By Lauren Dundon, AIA, AIA Colorado Member Voice Committee 

Scott Rodwin, AIA is the president of Rodwin Architecture, a twelve-person design/build firm located in Boulder. As a 2019 AIA Colorado conference speaker, Rodwin will present “Extreme Green Custom Home Design for Colorado” on Friday, November 1. During this session, he will teach you how to create net-zero energy, LEED Platinum custom homes. Plus, he’s leading a yoga class Friday morning! 

Why did you apply to speak at the 2019 Practice + Design Conference?

Scott Rodwin, AIA

Scott Rodwin, AIA

I’ve been passionate about advocating for sustainable design for 30 years.  I have taught it for the City & County of Boulder, as a professor at Naropa, for USGBC Rocky Mountain Green and at the AIA National Conference.  But I’ve never had the opportunity to share what I know with my fellow AIA Colorado Architects. I’ve come to this conference every year for the last 28 years, and I’m actually more nervous about doing this than I was speaking at AIA National, because I know so many people here. And because the architects here know so much about green building. At National, what we’re doing here in Colorado was really seen as pushing the envelope.  Here, I expect that my peers will look at the examples I give with a more expert and critical understanding of the topic.

What can attendees expect from your session?

I’ll be presenting a few deep green homes in depth, talking about what worked and what didn’t, lessons learned and things we’re still curious about for the future. I’ve always found these sessions most useful and interesting when architects use case studies to explain how sustainability and architectural design are fully interwoven, rather than just listing general systems, products or approaches.

Why is the topic important to you?

Because we know that the human impact on the environment is an existential threat to our survival. And that our need and desire for housing (specifically the American Dream of the single family home) is a major contributor to that stress on the planet. I believe there are three ways to change how we approach the creation of housing (and building in general):

  1. Mandate sustainability through building codes – perhaps necessary, but not fun for anyone, and it usually doesn’t produce inspired design.
  2. Shame people into it – again not fun and not an effective way to make it the norm.
  3. Inspire people – Show them how beauty, functionality and sustainability are all possible through good design.  That we don’t need to compromise.   This presentation will be about #3.

What do you hope attendees gain from your session?

I hope attendees will get excited to push the envelope further and faster. That they will gain a greater technical understanding of how to design deep green homes. And that they will come away with an enhanced ability to advocate for it to their clients.

What are you looking forward to most about the conference?

The conference always feels like a really good high school reunion to me. It’s the one time of year where I get to reconnect with my architect friends from all over the state.

Anything else you’d like to add?

AIA Staff asked me to also teach a “Yoga class for Architects,” Friday morning from 7:15-8 a.m. Come join!  At every conference the hardest thing for me is sitting in those chairs all day. This class is for all levels (no experience necessary) and will be specifically designed to be the antidote to sitting. It will make it more comfortable to go to all the other sessions. Wear comfortable clothes.  Bring a mat if you have one, but I’ll bring some extras.

To see more about Scott Rodwin’s session and register, click here.