The Detroit regional chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council is holding a conference Friday to discuss ways to design energy-efficient and environmentally sound neighborhoods.
“We’re getting municipal planners in the same room as real estate professionals, developers and financiers to have a deep conversation about what it takes to make LEED happen,” said Bob Prud’homme, an architect at one of the conference organizers.
Keynote speaker Doug Farr, a member of the committee that developed the current LEED rating system, will focus on the costs and benefits of developing LEED-certified neighborhoods.
Farr, founding principal of the Chicago-based architectural firm Farr Associates, the will lead a workshop that will focus on ways to LEED-certify the Bloody Run Creek redevelopment project on Detroit’s east side. The project, still in its infancy, received $450,000 from the Kresge Foundation last year to plan the area, which spans from Eastern Market to Hamtramck.
“The big question we’re facing is when you’re developing a six- or seven-block area in a city like the Eastern Market zone — how do you make it environmentally friendly?” Prud’homme said. “At the forum, we’ve got nationally recognized LEED experts tailoring their knowledge to work with Southeast Michigan.”
LEED — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — was set up by the Washington, D.C.-based Green Building Council to provide objective criteria to rate the environmental performance of buildings and office spaces.
Also at Friday’s event, Daniel Hernandez, managing director of the New York City-based investment and urban planning firm Jonathan Rose Cos., will present a case study of how real estate development and finance, combined with green building principles, created a successful mixed-use development.
Other speakers will discuss the intricacies of navigating regulatory processes, design guidelines specific to Detroit and the impact of climate change on designing enduring buildings.
The Neighborhood Development Forum will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn. For information, visit usgbcdetroit.org.