08 JUNE 2018

Focus on Resilience at Gulf Coast Green 2018 Conference

Gulf Coast Green, an annual symposium that brings green building professionals from across the region together to discuss the latest in sustainable building solutions, focused this year on resilience and recovery in post-Harvey Houston and an increasingly vulnerable Gulf Coast.


A Kirksey-stacked committee helped deliver another successful Gulf Coast Green Symposium and Expo, which took place on June 1st at Rice University. Hosted by AIA Houston, the annual conference was vice-chaired this year by Kirksey's own Katherine Ruiz, AIA, LEED AP, SITES AP. Kirksey served as a Platinum Sponsor of the event for the 13th straight year, helping sustain a dialogue around green building and keeping Gulf Coast Green the leading green building conference in the region. Every year, the conference has around 200+ attendees, 85% of whom are local architects.

This year's theme, "RESILIENCE: Beyond Recovery" addressed the Gulf Coast's preparation and response to natural and man-made disasters, including a future shaped by a changing climate.

Michelle Old, AIA, a member of Kirksey's Design Team, co-presented a session with Scott McCready of SWA Design titled "An Urban Bayou Education." The session took a look at the multi-faceted design approach to education and resilience that was recently carried out on the newest University of Houston-Downtown campus addition by Kirksey. Part of the presentation included the challenge of building next to the bayou in one of Houston's well-known flood zones.

Other speakers included Harris County engineer John Blount, who presented recent data from Hurricane Harvey, and nationally recognized experts like Bill Walsh of the Healthy Building Network and atmospheric scientist Katherine Hayhoe, who each discussed resiliency challenges unique to our region.

The conference also featured a student competition and expo with green product vendors and consultants.

 Kirksey Gulf Coast Green 2018 Committee Members
Vice Chair and Public Relations Co-Chair – Katherine Ruiz, AIA, LEED AP, SITES AP
Immediate Past Chair / Sponsorship Co-Chair - Colley Hodges, AIA, LEED AP, WELL AP
Speaker Co-Chair – Julie Hendricks, AIA, LEED Fellow
After-Party Chair - Jody Henry, AIA, LEED AP

The event was held at the Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University, followed by an after party with Kirksey’s own Trace Saenz and Dillard Delafosse (DJ and emcee, respectively). Each year, Gulf Coast Green features prominent speakers from across the country and displays cutting-edge green products. Consistent with the conference’s theme of sustainability, the event was both zero-waste and carbon neutral.

Check out the photos of the symposium and expo below, and click here to view photos of the after party.

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