Speaker and Presentation Profiles

The following sessions were held at the McNamara Alumni Center in Minneapolis on September 30th, 2019. If you are looking for the Grey to Green: DC Metro Region speakers and sessions, please click here.

 

 

Keynotes

Morning Keynote | Johnson |8:30 am - 10:00 am

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Douglas D. Pierce,
AIA, LEED® FELLOW, RELi AP

Global Resilience Director, Architect and Senior Associate, Perkins & Will

Adjunct Professor in Practice,
University of Minnesota, College of Design

As a practicing architect and educator - Doug designs, speaks and writes with a passion for integrating art + science through poetic innovation. He is always in pursuit of pioneering the next breakthrough that will shift his projects, along with humanity, society and life, towards a new story - the one that’s sustainable, resilient and inclusive.

Doug has practiced resilient design for 30 years, starting as an intern at the Meadow Creek Environmental Education Center, which hosted one of the world’s very first international sustainability conferences in 1984. His favorite professional experiences include regenerative projects in Sri Lanka + the Maldives; strategic design for one of the very first large scale LEED Platinum projects, Great River Energy (an AIA National COTE Top 10 Green Project); developing the planet's first sustainable design master’s degree program at the University of Minnesota College of Architecture; testifying at the Minnesota legislature in support of climate + energy regulation; and presenting RELi to the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

In 2014, Doug collaborated with a founder of the US Green Building Council + LEED to pioneer and launch the RELi Resilience Action List + Design Standard. USGBC adopted RELi at Greenbuild 2017. RELi’s unique inclusion of generative economics, social fairness + environmental change offers a holistic vision for fully reshaping our future.

Living Design | A New Story of Life + Beauty for the Anthropocene

Scientists are earnestly proposing a new division of geologic time they call the Anthropocene, or The Human Epoch, that started with the Trinity nuclear detonation deep in the New Mexico desert.  Since that revolutionary moment in 1945, humanity has radically altered the Earth's biosphere with a rapid expansion of powerful technologies and material consumption. The resulting climate crisis, biodiversity loss and social division driven by this 'great escalation' pose a significant threat to one of natures' most grand experiments - homo sapiens and the astounding capacity we have for making the world adapt around us. The burning question that emerges is this: How do we create a desirable and viable future, not only for humanity, but for the whole of life using our astounding predisposition for adaptation and making?  Could designers, architects, planners, engineers, builders and developers be the essential professions that reshape the destiny of humanity and our planet? One answer is a resounding, Yes, through Living Design.

Last May, Living Design was eagerly adopted firm-wide by Perkins and Will, the world's second largest architecture and design firm.  Perkins and Will hopes to reimagine design and the role of building professionals in the same way Germany's Bauhaus reimagined the arts, and the craft professions in 1919. Living Design's lead theorist and practicing architect, Doug Pierce, from the Perkins and Will Minneapolis Studio, shares the Living Design vision and its aspirations for empowering design and the art of making as a means to transform our world.


Concurrent Sessions

Rohan Lilauwala , Project Manager, Green Infrastructure Foundation

Rohan Lilauwala, Project Manager, Green Infrastructure Foundation

Session 1 | Johnson |10:15 am - 11:15 am

Living Architecture Performance Tool - Green Infrastructure Performance Tool for Green Roofs and Walls

The Living Architecture Performance Tool (LAPT) is a rating system and resource, designed to certify that green roofs and walls are designed to achieve certain measurable and replicable performance benefits, so that they can be funded, designed, installed, and maintained with a higher degree of confidence. In 2018, the LAPT v.1 was released, and pilot projects are encouraged to participate. Learn from current pilot projects of the LAPT

Presenters:

Rohan Lilauwala, Project Manager, Green Infrastructure Foundation: As Program Manager at the Green Infrastructure Foundation, Rohan has spent the past five years working on breaking down barriers to the widespread use of living green infrastructure across North America. Rohan has developed and delivered training programs, tools and resources, and analyses, focusing largely on green infrastructure costs and benefits. He is also the driving force behind the Living Architecture Performance Tool, a rating system for green roofs and walls, akin to LEED.


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Session 2 | Heritage Gallery |10:15 am - 11:15 am

Panel: Workforce Development for Green Infrastructure | Meeting the need for skilled and craft workers

This panel will address issues of job training and workforce development for the implementation of green infrastructure projects, from the perspective of a large and small employer, and an emerging training program.

Moderator:

Michael Krause, Kandiyoh Development

Panelists:

Renee Willette, Water Sector Leader, Stantec Engineering
Laura Scholl, Associate Director, Metro Blooms
Jamez Staples, President, Renewable Energy Partners


David Yocca, FALSA, PLA,  Senior Landscape Architec/ Ecological Planner, Biohabitats

David Yocca, FALSA, PLA, Senior Landscape Architec/ Ecological Planner, Biohabitats

Session 3 | Minnesota |10:15 am-11:15 am

Enhanced Site Performance: Achieved through Design Integration of Green Infrastructure

Designers, developers, investors, and policymakers who influence land development can help solve the complex, interrelated environmental, economic, and social problems we face today through comprehensive integration of sequenced green infrastructure practices. The session will highlight case studies completed in cold-weather, Midwestern locations, and share performance benefits in water conservation, stormwater, temperature, pollution mitigation, health, wellbeing and economics.

Presenters:

David Yocca, FALSA, PLA, Senior Landscape Architect/ Ecological Planner, Biohabitats: With over 30 years’ experience in ecologically focused practice, David has led a wide array of restorative planning and design efforts. With a strong focus on the measurement and improvement of the ecological, economic, and social performance of places, he relies upon an integrative, open and inclusive engagement approach. David is home-based in Grand Rapids, MI, is a landscape architect/ecological planner with Biohabitats, and serves as board chair for the Green Infrastructure Foundation.


Angie Durhman , Owner, AD Greenroof LLC

Angie Durhman, Owner, AD Greenroof LLC

Session 4 | Johnson |11:20 am - 11:50 am

Intensive Green Roof System Performance in the Twin Cities

A newly constructed apartment complex was designed with an interior courtyard, classified as an intensive green roof. Among other amenities, the area has trees, sitting areas, full irrigation, and mulch. The City was interested in evaluating storm water performance of an intensive green roof to make future recommendations. The four year study took place while the building gained occupancy, and underwent regular maintenance (overhead irrigation, mulching, replanting, ect). The courtyard was compared against a gravel ballasted roof above. While the system performed the expected storm detention and retention over time. The influence of maintenance played a factor in maximizing stormwater management, however, with a intensely designed system, maintenance is required. This presentation will also touch on new projects in the Twin Cities that will undergo similar environmental monitoring and marketing.

Presenter:

Angie Durhman, Owner, AD Greenroof LLC: Over 18 years, Ms. Durhman has designed and managed a wide-variety of green roofs throughout the country. Ms. Durhman has a horticultural background and also researches system performance. Her team developed GREENFORMATION® a budget friendly maintenance system working with contractors and owners.


John Gulliver,  Professor, University of Minnesota

John Gulliver, Professor, University of Minnesota

Session 5 |Heritage|11:20 am - 11:50 am

Mixing Gray and Green Infrastructure to Solve Urban Runoff Challenges

Urban runoff presents many challenges that must be overcome to protect our surface waters and water supplies. Challenges like hypoxia, sensitive water bodies, combined sewer overflows and climate change threaten to impair our surface waters and pollute our water supplies. Nutrients such as nitrate and phosphate are necessary to support the biological ecosystem but cause hypoxia and harmful algal blooms when found in excess. Combined sewer overflows deliver raw untreated sewage into waterways during large storm events which not only affects the aquatic ecosystem but also poses a human health risk. Climate change and extreme weather events can cause catastrophic damage to urban infrastructure, especially when it is undersized and aging. Green infrastructure practices such as rain gardens and advanced treatment practices such as iron-enhanced filtration and internal water storage bioreactors will be presented and discussed. Green infrastructure or a the proper combination of green and grey infrastructure can be used to address specific challenges.

Presenter:

John Gulliver, Professor, University of Minnesota: Major research interests are mass transport in environmental systems and stormwater pollution prevention. Current research involves the development of technology to treat stormwater runoff, an assessment of stormwater infiltration practices, the prediction of runoff from small, urban watersheds and remediation of internal phosphorus loading in lakes.


Kim W. Havey, AICP, LEED,  Director of the Division of Sustainability for the City of Minneapolis

Kim W. Havey, AICP, LEED, Director of the Division of Sustainability for the City of Minneapolis

Session 6 | Minnesota |11:20 am - 11:50 am

Regenerative Agriculture

Regenerative Agriculture is a holistic land management practice that leverages the power of photosynthesis in plants to close the carbon cycle, and build soil health, crop resilience and nutrient density. Biochar is a form of charcoal that is produced by exposing organic waste matter (such as wood chips, crop residue, or manure) to heat in a low-oxygen environment and that is used especially as a soil amendment and to sequester carbon for thousands of years. Attendees will learn more about the City of Minneapolis’ recently passed resolution to utilize biochar and urban regeneration strategies to improve soil health, improve growing conditions, retain storm water and sequester carbon.

Presenters:

Kim W. Havey, AICP, LEED, Director of the Division of Sustainability for the City of Minneapolis: Mr. Kim W. Havey, AICP, LEED is the Director of the Division of Sustainability for the City of Minneapolis. In his role he manages a team of professionals committed to achieving the city’s climate action goals to reduce carbon emission by 80% by 2050, achieving 100% renewable electric for the entire city, enhancing the green infrastructure, creating a healthy, local food system, developing net zero energy resilient homes and buildings, achieving zero waste by 2025 and reversing the effects of decades of environmental injustice through the green zones initiative.

Claire Baglien, Urban Agriculture Programs Specialist for Homegrown Minneapolis in the City of Minneapolis Coordinator’s Office of Sustainability: Claire Baglien is the Urban Agriculture Programs Specialist for Homegrown Minneapolis in the City of Minneapolis Coordinator’s Office of Sustainability. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Food Justice & Sustainability from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in 2014, and has previous experience working in the non-profit sector on climate & food justice initiatives and for sustainable restaurants across the Twin Cities metro. Outside of work, she sustains a passion for ecological landscape design, soil health, and plants.


Anthony Mayer,  CEO, Hanging Gardens, LLC

Anthony Mayer, CEO, Hanging Gardens, LLC

Angie Durhman , Owner, AD Greenroof LLC

Angie Durhman, Owner, AD Greenroof LLC

Session 7 | Johnson |1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Blue, Green and Smart: New Land Use Patterns Drive Modern Stormwater Technologies

In the 1990s, urban planning and real estate professionals began to witness the advent of increased densities, mixed-use development and a renaissance in urban centers. Compact, walkable and diverse land uses were becoming favored, and this approach was a marked change from the low-density development that had characterized land use over the previous decades. Higher-built densities provide new ways to think about managing stormwater. More buildings and the resultant increase in impervious surfaces, catalyzed solutions utilizing smart stormwater management systems. Furthermore, as a result of regulatory changes, cities now require property developers to manage a significant percentage of stormwater on site. Unlike suburban or rural regions where land is cheap, urban areas generally can’t depend on constructed ponds to do that. Additionally, the cost of land in densely populated areas means developers must build the most efficient stormwater management systems possible. Downtown land values can be 4 to 30 times higher per acre in comparison to land 10 miles from a city center. In major urban areas, land costs can be exorbitant. Green infrastructure integrated with smart stormwater systems can help protect developers’ ROI by maximizing the building’s footprint in proportion to the size of the parcel of land.

Presenters:

Anthony Mayer, CEO, Hanging Gardens, LLC: Anthony Mayer is the CEO of Hanging Gardens, LLC; a firm specializing in urban stormwater management solutions. Anthony is a LEED AP, and GRP with 18+ years in the Green Infrastructure Industry. Anthony’s goal is to provide objective information that results in successful green roofing & stormwater mitigation/recycling projects.

Angie Durhman, Owner, AD Greenroof LLC: Over 18 years, Ms. Durhman has designed and managed a wide-variety of green roofs throughout the country. Ms. Durhman has a horticultural background and also researches system performance. Her team developed GREENFORMATION® a budget friendly maintenance system working with contractors and owners.


Bridget Rathsack,  Program Manager, MN Sustainable Growth Coalition, Environmental Initiative

Bridget Rathsack, Program Manager, MN Sustainable Growth Coalition, Environmental Initiative

Jon Smieja,  Corporate Sustainability Manager at Andersen Corporation

Jon Smieja, Corporate Sustainability Manager at Andersen Corporation

Erin Niehoff,  Project Manager, Environmental Initiative

Erin Niehoff, Project Manager, Environmental Initiative

Session 8 | Heritage|1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Workshop: Systems Thinking around Circular Water

This interactive, solution-oriented workshop provides tangible tactics and strategies for you to consider applying to regional water circularity solutions through collaboration by hearing examples from private and public sector members of the MN Sustainable Growth Coalition. Hear water-focused takeaways and lessons learned from leaders at Fortune 500 companies and governmental leaders and learn from the best-practices toolkit built by the members, the “Corporate Guide to Sustainable Landscaping.” Initially begun with the idea of greying green infrastructure, the information now includes a broader set of information to help organizations decide how to manage their “grey spaces,” by adding features such as urban tree canopy, green roofs, pollinator habitat, and more. The guide includes considerations before starting a project, ways to transform underutilized spaces, the business case for protecting our waters and wildlife, real-life examples of savings and the value these assets provide for employees. We hope to use this workshop to empower organizations to make changes in their operations and do their part to evolve the way we see and use our waters. Amy Fredregill and Bridget Rathsack lead the panel and will be joined by private/public sector leaders.

Presenters:

Bridget Rathsack, Program Manager, MN Sustainable Growth Coalition, Environmental Initiative: Bridget Rathsack, Program Manager of the Minnesota Sustainable Growth Coalition, has experience in the for profit, public, and nonprofit sectors with background in marketing research and human behavior. Rathsack leads the work of the Water Strategy Team at the MN Sustainable Growth Coalition.

Jon Smieja, Corporate Sustainability Manager at Andersen Corporation: Jon has a BS in Chemistry from the University of St. Thomas and an MS and PhD in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of California – San Diego. After graduate school, Jon joined Steelcase Inc.’s Global Sustainability group as their Environmental Chemist and eventually moved into a role as a Leader in Sustainable Design and Development. He joined Andersen Windows as the Product Sustainability Manager in 2017, became Corporate Sustainability Manager in 2019, and is responsible for product lifecycle assessments, material ingredient transparency, and preparing Andersen for a future in circular economy.

Erin Niehoff, Project Manager, Environmental Initiative: Erin has a BS in Geography and a MS in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy from the University of Minnesota. After graduate school, Erin joined Oregon’s Department of State Lands to review the impact of permitted activities on the bottom of waterbodies. She joined Environmental Initiative in 2016. As a project manager, she works on a wide variety of projects, ranging from the protection of drinking water sources, to collaboration within the ag space, to today’s topic around sustainable landscaping.


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Session 9 | Minnesota |1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Panel: A mashup of Data and Technologies Systems with Vegetation Strategies

Moderator: Steve Riedel, Regional Trade Manager, Minnesota Trade Office

Moderator: Michael Krause, Kandiyo Consulting

John Dustman, Owner, Summit Envirosolutions

Dr. David Knighton, CEO, Creative Water Solutions

Dr. Michael Sadowsky, Co-Director, MnDRIVE, Director, UMN Biotechnology Institute


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Session 10 | Johnson |2:40 pm - 3:10 pm

Funding Schmunding - Systems Thinking for Green Infrastructure

A presentation followed by a guided workshop in which participants use systems thinking methods to develop a range of outputs, including feedback identification, intervention and leverage targets, and organizational objectives, to advance green infrastructure and sustainability.

Presenter:

Edward Heinen, GRP, President, Minnesota Green Roofs Council


Peter Lowitt,  Director, Devens Enterprise Commission

Peter Lowitt, Director, Devens Enterprise Commission

Session 11 | Heritage |2:40 pm - 3:10 pm

Green Streets Lawrence

The Sustainable Communities Division of the American Planning Association undertook a community project with Groundworks Lawrence, a nonprofit, to use a health impact assessment to assess a program to deploy street trees in two low income neighborhoods in the city of Lawrence, MA. The project coupled an HIA with marketing to produce an award winning program.

Presenter:

Peter Lowitt, Director, Devens Enterprise Commission: Mr. Lowitt, FAICP, has served as director of the Devens Enterprise Commission for the past 20 years. He is also on the Board of the GIF and Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.


Paul Mellblom , Principal, MSR Design:

Paul Mellblom, Principal, MSR Design:

Leslie Roering , Senior Project Manager, Aeon

Leslie Roering, Senior Project Manager, Aeon

Session 12 | Minnesota |2:40 pm - 3:10 pm

The Rose: Sustainable, Affordable Housing in Minneapolis

The Rose is a Living Building Challenge certified building in Minneapolis. The Rose sets a new standard for affordable housing and this session will not only look at the design of the building but also how efficient buildings have been linked to gentrification in cities and how we can encourage more high quality, sustainable affordable housing options.

Presenter:

Paul Mellblom, Principal, MSR Design: As a registered architect and MSR principal, Paul shares leadership of the firm’s focus on creating highly sustainable, healthy living and work environments. His design work has achieved notable recognition, including an American Institute of Architects (AIA) Minnesota/McKnight Foundation Affordable Housing Design Award for the Trolley Quarter Flats project and an AIA Minnesota Honor Award and Environmental Initiative Award for the Rose mixed-income housing project with Aeon. Paul has 27 years of professional experience and holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Texas-Austin and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Tulane University.

Leslie Roering, Senior Project Manager, Aeon: Leslie began her career with Aeon in July 2011 as an Assistant Site Manager. After nearly eight years at Aeon, Leslie has gained robust experience with the intricacies of affordable housing. As a Senior Project Manager, Leslie manages various projects from rehabilitation to new construction. She oversees acquisition, design, financial feasibility analysis, city and community engagement. Additionally, Leslie volunteers with the Urban Land Institute’s UrbanPlan educational program and with The ALS Association of Minnesota/North Dakota/ South Dakota. Leslie holds a Bachelor of Design in Architecture from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.


Aditya Ranade,  Partner, Two Degrees Apart

Aditya Ranade, Partner, Two Degrees Apart

Session 13 | Johnson |3:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Green Roofs as a Climate Adaptation Tool for Cities

Green Roofs can reduce urban heat island effect and reduce stormwater runoff during extreme precipitation events. In a 2C climate change scenario, increasingly likely by 2050, these are mission critical benefits for a city. In this presentation, we quantify the cost and benefits for a variety of cities, technologies, and stakeholders. Specifically, we evaluate the potential for green roofs to reduce cooling electricity consumption for urban buildings, as well as reducing the need to build peaker power plants for utilities serving these cities. In addition, we evaluate the potential for green roofs to reduce stormwater runoff by combining precipitation models for specific cities in 2030 and 2050 scenarios. Further we estimate the flooding risk reduction impact, resulting from the reduced runoff for three specific cities. Further we evaluate the cost and benefits for a variety of stakeholders including building owners, city governments, power and water utilities. Specific economic analyses includes capex, return on investment and payback period.

Presenter:

Aditya Ranade, Partner, Two Degrees Apart: Aditya’s mission is “technologies for a better Anthropocene”. He has 13 years of experience in Energy and Environment sectors across R&D, venture capital, marketing, and consulting. He currently leads global Grid Modernization R&D for 3M. He is also a Founder+Partner at Two Degrees Adapt- a climate adaptation technology advisory firm.


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Session 14 | Heritage |3:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Case Studies of Green Infrastructure

Case studies include the rainwater re-use systems at CHS Field and Allianz Field, the urban tree trench along University Avenue and the Green Line, and the planned central stormwater feature at the proposed 120-acre Ford Site development here in Saint Paul.

Presenters:

Russ Stark, Chief Resilience Office, City of St. Paul: Russ Stark is the Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Saint Paul working in Mayor Melvin Carter’s Office. Previously, Russ Served for 10 years on the Saint Paul City Council including three years as Council President. Prior to his public service, he worked at nonprofits focused on community development, environmental advocacy, and improved transportation options, including early planning for what is now the Green Line LRT. Russ has a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Swarthmore College and a Master’s of Urban Affairs and Public Policy from the University of Delaware.


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Session 15 | Minnesota|3:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Panel: Living Architecture Policy

Moderator: Jeff Joslin, Director of Current Planning, San Francisco Planning Department

Peter Lowitt, Devens Enterprise Commission

Steven Peck, Founder and President, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities

Ben Shardlow, Director of Urban Design, Mpls Downtown Improvement District


Shane Carpani,  Consultant, GreenBlue Urban

Shane Carpani, Consultant, GreenBlue Urban

Session 16 | Johnson |4:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Trees & Water Sensitive Urban Design

This presentation will evaluate the key parameters which must be considered in order to release the immense potential that urban trees can offer to reduce stormwater runoff and improve quality. Traditional surface water drainage was designed to convey rainfall as rapidly as possible from where it falls to either a temporary storage area or a watercourse. This old method increases the risks of flooding, environmental damage, and urban diffuse pollution – as runoff water usually carries contaminants including oils, heavy metals, pesticides, fertilizers, chemicals and other urban matter. The implementation of sustainable drainage systems, demonstrated in outline as well as detailed applications and design submissions, is now demanded by many authorities as a prerequisite of planning consideration. This session uses GreenBlue Urban’s 27 years of field experience, as well as research from numerous monitored sites in conjunction with several universities and municipalities, to examine the opportunities available for integrating urban tree planting into stormwater management for truly sustainable urban landscapes.

Presenter:

Shane Carpani, Consultant, GreenBlue Urban: Shane Carpani works with landscape architecture and urban design organizations across North America to advance the education of low impact development amongst industry professionals. By focusing in this area, he ongoingly contributes to the expansion of green infrastructure practices throughout the US and Canada, assisting urban design professionals in drastically improving sustainability through the establishment of low impact development schemes, including sustainable stormwater management and urban tree planting.


Shane Pliska,  President, Planterra

Shane Pliska, President, Planterra

Session 17 | Heritage | 4:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Lighting for plants integrated into architecture for human wellness

A plant is like the canary for the modern workplace. If there is enough light to support plant life, there is enough light to support a healthy and productive environment for people, too. A full white paper on the subject can be found at: https://planterra.com/PlanterraLightingGuide

Shane Pliska, President, Planterra: Shane Pliska is the president of Planterra Corporation, a provider of interior landscaping services to corporate and institutional buildings. He is also the founder of the Planterra Conservatory a botanical garden and event venue in West Bloomfield, Michigan.


Rohan Lilauwala , Program Manager, Green Infrastructure Foundation

Rohan Lilauwala, Program Manager, Green Infrastructure Foundation

Session 18 | Minnesota | 4:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Making the Case for Green Infrastructure: Combining Visuals and Economic Analysis for Maximum Impact

Rohan Lilauwala, Program Manager, Green Infrastructure Foundation: As Program Manager at the Green Infrastructure Foundation, Rohan has spent the past five years working on breaking down barriers to the widespread use of living green infrastructure across North America. Rohan has developed and delivered training programs, tools and resources, and analyses, focusing largely on green infrastructure costs and benefits. He is also the driving force behind the Living Architecture Performance Tool, a rating system for green roofs and walls, akin to LEED.