Author Archive | Mike Schiller

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Bridging the Valley of Death (and Crossing Death Valley)

I attended a session at Greenbuild called “Bridging the Valley of Death.” As someone who once walked across Death Valley from Badwater to Mt. Whitney, I was intrigued. The Greenbuild session had four panelists: a venture capitalist from Silicon Valley, a fellow from the General Services Administration (GSA), a fellow from the Department of Energy […]

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CLT

The Second-Most Interesting Thing I Learned at Greenbuild 2015

…was about Cross Laminated Timber (CLT). From an on-stage conversation between Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden and Assistant Secretary of the Army Katherine Hammack, moderated by USGBC Vice President of LEED Technical Development Brendan Owens, I learned that CLT: a) Is great for sequestering carbon; b) Uses only 50% of the energy required to […]

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The Most Interesting Thing I Heard at Greenbuild 2015

When Aurora wrote in an earlier GBA blog post that “Interaction with colleagues old and new is what Greenbuild is about,” I could only smile and say “Yes.” For me, the most interesting thing I learned at Greenbuild 2015 was not from any of the sessions, nor was it from any of the booths on […]

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Mark Grapengater - thermostat

Transforming the Built Environment through Environmental Surfing, Part II – A Density of Controls

Continuing my notes and thoughts from a lecture by Carnegie Mellon University Professor Vivian Loftness… Environmental surfing depends on a certain (significant) density of controls, Vivian told us. As we know, people’s happiness (user satisfaction) is based on our level of control, in so many ways, she said smiling. We would not buy a car […]

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melting-glacier

Climate Change and Protecting Nature for Future Generations, Part III – What We Can Do

Continuing my notes and thoughts from a lecture by Professor Mary Wood, a law professor at the University of Oregon, Eugene… Prof. Wood referenced Pope Francis once again by stating, “We should not think that laws will make a difference when the culture itself is corrupt.” (The Pope’s actual sentence from Laudato Si is in […]

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storm

Climate Change and Protecting Nature for Future Generations, Part II – Nature’s Law

Continuing my notes and thoughts from a lecture by Professor Mary Wood, a law professor at the University of Oregon… Prof. Wood described statutory law as micro, siloed, and disconnected from everything else, typically lacking any sense of the big picture. Statutory laws can be rolled back for political gain or political whim. They are […]

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dry-climate

Climate Change and Protecting Nature for Future Generations, Part I – Defining the Problem

I had the chance to listen to Professor Mary Wood speak at Duquesne University’s conference, “Integrity of Creation: Climate Change.” Her specific talk was titled “Nature’s Trust: A Legal and Sacred Covenant to Protect Earth’s Climate System for Future Generations.” Prof. Wood used a quote from Oren Lyons, faithkeeper of the Onondagan Nation, at the start […]

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schellgames

Practical Ways for Predicting the Future with Technology

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a presentation by Jesse Schell, founder and CEO of Schell Games. His talk at the Children’s Museum was part of the Made in Pittsburgh event sponsored by Pittsburgh Magazine. Jesse’s talk was titled, “Practical Ways for Predicting the Future.” You can find versions of this talk online. […]

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