Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Must See! March 6-8: NESEA Building Energy 2012

by Liane Allen

A must-see speaker at this year’s Building Energy Conference is Donald Watson, who will discuss “Sustainability and Resilience Planning.”

Watson is co-author of “Design for Flooding,” which describes a comprehensive, systems approach for building to prevent losses due to flooding. The book promotes “passive survivability.” Once we understand that “nature always wins,” we can plan and design in ways that allow nature to do its thing with the least harm to the structures that support us throughout our lives.

Watson’s recent review of Amory Lovins’ “Reinventing Fire” gives an insight into his thinking: “Since 1982, they’ve been think-tanking how to ‘drive efficient and restorative use of resources’ by: 1) transforming design, 2) busting barriers, and 3) spreading innovation. Right. I’m a sucker for this kind of thinking, so when RMI offers a road map, I’m open.  Anybody in our still oil-based economy, no matter their business, will find reason to consult Reinventing Fire regularly. It’s encyclopedic about true costs and hopeful in its forecasts. It would make a great resource for scenario planning.”

Watson’s hallmark is being able to see both the whole and the parts, and to help us find ways to integrate a whole systems approach into our plans and designs.

While Watson is reason enough to attend NESEA’s 2012 Building Energy Conference, the conference is much more than its speakers:. As Andy Padian, of Community Preservation Corporation puts it:  “Every year I come back from BE like my brain has been in a gym being worked relentlessly by gifted trainers — and it has… Last year, in a five minute conversation with one of the presenters after his session, I learned a trick about energy auditing that took one to two hours off of all of my energy modeling tasks. That’s what BE is about, that “A-HA!” moment that I get every year, as do hundreds of others.”

If you or your business can benefit from “A-HA!” moments, you’ll find Building Energy 2012 beneficial.

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