TEDx FrontRange: ELEVATE!

Josie Plaut

The theme this year for Tedx FrontRange is “Elevate.” In the spirit of the pioneering west, a group of fun and engaging speakers (and performers!) will share the ways that they are exploring new frontiers, guiding and inspiring others, and driving innovation.  IBE’s Associate Director, Josie Plaut, will share her ideas on how to go beyond notion of sustainably and toward future that is powered through regeneration.  Simply stated, regeneration is about investing in our future by creating and restoring natural, social and economic capital.  We achieve this through expanding health, vitality and equity in our personal and professional lives.

Date: May 31, 2013, 1-5pm
Location: Rialto Theater Center, Loveland, CO


More on regeneration….

In recent years, the green industry has introduced a myriad of new tools, products, and standards that help to reduce environmental impacts and encourage more sustainable practices – important steps in the right direction.  Unfortunately, current economic models still rely heavily on depleting natural capital.  Further, the burden to process, manufacture, and sell products is often at the expense of human health and wellbeing.  Here, at a pivotal moment in society, we have the opportunity to change course.  If we are to solve the looming environmental and social crises in time, we must move from using less to creating more. Regeneration is the practice of aligning human activities to give new life, strength and vigor to natural, social, and economic systems. It goes beyond green or sustainable thinking, generally focused on reducing harm, toward a model built on renewal and revitalization.

Regeneration means rebuilding depleted ecosystems, like the Mississippi river delta, or simply riding your bicycle.  It can be a vitalizing urban redevelopment project or the renewal of soils and farming practices in your own garden. Regeneration has many faces, but one purpose: finding what’s broken and creating solutions that are additive, positive and contributive. By shifting mindsets from sustainability to regeneration, we can secure a thriving future for many generations to come.  This paradigm shift is not only necessary, but it is inspiring, refreshing and positive.


Celebrate! CSU: Brian Dunbar, 30 Years

CSU is honoring faculty and staff who have reached service milestones during the 2012-2013 fiscal year at the annual Celebrate! CSU Milestones event, 3-5 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, in the Lory Student Center Theatre.
Brian Dunbar

Brian Dunbar

Brian Dunbar, executive director of the Institute for the Built Environment, grew up surrounded by a family of architects.

I thought going on vacation meant going to see buildings under construction, because it seemed like every time we went on vacation, my dad wanted to see something that was being built,” Dunbar said.

Dunbar grew up in Monroe, Michigan. He attended the University of Michigan for his undergraduate and master’s degrees in architecture. He moved to Fort Collins with his wife, Karen, before landing a job.

Continue reading this article from Today at CSU by Katie Salvato here.

IBE is Hiring Graduate Student Interns!

The Institute for the Built Environment (IBE) at Colorado State University is accepting applications from first year graduate students in Construction Management, Interior Design, Business Management, Civil Engineering, and Landscape Architecture with an interest in sustainable design, development, and green building for the position described below.
Sustainable Building Associate:
Sustainable Building Associates at IBE gain skills and work experience, such as project management, integrated design, LEED coordination and certification, design charrette facilitation, green products and materials research, through a variety of research and professional projects. Associate internships typically start at 5-10 hours per week with the potential for additional hours as project work allows.  IBE anticipates hiring up to two interns this spring and possibly additional interns in the fall.  IBE has been recognized for this green jobs training model in a recent USGBC publication, Hands-on LEED, available at http://www.centerforgreenschools.org/hands-on-leed.

If you are interested, please send a resume and letter of interest to Josie Plaut at josie.plaut@colostate.edu and copy Brian Dunbar, brian.dunbar@colostate.edu.

New Director of Research Joins Team at Institute for the Built Environment

The Institute for the Built Environment (IBE) is excited to announce the addition of Dr. Jeni Cross to their team, filling the role as Director of Research.  Jeni Cross is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Colorado State University.  Her expertise in energy conservation, community development, professional social networks, social norms, and behavior change align with the IBE’s five research focus areas and provide an applicable skill-set to our outreach and service-learning projects.

Jeni’s dedication to translating social science research into practice makes her an engaging speaker and a sought-after consultant on projects that seek to create meaningful, sustainable change.  Most recently, Jeni has focused her work on the utilization of social marketing strategies and network analysis in order to inform organizational transformation for sustainability, integrated design, and conservation behavior.

Brian Dunbar, Executive Director of the Institute for the Built Environment shared, “We are very excited to welcome Dr. Cross to IBE. Jeni’s social science focus is critical to our work – green building is ultimately about people.   Jeni’s ground-breaking work in identifying how notable schools and school districts create a culture of conservation and sustainability continues to receive acclaim from the leading green building researchers and sustainability managers.   Jeni will enhance the depth and breadth of our institute’s work in green schools, integrative design, and organizational sustainability and help us to connect with additional disciplines, faculty, and student.”

Jeni is stepping into the role held by Dr. Lenora Bohren for the past seven years.  Lenora made significant contributions to the Institute’s work in healthy indoor environments and advised countless graduate student interns of IBE.  Her new advisory role at IBE will allow her to dedicate more time to advising graduate students and to her position as President of the National Association for Practicing Anthropology. “We appreciate Lenora’s research leadership and are thrilled that she will continue to help IBE as she transitions to semi-retirement.” said Brian Dunbar.

Jeni has already begun her work as Director of Research at IBE, working closely with Stephanie Barr, IBE’s Green School Research Associate, on several projects related to green school design and operation.

Jeni Cross commented, “I have been working with IBE on a variety of projects over the past several years. This new position gives me the opportunity to work more closely with staff and to develop new projects. I look forward to the opportunities I’ll have to expand my own research on sustainability as well as to help IBE expand its research agenda.”

The Institute for the Built Environment, housed in the College of Health and Human Sciences at Colorado State University, fosters stewardship and sustainability of built and natural environments through interdisciplinary research and outreach.

Neenan Company Interviews IBE’s Brian Dunbar

Neenan Company recently sat down with Brian Dunbar, the Executive Director here at the Institute for the Built Environment (IBE) for an interview titled Embodied Energy and the Build Environment: An Interview With Brian Dunbar. In the interview, Dunbar discusses embodied energy. Neenan Co. creates innovative buildings using ” Archistruction” and are based in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Here is a preview of Neenan Co.’s interview with Brian Dunbar:

Q: How would you describe the relevance of embodied energy to design and construction today versus 10 years ago?

“Some in the engineering and design profession caught on to the concept over 30 to 40 years ago during the energy crisis. I think it became a relevant topic then but it wasn’t until about 10 years ago that the conversation ramped up with increased interest in energy modeling and material selections in projects.”
Conitnue reading here.

Institute for the Built Environment received $50,000 grant

By: Dell Rae Moellenberg

The General Services Administration has selected Colorado State University’s Institute for the Built Environment as a partner in a collaborative research effort to further develop its Knowledge Network.

Through the $50,000 grant, IBE will identify and summarize published, peer-reviewed, field-tested original research related to high performance building technologies and practices for operations, building, energy and asset management in the federal government and private sectors. The summary information will create an educational foundation to help building operators and users optimize facility efficiencies.

The General Services Administration’s hopes the project will provide education and increase adoption of proven high performance green building technologies and strategies and best practices. Target audiences include facility, energy and project managers, and procurement and budget personnel.

“We are honored to be selected by GSA to perform this important sustainable operations work. All of us in the green building world are searching for methods to assure that our green buildings continue to operate sustainably long after they are built,” said Brian Dunbar, executive director of the IBE.

Knowledge Network focuses on education

The Knowledge Network establishes a multi-channel education and communication platform about energy research. This platform will disseminate information about best practices, guidelines, standards, decision tools and educational content focused on sustainable and cost-effective facility to targeted audiences within GSA, and federal and private sectors.

The Institute for the Built Environment, a research center based in the College of Applied Human Sciences since 1994, has a mission to foster built and natural environment stewardship and sustainability through an interdisciplinary, research-based educational forums. IBE brings together faculty, students and off-campus professionals to collaborate on applied green building, sustainable development and organizational sustainability projects.

*This article was originally published in Today at Colorado State