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AM Breakout Sessions

AM Breakout Sessions

Click on each presenters name below to view their bio.

Hillberry A - Breakout Room

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Session Title: Is Choosing Green Costing You Green?

Presenter: Ann Dougherty PE, General Manager of Sustainability at Roppe

The end user, who invests a lot of money to fit out a facility, is looking at what services the facility itself will receive within its lifecycle. Facilities managers, designers, and product manufacturers need to be more up front about the actual environment in which the products will reside. Facilities managers should be honest and truthful about what’s going to happen to the product. Product manufacturers need to be truthful about the limitations of their products. Root cause of failure is not being honest about what’s going to happen to that product, or not being honest about the tolerances of the product. A 10 year lifecycle is generally the least that is expected by the end user, mostly because of the cost that’s involved in taking these facilities out of operation to replace materials. We discuss three case studies, including Upholstery & Finish Furniture, Chemicals & Flooring, and Case good Furniture Design/Assemblies and failures and successes associated with each study.


Session Title: Decrypting Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG)

Presenter: Shane Trexler, Principal at Sustainable Consulting Group, LLC

In the business world we are surrounded by ESG reporting requirements, expectations, and comparisons. This presentation aims to deconstruct ESG and unveil the root of its purpose as we reconstruct a quantifiable set of measures, based on real-world experience and the occasional case study, to share with ourselves, our colleagues, and our customers as we seek to demystify ESG and its grasp on the world of business.

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Session Title: Advancing Public Space Recycling Efforts Through Event Programming

Presenters: Jessica Loding, Director of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at Schupan and Lex Rutledge, Sustainability Program Coordinator at Schupan Sustainability

Detroit hosts over 275 events each calendar year, producing an estimated 120 tons of waste. Learn how recycling efforts at Detroit's largest events are working to increase recycling rates and reduce their environmental impact. Case studies will include Detroit Jazz Festival, Grand Prix, Detroit Marathon and Hart Plaza.

Hillberry B - Breakout Room


Session Title: Leveraging the inflation reduction act to promote climate resilience

Presenter: Joel Howrani Heeres, Director at Public Sector Consultants

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) invests over $60 billion in critical clean energy, climate and electrification measures and puts the U.S. on path to a 40 percent emissions reduction by 2030. The IRA contains numerous opportunities for municipalities to leverage these dollars to improve the quality of life for residents, reduce their utility costs, and modernize homes and businesses. However, the breadth and complexity of this sprawling measure has many people scratching their heads. The purpose of this session would be to demystify the IRA and help people understand the different pathways that can be pursued towards funding.

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Session Title: Neighborhood-scale sampling strategies and numerical models to understand subsurface environmental exposure pathways

Presenters: Brendan F. O'Leary, Ph.D., Center for Leadership in Environmental Awareness and Research at Wayne State University

Carol Miller, Professor and Co-Director, Center for Leadership in Environmental Awareness and Research (CLEAR) at Wayne State U.

Cities with an industrial history face many environmental concerns due to brownfields. One common type of pollution found in brownfields is volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which come from sources including petroleum products, paints, and cleaning agents. VOCs impact buildings through the vapor intrusion exposure route, and adaptive solutions are necessary to address the numerous buildings affected - Wayne County > 9,000 locations. To address this issue, the Center for Leadership in Environmental Awareness and Research is a new Superfund Research Program focusing on understanding and minimizing health outcomes linked to VOC exposure. Given the scale of brownfields, our team is exploring methods for understanding vapor intrusion exposure pathways within urban neighborhoods. This includes using geospatial models and IoT sensors coupled with field observations, such as vegetation and soil gas flux, to develop exposure assessment and prioritization mechanisms for VOC exposure. Through evaluating exposure pathways into buildings, we aim to create resilient buildings and healthy communities.

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Session Title: Sustainable by Nature

Presenters: Chris Bunch, Executive Director at Six Rivers Land Conservancy

The presentation will demonstrate quantitative benefits of land conservation to water quality and will highlight the practical approach Six Rivers has taken to ensuring a sustainable future for both our environment and communities. The presentation will also highlight the Southeast Michigan GREEN (Growing our Resilience, Equity and Economy with Nature) initiative that will create and manage green infrastructure projects and emphasizes the importance of resilience, equity, and quality of life improvements in Southeast Michigan communities. The presentation will provide an overview of the vital role of land conservation in sustaining the prosperity of the region; direct impacts of land conservation on water quality health, and the Southeast Michigan GREEN initiative as a platform for transformational improvements in creating resilient and sustainable communities.

Ballroom - Breakout Room

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Session Title: Reuse, Rebuild, Re*cycle*: Back Alley Bikes as a Community Bicycle Resource

Presenters: Justin Thompson and Tommie Dooley, co-managers, Back Alley Bikes/The Hub of Detroit

Biking is a mode of transportation with a very low barrier to entry. Bikes are cheap, they don't use fossil fuels, and they don't cost much to maintain. In many cases they are an ideal form of transportation in a city setting. But even the low costs of bicycle maintenance can be a barrier to access. Back Alley Bikes mitigates that barrier through education and redistribution programs in a community workspace where people can learn the skills they need to repair their own bicycles. This builds resilience in local transportation networks and circulates knowledge and resources in a spirit of mutual aid. Bicycles are also the most energy efficient transportation technology humans have devised. We salvage what can be reused and recycle what can't from bikes that would otherwise be thrown away. We're also an informational hub, connecting Detroiters to communication networks about bike transportation and recreation around the city, continuing a cycle of education that benefits us all.

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Session Title: "From Old to Gold: Transforming Underutilized Buildings into Thriving Academic Spaces"

Presenters: Chaderique Menard, LEED AP, Principal of Education at NORR

Ashley S. Flintoff, PMP, LEED AP Director of Planning and Space Management Facilities Planning and Management at Wayne State University

Wayne State University's 2020 master plan, known as the Wayne Framework, outlines four sustainability-focused goals: creating state-of-the-art eco-friendly learning centers, strengthening ties with the Detroit community, establishing a sustainable and responsible campus, and fostering collaboration in academia and research. The plan emphasizes adaptive reuse to transform underutilized buildings, achieving LEED Gold certifications for projects like the Advanced Technology Education Center and STEM Innovation Center. Wayne State University's commitment to sustainability extends to analyzing existing buildings for sustainable decision-making. The plan exemplifies a greener future, setting Wayne State as a model for sustainability and academic excellence.

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Session Title: Selden Courtyard: Reclaiming Detroit's Industrial Hardscape

Presenter: Keenan Gibbons, PLA, LEED GASmithGroup at University of Michigan

Selden Courtyard reclaims a 13,000 square foot industrial area in Detroit’s Midtown neighborhood. It serves as a quiet respite for surrounding residents, a destination for community events, and a hub for entrepreneurial conversation, all while sitting above a layer of stormwater storage. This presentation covers the process from design through implementation. In collaboration with a local artist and designer on the initial concept, the courtyard is envisioned as a rugged and adaptable public space. Dynamic seating can be rearranged along sliding tracks to suit the day’s needs. The tracks sit within a field of permeable pavement to slow the flow of stormwater to an over-capacity combined sewer system. The space is a framework where community life can play out, fostering conversational rooms and seating for events, films, and performances. The design respects the industrial history and fosters the next generation of innovation in industries such as micro-brewing, serving as a template for how public and private uses can co-exist. In a community where blight and neglect were the prevailing conditions, the courtyard is a welcome, cheerful, and safe place to come together.

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