is required:

Details about the free public lecture on Thursday evening, Nov. 3

On Thursday, Nov. 3, at 6 p.m., The American Institute of Architects-Asheville presents a free public lecture featuring by Tenna Flourian, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Associate Partner at Lake|Flato architectural firm. The topic will be The Dixon Water Foundation Josey Pavilion, recognized by the AIA’s Committee on the Environment (COTE), as one of its Top 10 projects. The multi-functional meeting center is the first Living Building Certified Project in Texas.

Held at The Collider, this event is free and open to the public. Due to limited space, pre-registration is encouraged. Find a link to register at the conference event website: AIA-approved HSW (Health Safety Welfare) continuing education unit is available.