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Accelerate Live! talk: Regenerative design — When sustainability is not enough

Accelerate Live! talk: Regenerative design — When sustainability is not enough

June 11, 2018


A fundamental shift is occurring from the old guard of sustainability to the new one of regenerative design. Whereas sustainable development attempts to meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations, regenerative development seeks to rejuvenate the environment and the people who live within its ecosystem. 

In this 15-minute talk at BD+C’s Accelerate Live! conference (May 10, 2018, Chicago), HMC’s Eric Carbonnier poses the question: What if buildings could actually rejuvenate ecosystems?

Carbonnier discusses how the goal of regenerative design is not simply to take less from nature, but to inspirit the environment around us. This starts by understanding our limitations and embracing the unknown. While the theory of regenerative design is—to some degree—may be unattainable, it is this "unknown" that inspires us to push the limits of what we know.


Eric Carbonnier, PhD, AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Vice President of Sustainability, Associate Principal
HMC Architects

Eric Carbonnier has 28 years of experience, and is an architect and vice president of sustainability, focused on energy conservation strategies that lead to zero-net energy architecture. He strives to develop the vision and integration of sustainable strategies into every project he takes on. This includes ground water recharge strategies, water conservation, thermal and electrical on-site renewable energy generation, downdraft cool towers, and local material reuse. Carbonnier has secured over $2 million in grants and certified the second-largest USGBC Campus in California, ranked 7th nationally, and 9th globally. He was a Graduate Teaching Fellow and Researcher at the University of Oregon's Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory, where he advanced high-performance windows using nano-fluid technology. Eric's sustainable design initiatives resonate throughout his career, and he has collaborated on numerous high-performance designs and award-winning projects. His dedication to sustainability, resilience, and energy independence resonates throughout his architectural practice and building science research. His approach brings the environment central to his regenerative development views and innovates solutions specific to every environment. Carbonnier's sustainable design initiatives resonate throughout his career, and has collaborated on numerous high-performance Pre-K–12 and community college projects designs. His career started at Montgomery Watson Harza (MWH) as an Environmental Engineer in 1989 focused on global water infrastructure projects. In 2000, Carbonnier joined HMC Architects' building partnerships with Pre-K–12 and community college clients throughout California.


Takeaways and recap from BD+C's 2018 Accelerate Live! innovation conference

Sustainability is dead: Regenerative architecture is the new green


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Accelerate Live!

Watch all 19 Accelerate Live! talks on demand

BD+C’s second annual Accelerate Live! AEC innovation conference (May 10, 2018, Chicago) featured talks on AI for construction scheduling, regenerative design, the micro-buildings movement, post-occupancy evaluation, predictive visual data analytics, digital fabrication, and more. Take in all 19 talks on demand.

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