It might be tough to swallow, but at this very moment, the buildings we are living in, working in and playing in are quietly wreaking havoc on our environment. In fact, buildings contribute to over 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions. And while green infrastructure is thankfully taking root across the globe, the industry professionals at this year’s Climate, Buildings and Behavior Symposium in Garrison, NY are shifting the focus of energy consumption in buildings to one root cause: human behavior. Attendees will learn how to design and implement effective green building programs aimed at curbing energy consumption among building occupants. Registration is now open to the public, and real estate developers, building managers, and community revitalization professionals are highly encouraged to attend this very important and forward-thinking conversation.
The three-day symposium runs from October 8-10 and is held annually at the Garrison Institute, a non-profit organization set in bucolic Garrison, NY, just an hour north of New York City. This year’s topic, The Well-Behaved Building: Developing Community, Well-Being and Resilience in Buildings, will explore how research drawn from the neuro, behavioral, and social sciences can be used to effectively design entire building programs that shift consumption behavior, while improving the health and well-being of building occupants. Presenters will include renowned experts in the architecture and human behavior fields, including John McIlwain, Director of the Climate, Mind and Behavior Program, Garrison Institute & Ronald Terwilliger Chair for Housing at the Urban Land Institute; Barbara Ciesla, Senior Vice President, Occupier Strategies & Solutions, Jones Lang LaSalle; John Petersen, Systems Ecologist & Director, Environmental Studies Program, Oberlin College; and Sharon Salzberg, Insight Meditation Teacher, and author of Real Happiness at Work.
As humans, we spend over 90% of our time indoors, with many of our habits focused on living comfortably, not sustainably. And while a growing portion of us are already living consciously and consuming less energy, we must change the minds and behavior of the masses in order for grand environmental change to take place. After all, a building doesn’t run itself.