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Living Futures unConference

I have never been to a more inspiring or emotional conference. Dennis, Christy, and I had the privilege of seeing some amazing speakers who talked about how to create Living Buildings and joined a few hundred people in really exploring what’s necessary to heal the world. In addition to the speakers and workshops, we had a good opportunity to visit the Bullitt Centre, which is seeking the Living Building Challenge certification.

While I didn’t find the Bullitt Centre to be particularly pleasing architecturally, it was very bold in its approach to net-zero water consumption and avoiding Red List materials. Their lobby’s “live” display, showcasing the building’s operation and energy production and consumption, was very slick. I knew Dennis would be all over that. The building is one of our precedents, and one we will always return to and compare our result.

In addition to the Bullitt Centre, we looked at some cool stuff around the Seattle Centre like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, some University medical research buildings, and even the amazing Chihuly Glass Museum. I think we were inspired. Dennis & Christy had a little more crazy juice than I did and they decided to register the Mosaic Centre for the Living Building Challenge certification.

While in Seattle, I showed them what our design team was up to with the developing concept. And that was a bust. The concept didn’t have the atrium/collision space/people magnet they were hoping for. It was a compact square that unfortunately fell flat with them.  Our design team was devastated. Design becomes quite a personal thing. It is somewhat like creating a work of art that one brings into existence and inevitably personal attachments are formed. So when it is rejected, it hits our emotions hard. So, again, back to the drawing board to seek out something closer to their needs.

Shafraaz Kaba, Architect, Manasc Isaac Architects

Fueled by a desire to create a more sustainable, beautiful world, Shafraaz is committed to combining 15 years’ experience in the design and construction of green buildings in cold climates with an eagerness to collaborate, in order to challenge traditional approaches in architecture, design and construction.

Since childhood, Shafraaz always set his sights high and not surprisingly wanted to be either an astronaut, an architect or a fighter pilot. Given his track record for achieving things quickly, the sky’s definitely not the limit for Shafraaz!

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