Thought Leadership: Vulnerability: What it is and why architects should care

Specialized architects are advocating for urgent attention to the topic of vulnerability, as it relates to climate change and building design. Architectural Nexus Regenerative Design Specialist, Megan Recher, is a contributor for the recent AIA article, Vulnerability: What it is and why architects should care.

As climate change increases the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, the assessment of vulnerability is as critical to building design as knowing the heating, cooling, or plumbing needs of a building.

Architects are facing a new reality, as seen in 2021; with Chicago roofs collapsing under record snowfall and the tragic winter power outages in Texas – to deadly heat in the Pacific Northwest and flooding in New York City. Rethinking methodology and understanding social factors are important next steps Architects must take, as outlined in the highly informative article.

“It can be hard or even overwhelming for our clients to know all the vulnerabilities in their project regions because they’re running businesses – which are often not related to climate science. It is our job to help educate our clients on best practices for an ever changing future. What we’ve found is that if we take this knowledge to our clients in a way that is relevant to their practice, whatever it is, they are eager to design the best places they can.” – Megan Recher, AIA

 Click here to read the full AIA article, including informative links for information about hazards, vulnerability, and risk and how to conduct a vulnerability assessment for new or existing buildings.

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Thought Leadership: Celebrating Sacramento’s Living Certified Projects: Now & In the Future

AIA Central Valley is hosting its 10th year of Experience Architecture. This annual public-outreach event is dedicated to facilitating greater transparency with the public in how architects create our built environment, how architecture impacts our daily lives and to highlight the region’s unique architectural identity.

This year, Arch Nexus and the City of Sacramento are collaborating for the Experience Architecture event: Celebrating Sacramento’s Living Certified Projects: Now & In the Future.

Did you know that Sacramento’s Arch Nexus office building is both the first Living Certified re-use project in the world, and the first Living Certified project in California? Attend this panel discussion to learn more about incredible groundbreaking projects in Sacramento and the aspirational Living Building Challenge, a program that sets bold, yet achievable, goals that provide impactful and much-needed outcomes for our environment and the climate.

Panelists from Arch Nexus include Patty Karapinar, AIA LEED-AP BD+C, WELL-AP and Brian Cassil LEED-AP BD+C. This free, virtual learning experience will be held October 7, from 12:00 to 1:30 PM Pacific time. Click here to register. To view all of the Experience Architecture events, visit www.aiacv.org/exparch.

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Thought Leadership: Bring Post-Sustainability: The Regenerative Workplace to SXSW Edu 2022

Arch Nexus is vying for a place in the SXSW Edu 2022 lineup, to share inside information on regenerative design principals, workplace applications and practical solutions for climate change. These ideas have been stress-tested in a post-pandemic hybrid office, located in a vulnerable climate. This presentation will take the form of a case study of that regenerated office environment.

PanelPicker voting is now live! This gives the online community an opportunity to vote (and comment) on the ideas they believe are the most creative, innovative, and relevant for the 2022 event. Promote regenerative design by upvoting POST-SUSTAINABILITY: THE REGENERATIVE WORKPLACE to be a session at SXSW 2022.

Voting closes August 26th and selections will be announced mid October.

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Thought Leadership: Arch Nexus Presents to Living Future Collaborative South Africa

The concept of owning and operating a living building is going global. Inspired by Arch Nexus SAC, the Living Future Collaborative of South Africa recently hosted an online presentation that was well attended by design professionals, builders and developers from six different African Countries.

Representatives from Architectural Nexus shared regenerative design insights from California’s first Living Building, plus insights on their approach to another project underway that is pursuing a Living Building Certification. Resilient design expert Megan Recher, and Arch Nexus SAC Building Manager Erica McBride provided a filmed tour of the Sacramento building, followed by a Q & A session.

The market for regenerative design is growing in Africa and Arch Nexus is pleased to play a part. Click HERE to see the in-depth video tour of Arch Nexus SAC that was shared in the presentation.

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Thought Leadership: Healthcare Design Conference: The Many Roads to Resilience

The upcoming Healthcare Design Conference features breakout session, The Many Roads to Resilient Design. This November 9th session draws on knowledge and experience from industry leaders including Arch Nexus’ Regenerative Design Specialist, Megan Recher.

Regarding the conference Recher says “The healthcare design industry is always evolving and adapting to the ever-changing times. This conference is highlighting some key issues of healthcare design such as communications, behavioral and mental health, population health and resilience.”

Earn continuing education credit as you learn; how does today’s design anticipate the disaster-scale climate events and diseases of tomorrow?

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Thought Leadership: Arch Nexus Participating in AIA Utah 2020

The 2020 AIA Utah Conference will be held in digital format, hosted with Zoom, and provided for free to all AIA Utah members and Utah members of affiliated student and professional groups. Two architects from Arch Nexus will be presenting on September 15th during the 12:00-1:30 PM Connections Lunch and Link.

Meagan Recher, Regenerative Design Specialist at Arch Nexus will present on Resilient Design, the first steps to understanding what resilience is and how to apply our knowledge to projects.

Michelle Howard, Arch Nexus Associate and Associate instructor at the University of Utah will share insights about the psychology of color in architectural design and visual communication.

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Thought Leadership: Educational Opportunities for Architecture and Sustainable Design

Are you interested in the field of architecture, but never pursued the idea? Do you know someone with a flair for design? Is a young person in your life trying to decide on a field of study? A pandemic proves the perfect opportunity to stay home and learn. Because Arch Nexus knows that a sustainable future will be designed by current and future architects, we’re sharing opportunities to broaden your horizons and shape future designers.

edX is a massive open online course provider created by Harvard and MIT. With more than fifty courses in Architecture, edX is a great fit or both industry professionals looking to sharpen their knowledge in specific areas and for those just dipping their toes in the field. The most popular course available through edX is The Architectural Imagination. Study some of history’s most important buildings to learn the fundamental principles of architecture.

Another massive open online course provider is Coursera, founded by two professors at Stanford University in 2012. The platform has grown to collaborate with over 200 leading businesses and universities. A simple search of “Architecture” results in over 644 learning opportunities on the topic. The Age of Sustainable Development from Columbia University is a recommended course.

LinkedIn Learning via Lynda also offers free learning tools so a beginner can grasp the techniques used to design sustainable sites and buildings such as drafting, rendering, and modeling. This platform is also excellent for an industry professional looking to learn new software and for those interested in Interior Design.

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Thought Leadership: Social Equity

At Arch Nexus we are committed to being the change we want to see in the world. Since 2016 we have adopted the JUST label, a third party transparency platform that discloses social justice and equality metrics. The mission of JUST has inspired Arch Nexus to maintain a number of policies and programs that foster ethnic, racial, and gender diversity, as well as equitable wages and benefits, paid family leave, and a philanthropy program that gives employees paid volunteer time.

We recognize that we have a responsibility to increase our efforts to support those who are suffering as a result of social injustices. To promote further diversity and equality, Arch Nexus is creating additional training, hosting discussion forums, and taking architectural education to under-served demographics and communities. To manage these efforts, we have created a new management role: Director of Social Equity.

Arch Nexus is committed to making meaningful experiences for all people; people in our business, people in our profession, and people in the communities we serve.

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Thought Leadership: Design Build Bluff

In the four corners region, a panorama of iconic mountain silhouettes set the backdrop of Bluff, Utah. The native community has been the location of an academic design build program through The University of Utah, where grad students venture out on a semester-long cultural exchange to design and build new construction. Since the programs onset, dozens of employees from Arch Nexus have participated in Design Build Bluff.

PBS Utah recently aired a documentary on the 2019 experience which included two students from Arch Nexus; Rachel Sittler and Aimee Kyed. Watch their experience here.


Since the programs onset, dozens from Arch Nexus have participated in Design Build Bluff. Nexus Architect, Stephanie Kooyman was among the first group to participate in the program. She says of the experience: It was the first time I had ever designed something and then built it. It changed how I looked at design, construction and even how I viewed the other students at school. We became a group working together and solving problems as a team. The collaboration with everyone in the studio and seeing something we all built with our hands were the best parts.


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Thought Leadership: Zhe Ying Ng is Living Future Accredited

Congratulations to Arch Nexus’ Zhe Ying Ng, on becoming Living Future Accredited. Living Future Accreditation is designed to acknowledge the most advanced and progressive thinking professionals that are working towards a living future. Regarding this achievement, Zhe says:

“What does good look like? Adopting from the metaphor of a flower, LBC creates a sustainable design framework that visualizes our ideal built environment. The three pillars of sustainability, in fact, are interdependent, overlapping and can be mutually reinforcing; our goal is to think about the system as a whole, balancing the needs and the environment-designing something that is functional, aesthetically pleasing, socially conscious and environmentally responsible. As for a designer, lessons and experience can be valuable. LBC creates a great tool and guidance for each project dealing with different challenges; helping to maximize opportunities in each limitation.”

To learn more about becoming Living Future accredited, visit the Living Future accreditation webpage and check out this postcard from the ILFI.

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