The U.S. Green Building Council Biennial Conference in Jackson, Wyoming October 19-21st is sure to draw an interesting mix of leaders from the green building field. Perhaps most notable among these leaders will be Keynote Speaker Eric Corey Freed, a nationally known architect, author, speaker and thought-leader based in Portland Oregon with 25 years of experience in crafting innovative, deep green buildings. The conference theme is Innovate, and Eric’s keynote address is most certainly focused on an innovative green building topic.
When asked to design an XPrize for green building by the XPrize foundation, Eric drew on his lifelong experience with green buildings and organic architecture. He also looked outside the box. Way outside the box. Eric had noted research scientists’ increasing ability to grow organs from tissue samples and hatched the big audacious idea that perhaps we can grow entire buildings. That’s right, grow our buildings. Far fetched? Yes. But there are potential merits – no more toxic building materials or shipping raw materials from far away sources to a processing plant then to the building site. How about walls that heal themselves when you take your picture fasteners down? Sign me up. And the timing for this idea might be right – we can now grow entire organs and living cells of many varieties that were never before possible. Add these considerations to the fact that although modern buildings are safer and more energy efficient than they were 100 years ago, the fundamental “stick and brick” building techniques have not changed and you get the sense that Eric is on to something.
Has the time come for a truly innovative and disruptive approach that renders our existing model of constructing buildings obsolete? Maybe. Is is worth exploring alternatives to the long iterative path towards creating better buildings that we are currently on? Definitely.
My interview with Eric Corey Freed aired on Radio Boise Tuesday August 30th. You can listen to current shows by tuning in Tuesdays @ 3 PM on 89.9 FM or 93.5 FM in the Treasure Valley. Or stream online @ http://www.radioboise.org. You can listen to a podcast of my interview with Eric using the player below.
If you are looking for a deeper dive into this topic, consider attending the USGBC Wyoming Innovate conference October 19-21st in Jackson, Wyoming. Professional development CEU’s are available and after hearing Eric Corey Freed speak, you may just find yourself inspired to #Innovate.
Got an idea for a show? We’d love to hear about it! Contact us at email@example.com