The AIA has appointed green-building leader Mary Ann Lazarus, FAIA, to a consulting position as a Resident Fellow. In this position, Lazarus will help guide and influence a program heavily based in sustainability and health as the AIA implements its ten-year pledge to the Decade of Design: Global Urban Solutions Challenge, a Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action. The purpose of the commitment is to document, envision and implement solutions that leverage the design of urban environments through research, community participation, and design frameworks. It is a commitment based in the interest of public health with special attention to the use of natural, economic, and human resources.
More about Mary Ann Lazarus's work and future at the AIA after the break.
Lazarus is the director of sustainable design for HOK, based in St. Louis. Her work includes LEED Platinum-awarded buildings and net zero prototypes for office buildings and community facilities and has worked on a variety of scales. In an interview with Eco Building Pulse by Katie Weeks, Lazarus notes that "performance-driven" design in regards to sustainability is an asset to developing sustainable strategies that work. She also notes that community- and client-engagement after projects are completed help maintain the sustainable future of a building by monitoring its "post-occupancy" environment. This total look at the life cycle of a building provides insight into effective uses of sustainably-minded design.
Her work has taken Lazarus into considering how to design on a more urban scale. Rather than thinking of sustainable design as one LEED Platinum building at a time, Lazarus notes that looking at the neighborhood and urban scale of an environment helps designers understand the way in which cities are lived in and use that insight to develop strategies to promote sustainable behaviors. The new City Protocol Certification Program, still under development, is similar to the LEED Certification Program that establishes guides for effective sustainable and resilient urban design in regards to cities instead of buildings. The link between human and the health of the environment is a top priority in Lazarus' thinking, as well. Part of these goal are addressed in AIA newly released Roadmap to Healthy Design which maps ways in which city planning and urban design can encourage healthy behaviors and active lifestyles.
Mary Ann Lazarus's current work at HOK and design priorities coincide with the direction in which the AIA is moving. For two years, Lazarus will help the AIA engage in sustainable and healthy design through her role in education and outreach as an internal resource to current practitioners.