Living Future 2015 unConference debrief

Living Future 2015Daniel Huard Humann Building Solutions Principal is invited to literally hundreds of conferences and events yearly and chooses which ones to attend without impacting our client obligations. With that statement in mind there is ONE conference that you can absolutely guarantee to find me in attendance at, Living Future and herein I am very happy to provide my Living Future 2015 unConference debrief . The International Living Future Institute hosted Living Future 2015 unConference from April 1-3, 2015 in downtown Seattle, Washington, The Institute promotes Living Future as “the forum for leading minds in the green building movement seeking solutions to the most daunting global issues of our time”. This description is so true with really amazing summits that precede the conference, networking events that combine educational opportunities, meeting the experts at book signings and keynotes in addition to technical credential maintenance activities that are on the leading edge of restorative to regenerative theory from real world applications. The dialog and sessions are inspirational and provoke significant progress toward a truly Living Future.

mithunPre-Day 1 – Registration opened and the Local Host Committee pre-started the unConference at the offices of Mithun pier 56 located at 1201 Alaskan Way, on the 2nd floor #200.  Mithun’s Seattle offices are a recycled industrial pier, the sustainable location is both naturally ventilated and light filled looking out over Seattle’s port life. The open layout encouraged interaction among conference delegates, that host committee did an excelent job of getting great local food selections and libations.  Attendees from near and far showed up from locations including China, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, England and all across Canada and the United States.  To learn more about the location use this link:

biomimicry benyusDay 1 – The Summits and Conference Tours. One advantage to being involved in Living Building Challenge Projects Globally is being invited to the Project Team Summit where the members of other projects and teams contributed to the shared lessons learned from our collective experience in meeting the Living Building Challenge. With breakout sessions attendees were as well able to connect based on project type and and issues of greatest importance to jointly explore opportunities for collaboration.  During the discussions we were made aware that the State of Hawaii had committed to building Living Building classrooms throught the state. It was a very insightful day that preceded the Trade Show Opening Reception.  This was followed by the opening Keynote by Janine Benyus the world renowned biologist, innovation consultant, author of six books and Founder of Biomimicry 3.8.  Following the Keynote I was able to speak with Janine and have her sign a copy of her most recent book Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature. The day wrapped up with an after party at Fado Irish Pub sponsored by Evergreen.


Day 2 – The Conference Opens with the Birds of a Feather Breakfast and some very interesting dialog and greetings to many, many friends and colleagues not seen in far too long.  As breakfast concluded Amanda Sturgeon, FAIA, LEED Fellow and Executive Director of the International Living Future Institute introduced keynote speaker Jason F. McLennan, Ashoka Fellow, founder of the Living Building Challenge and CEO of ILFI.  Jason’s work continues to be at the forefront of transformational restorative green building evidenced by his receipt of the prestigious Buckminster Fuller Prize  “Socially-Responsible Design’s Highest Award.” Jason’s keynote theme “home” is so appropriate now more than ever with an overreaching sediment “the time for “Do less harm” has passed” and genuinely acknowledging that a sense of home, place and community affirms the beginning of being, “the bellwether of truly restorative design”, “the beginning of a Living Future”. Jason shared a big personal project’s starting and inspired all in attendance to be active participants in the needed restorative, Living Future.

Huard Chart a PathFollowing Jason’s keynote the unConference’s sessions kick off with 12 program offerings of outstanding education opportunities, the afternoon had a further 26 sessions of awesome educational interactive sessions.  At 5pm there was a reception, book signing and just Declare event on the trade-show floor to have the delegates network with Declare Product Manufacturers all of this was followed by the Big Bang (Awards and Recognition) Dinner at 7pm.  The Big Bang Dinner is when we as delegates get to rejoice in and recognize the achievements towards achieving our Living Future goals. This year I was recognized as one of the Institute’s most ardent supporters and delivered the welcoming address at the Big Bang Dinner where I shared my thoughts on finding a higher purpose and the importance of joining and supporting the institute. It was a great honor to be able to speak to so many people that I had such great respect for and share from the heart my need to positively contribute to the planet.

Dinner was followed by the announcement of the recipients of the 2015 Living Building Challenge™ Hero Awards. “Individuals who receive this distinction have demonstrated a fierce commitment to the Living Building Challenge and their desire to continually raise the bar on behalf of the green building industry.” There was a very heartfelt special tribute to Muscoe Martin for his exemplary contributions to Green Building and ILFI.

2015 LF Heros Group Photo

The Hero induction was followed by awards of Living Building Challenge Awards to Net Zero Energy Building Certification, Petal Certification and Living Building Challenge recipients including Matt Grocoff’s Mission Zero Home, Tom Elliot and Barbara Scott, Owners, Desert Rain House, Anthony Guerrero, for another influential Natural Resources Defense Council Office earning Petal Certification, Denis Hayes for The Bullitt Center and Richard Piacentini, for The Phipps Conservatory.  After all of this awesomeness we attended the Metamorphosis themed after party sponsored by Skanska at Fred Wildlife Refuge, 128 Belmont Ave East Seattle in the Capitol Hill District.


Day 3 – The Conference continues with another Birds of a Feather Breakfast and some more  interesting dialog and greetings with more friends and colleagues.  As breakfast concluded keynote Ibrahim Abdul-Matin kicked off the day with inspiration on transforming our pollution-based way of life to one that prioritizes our planet and its people. Ibrahim credits his father devout Muslim, for his appreciation of the environment and sustainability from an early age instilling that the “Earth is a mosque,” that every inch of the planet is sacred and to be protected. Some keynote take aways  include “make eye contact. I see you. I acknowledge your humanity”,  “The earth is a masjid – every place is sacred, every place is a place for prayer”, “we have to redefine the good life” and “double down your efforts; don’t get lazy; that’s your charge”.

The day’s program offerings of outstanding education opportunities and awesome interactivity included a choice of 37 potentials in 3 time slots.  Also included were select book signings where I was able to share my thanks and adoration in person with Denis Hayes, Vice Chair ILFI, President and CEO, Bullitt Foundation, Chairperson, the International Earth Day Network as well as the immediate past chair of the Energy Foundation.

Daniel Huard and Denis Hayes at #LF15You really need to cherish the moments in life when you get to meet the people who contributed so deeply to your development. Denis is one of those persons in my life, he is such a subtle giant at imparting not only knowledge but emotion and purpose as well.  I hope to one day be as effective a mentor as Denis has been for me. We were able to talk about the significance of the Bullitt Center and as well his latest book Cowed. Denis mentioned my talk at the Big Bang Dinner the night before and thanked me for my commitment to a Living Future and living my highest purpose.  As we shook hands Denis again said “thank you for all that you do”, Michael Berisford the Director of Ecotone Publishing at ILFI saw us and asked to take the picture of Denis and I that is share here.  Thank you again Michael for your friendship and dedication to informing and educating on deep green solutions and all aspects of the Living Building Challenge.


For those unfamiliar with all of the positive contributions that Denis Hayes has made I suggest that you read his bio brief as Vice Chair of the Institute (ILFI) so that you get a grasp of his lifetime of good.

The last session that I attended on Day 3 was “Quantifying User Experience, Health and Sustainability using LEED, Living Building Challenge and WELL Building Standard”.  The WELL Building Standard authored by Delos and the International WELL Building Institute is a wellness certification for buildings and places that aligns very well with both LEED and The Living Building Challenge. The Healthcare and Wellness community were represented by members of Delos and the IWBI at Living Future 2015.  In my discussions with members of Delos and Well I reaffirmed  Site With No Name’s commitment to introduce and advocate for WELL Building Standard within our projects and proposals.

Somewhere during the day we were also informed that a team that included Leonardo DiCaprio, Jason McLennan as lead architect and Designer and Delos’ Restorative Hospitality as operator and Restorative Islands L.L.C., as the builder will construct the resort at Blackadore Caye, Belize. The development is intended to be fully Living Building Challenge Certified as well as restore the reefs, dunes, mangroves and horticulture of the 104 acre island.

The Closing Circle happened at 5pm …. Ideas into Action.  There were several thought provoking questions presented to the attendees that initiated the dialog.  Several outstanding sediments were shared including a commitment to become mentors and to donate $150 to the institute to get someone you intend to mentor a membership; Dr. Whitney Gray’s commitment to have Healthcare join in the contributions to a Living Future and finally David Barmon’s plea to keep planting trees in cities to humanize places.  Following some high fives, hugs and farewells many of us made our way to the Back to the Land After-Party at The Bullitt Center.  We regaled at the Bullitt Center on Finn River Cider, “made with apples, pears, black currants and lavender from the land they farm”. Local brews were available as well as local tasty snacks.  As we heard words from one of the architects of the phenomenal Living Building Challenge flagship building it was impossible to not be inspired by Living Future’s beginnings in a place designed to mimic the forest that once resided in its place.  I embraced good friends Carlo Battisti and Paola Moschini of Milan, Italy’s Macro Design Studio and wished them good luck with their upcoming REGENERATION Conference and the LBC Collaborative Italy. We left the Bullitt Center with a resurgence of commitment to continue to do what is right.

# Daniel has been an active Green Building Expert for over 25 years, with an ongoing commitment to mentoring, service and leadership contributing to National Fenestration Rating Council as their 2017 and 2018 Board of Directors Vice Chair and Governance Chair, IWBI, ASHRAE, Association of Energy Engineers, USGBC’s LEED Technical Committee, USGBC Water Efficiency Technical Advisory Group as their 2018 Committee Chair, former – USGBC Western Regional Council Chairperson, USGBC Nevada President, and as well founded the Las Vegas Valley Living Building Challenge Collaborative serving as Nevada’s ILFI Ambassador. Daniel as well currently serves the U.S. DOE contributing to their Building Envelope Tech Team and has served as Technical Subject Matter Expert to the US Department of the Interior since 2009. As a former League of Indian Nations of North America Ambassador to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, Daniel focused on international sustainability programs, social and educational programs and native rights recognition and advocacy.

Copyright ©2015 D.A. Huard, Copyright ©2014, 2018 Humann Building Solutions, LLC.

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