SBA Blog

Biomimicry: A Tale of Biometic Concept Chairs

Ann Edminster | September 17th, 2014

What is Biomimicry? It is the imitation of the models, systems, and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems, with the fundamental principle being: Mother Nature is the world’s most successful designer.

Designers Joris Laarman, Mathias Bengtsson, Lilian Van Daal, and Nicolette de Waart utilized biomimicry to in using a biomimetic approach in creating concept chairs.

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The eleventh annual Architecture and the City Festival

Jack | September 3rd, 2014

Each September since 2003, the AIA San Francisco, the Center for Architecture + Design’s Architecture, and the City Festival has invited San Francisco to celebrate architecture and design. The celebration includes free films at the SF Public Library, architectural tours, exhibitions, lectures, and San Francisco Living: Home Tours.

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Hemp Construction Project Opportunity – Southern California, Mid-August

Ann Edminster | July 30th, 2014

TangerineKangaroo just started a home renovation project and are using hempcrete. The first permitted hempcrete construction in California. They are using their little project to get familiar with the material and to find out what it takes to get the material permitted.

TangerineKangaroo also want to use their project to create awareness for hempcrete as a healthy and green building material and they are inviting green architects and other green industry professionals in the area to learn about the material through their renovation. They are planning to make the hempcrete on site and building the walls mid August.  You can read more about their renovation on Beate Kirmse’s blog:

There are a couple of spots left for people who want to get hands on and build the walls with them under the supervision of their green contractor. Every participants gets a hemp t-shirt and organic  healthy meals. The build will be mid August and is supposed to take 2-3 days.

Learn to comply with AB1103 with free online Benchmarking training!

Ann Edminster | July 29th, 2014

If you’re a customer of PG&E, SoCalGas, or SMUD, you can learn how to benchmark your building (and comply with AB1103) with a free online ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® training.

The Ultimate Guide to Benchmarking provides 24/7 access so you can log-on whenever and wherever your schedule allows.  Explore modules that pertain to your specific building from the convenience of your office – or favorite café – to gain the level of information you need in a convenient and time-efficient manner.

You cannot manage what you do not measure. Benchmarking your building’s energy performance is the first step to understanding and reducing its energy consumption and costs.  With AB1103 now requiring disclosure of energy performance to buyers in certain real estate transactions, avoid being caught flat footed or surprised by a low score by benchmarking your building today.

Your registration also includes free access to one-on-one technical assistance from a team of benchmarking experts, ensuring the success of your benchmarking efforts. These experts are standing by to answer your questions.

Availability is extremely limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Register today at: Questions? Contact or 415.814.3744.

Creating Eco-Friendly Outdoor Rooms with Carol Venolia

Ann Edminster | June 13th, 2014

SBA guest instructor Carol Venolia is offering a dynamic class on “Creating Eco-Friendly Outdoor Rooms,” on June 21 at Santa Rosa Junior College. Carol says, “This is a one-Saturday class in which I’ll teach students how to design their own outdoor living spaces to increase their health and vitality, improve their home’s energy efficiency, and enhance the ecosystems where they live.”

For more information about the class, visit Creating Eco-Friendly Outdoor Rooms.

For more information about Carol Venolia, Architect and Domestic Nature Goddess, visit her website, Come Home to Nature, or her Facebook page.

AIA-Seattle has an opening for a new full-time position – Program Manager

Tedd Corman | May 19th, 2014

AIA-Seattle has an opening for a new full-time position — Program Manager — a great opportunity for someone with talent, experience, and room for professional development. Resume and letter due May 30th! Learn more:

Zero Net Energy Homes Online Course

Ann Edminster | January 29th, 2014

nesea-Building Energy Master Series

Marc Rosenbaum is one of the most popular and best-reviewed speakers at the Building Energy Conference every year. Why? Because he is an engaging speaker, extremely honest, meticulously detailed, and curious by nature.

This course is an opportunity to study under Marc – to ask him questions and become his pupil for a full ten-week semester. You’ll will walk away with a comprehensive understanding of all of the key components of a zero net energy home – envelope, systems, and renewables – and how they fit together, with key pitfalls to avoid, and numerical guidelines on sizing peak heat loss, glazing amounts, and solar electric systems that will empower you to confidently design a zero net energy home.

Successful students will actually do a full design of a Zero Net Energy Home, and earn NESEA’s ‘Zero Net Energy Homes Professional Certificate’.

Approved for 25 BPI credits, 10 GBCI credits, 12 AIA CEUs + Six MA CSL Credits (1 hour for Code, 1 hour for Workplace Safety, 1 hour for Business Practices, 3 hours for Energy)

Learn more & sign up here.

…and for all you SBA Program fans, you should know that SBA Program Academic Chair Ann Edminster’s book “Energy Free: Homes for a Small Planet” is the textbook for this course.

Energy Free Homes for a Small Planet

Energy Free: Homes for a Small Planet, by Ann Edminster, SBA Program Academic Chair











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“The Future of Energy” World Premier at the Transitions Film Festival, Melbourne, February 21, 2014

Ann Edminster | January 27th, 2014

We’re happy to announce that the film “The Future of Energy” will have its World Premier at the Transitions Film Festival in Melbourne Australia which runs from February 15th-23rd, 2014. This festival specifically showcases ground-breaking films from around the world on topics of community empowerment, social enterprise, and innovation.

Please watch the first trailer here.

Happy New Year: Upcoming SBA Program Events

Ann Edminster | January 6th, 2014

Happy New Year from all of us at the Sustainable Building Advisor Program! We’re excited for the New Year and the upcoming spring term.

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SBA Program New York: Special Appearance by Dr. Dickson Despommier, author of ‘The Vertical Farm’

Ann Edminster | December 5th, 2013


Dr. Dickson Despommier, author of The Vertical Farm

Lecture + Brunch + Book Signing

Please join the NYC|SBA Sustainable Building Advisor Fall 2013 cohort in welcoming Dr. Dickson Despommier for an innovative discussion about solving the world’s food, water and energy crises.

“The Vertical Farm: Keystone Concept of the New City!”

Green Building Center of NY
35 West 37 St. Penthouse btw. 5th and 6th Ave.

Space is limited to the first 25 registrants!
Register now:

Sunday, December 8
9:30am – 12:30pm
$20 donation

“As Emeritus Professor at Columbia University and Adjunct Professor at Fordham University, I have always been interested in ecological process and the damage we have caused to the environment by encroachment (mostly to make room for farmland). At present, I am engaged in a project whose mission is to produce significant amounts of food crops in tall buildings situated in densely populated urban centers.”
see: and The Vertical Farm: feeding the world in the 21st century, hardcover, Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, New York; soft cover, Picadore Press, October, 2011