BioBuild Program Hosts the First BioBuild Symposium

BioBuild faculty, fellows and guests

Blacksburg, VA - April 26th, 2018 - BioBuild faculty and fellows hosted the first BioBuild symposium "Building with Nature" at the Holtzman alumni center at Virginia Tech. The event expanded on the main principles of BioBuild which are exploring building systems and biological systems synergistically to discover innovative connections between these two fields.

Jason Wirick, a Virginia Tech graduate and current director of facilities and sustainability at Phipps conservatory, kicked off the symposium with a workshop about his involvement in transforming the 125 year old Phipps Conservatory’s 15 acre historical conservatory and botanical gardens into a net zero water and energy campus. He also shared his experience with how the Center for Sustainable Landscape project achieved the Living Building Challenge, LEED Platinum, Sustainable Sites Initiative, and the WELL Platinum Building Certifications.

Dean DePauw also participated in the symposium by stressing the importance of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Programs at Virginia Tech. BioBuild, she believes, is timely because of the pressing societal need for professionals with the interdisciplinary expertise necessary to create buildings and communities that are in fact bioinspired.

Mark Hourigan, CEO of Hourigan Construction, concluded the symposium with a talk about his company's experience building the Chesapeake Bay Brock Environmental Center, which is Full Living Building Certified. He also discussed discussed what he views as the future of the construction industry, especially with the wider acceptance of green certifications.

The symposium concluded with a reception where BioBuild fellows talked about their research with leading industry professionals and Virginia Tech attendees.