• Featured,  Form,  Print Edition

    Energy in scale

    In the wake of uncertainty across social, economic, and environmental systems, and as many stand on the cusp of cautious optimism for the future, the idea of resiliency has emerged as a vital, multifaceted concept for individuals and industries. Resilience is about the capacity and tenacity of the human spirit and industrial endurance to not only survive, but thrive in the face of external forces and disruptive stressors. It is a concept and often comprehensive strategy with a diverse interpretation as it is applied to operations, communities, coastal environments, and the personal experience. When Ghafari Associates LLC, an architecture and planning firm headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, was tapped in late…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Energy strategies

    At its 7th Annual Michigan Energy Summit, the Michigan Battle of the Buildings program announced 2020’s award winning sustainable organizations and businesses. The awards and recognition program highlights energy-use reduction and efficient practices across Michigan’s commercial, industrial, and multi-family buildings each year. Since the start of pandemic, especially, commercial building owners and managers have needed to adapt with significant changes in energy, water, health, and safety measures and many have risen to the occasion. The 2020 awardees represent six of these organizations, including the TCF Center in Detroit, the University of Michigan’s Office of Campus Sustainability in Ann Arbor; Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Hastings; Fifth Third Bank in Kentwood; Spectrum…

  • Creative Endeavors

    Purposeful rebuild

    Though the idea of sustainability is often associated with environmental impact, an organization in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood is adding social and economic sustainability to the circuit. Rebuilding Exchange is a nonprofit, social enterprise that strives to create value in its surrounding communities by repurposing discarded building materials—from architectural salvage down to plumbing fixtures—and responsibly developing Chicago’s underserved communities through education and job training opportunities. Rebuilding Exchange was founded in 2009 by Elise Zelechowski, current chairperson at Rebuilding Exchange and director of social impact at ThoughtWorks, in collaboration with the Delta Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to solving complex environmental issues in the region. What began as a small organization with the…

  • Creative Endeavors,  Featured

    Solutions in upcycle

    For six years, the annual Wege Prize competition has explored and developed one specific design concept: to redesign the way economies work. Each year, the Wege Prize holds an international design competition featuring collegiate teams from around the world, of which, each aim to create ways of converting linear economic models into circular, regenerative ones. Teams create different approaches to developing these solutions, often in the form of products, business models, or services that are organically restorative by design. The Wege Prize is organized by the Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University’s, or KCAD, Wege Center for Sustainable Design, with the support of The Wege Foundation.…