American Institute of Architects, San Francisco Chapter

Backcasting for Sustainable Design Innovation (2 SDs)

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The Oregon Health & Science University Center for Health and Healing in Portland, Oregon, is the first-ever LEED Platinum facility in the health care industry. Gerding Edlen Development and Brightworks Sustainability Advisors used backcasting to achieve several sustainability breakthroughs.

Integrated design is hindering your ability to innovate. So says Scott Lewis, the founder and CEO of Brightworks Sustainability Advisors. In April, Lewis published a provocative, 6,000-word article in The Journal of Green Building presenting evidence that a methodology called backcasting is better than integrated design at leading design teams to breakthroughs in sustainability. Backcasting is a methodology first applied to the problems of environmental sustainability by Swedish physician Karl-Henrik Robert, founder of The Natural Step. Lewis and a group of colleagues adapted the methodology for planning and design in the mid 2000s. This session follows peer-reviewed sessions on backcasting at GreenBuild and Living Future (the annual conference of the Cascadia Green Building Council).

About Scott Lewis
Scott Lewis began his career as a natural resources policy advisor to national elected officials and NGOs. For ten years after completing a law degree at Stanford University, Lewis lived in San Francisco, where he worked for the Rainforest Action Network and authored two books on environmental issues, one published by the Sierra Club, the other distributed by the Natural Resources Defense Council. Subsequently, he worked for early-stage technology and design companies, one of which he co-founded, before establishing Brightworks Sustainability Advisors in Portland in 2001. In 2006, Brightworks chose San Francisco for its first office outside of Portland. Brightworks today maintains offices in Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Cleveland, and New York. A former president of the Oregon Natural Resources Council, Lewis is a current board member of Schnitzer Steel Inc., the largest steel recycler in the United States. He was the founding chairman of the Portland Sustainability Institute, where he remains a board member.

About Brightworks Sustainability Advisors
For ten years, Brightworks has partnered with leading brands, institutions, organizations, and public agencies to align their business practices with principles of ecological, social, and economic sustainability. From offices in Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, and Cleveland, Brightworks offers three lines of consulting services: built environment sustainability solutions, enterprise sustainability solutions, and sustainability education. The firm’s international work includes client engagements in Asia, South America, and Europe.

This program is sponsored by AIA SF's Committee on the Environment (COTE). Join COTE for complimentary wine and cheese at the beginning of the event!