Sustainability Podcast Part 1: Designing for the New Climate Reality

January 4, 2023  | Robert Nieminen | Interiors + Sources Magazine

In September 2022, we posted a blog about how healthcare design can impact climate change through the exploration of decarbonization in building construction and operations. Sustainability is woven into our DNA as interior designers, space planners, and move management specialists but this filters into all industries, not just healthcare. We strive to be leaders of sustainability in our field and continue to learn about how to elevate sustainability for our clients.  In this first of three-part podcast series on the topic of sustainability, Robert Nieminen and others assess where the A&D industry is in the fight against climate change and how we can accelerate progress toward carbon neutrality.

We are kicking off the new year with a three-part podcast series on sustainability and design, in which we explore a variety of topics ranging from how to design for the new climate reality we’re facing to the most current tools and resources that architects and designers can use to reduce the carbon footprints of their projects, and wrapping up by focusing on sustainability higher education and how a number of universities are making commitments to curbing the climate crisis on a global scale. In this episode, Chief Content Director Robert Nieminen sits down with Jay Valgora, principal and founder of STUDIO V, and Jonce Walker, global director of sustainability and wellness at HLW, for a lively conversation in which they shared their passion for and perspectives on how to design for the new climate reality.

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Meet Our Guests

Jay Valgora, principal and founder, STUDIO V 

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Jay Valgora, FAIA, AICP, WEDG, is founder and principal of STUDIO V, where his designs combine architecture, urban design, public spaces, and interiors. Jay leads the Studio’s initiatives to reinvent the 21st-century city, reconnecting innovative architecture and urbanism. His designs focus on the edges and gaps of cities—industrial and contaminated sites, former infrastructure, historic artifacts, and the potential of waterfronts to address climate change and reconnect communities.

Jay was born in Buffalo where the abandoned grain elevators and the industrial waterfront where his father worked inspired him to become an architect. He is a graduate of Harvard and Cornell Universities and a Fulbright Fellow. Jay was appointed to NYC’s Waterfront Management Advisory Board, advised on the NYC’s Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, headed the New York AIA Waterfront Initiative, and sits on the advisory board of the Urban Land Institute. He has lived in multiple cities and has never owned a car.

Jonce Walker, global director of sustainability and wellness, HLW

Jonce Walker, LEED AP, CSBA, Fitwel Ambassador, is the global director of sustainability and wellness at HLW where he oversees the coordination of a holistic, integrated design process –– from managing BEYOND, HLW’s in-house sustainability, resilience, and building performance consultancy, to reinforcing the firm’s pledge to the AIA 2030 Commitment, which advocates for carbon-neutral construction in the next 10 years. Utilizing nearly two decades of experience in both the public and private sectors, Jonce is responsible for weaving sustainability into each stage of design, working to transcend project goals to maximize value for clients, repair ecology, reduce carbon, and improve end-user health and wellness.

About the Author: Robert Nieminen is the Chief Content Director of Architectural Products, BUILDINGS and i+s, sister publications of Smart Buildings Technology. He is an award-winning writer with more than 20 years of experience reporting on the architecture and design industry.
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Written by Anne Holden