5 AIA24 Keynotes that will change the way you think about buildings | Corbis news

The AIA24 Conference brought together architects, designers, and industry leaders to explore the latest trends and challenges shaping the built environment. Here's a glimpse into some of the keynotes that sparked discussions:

AIA24 was an opportunity to continue training on the topics that are on the rise today.

Sustainable solutions:

- McDonald's global flagship net-zero restaurant: Presented by Ryan Giblin, AIA (Principal, Ross Barney Architects), Maximiliano Carmona, AIA (Senior Director, McDonald's Corporation), and Mohammad Abassi, Assoc. AIA (Senior Consultant, WSP USA), this presentation delved into the design and engineering strategies behind the world's first net-zero fast-food restaurant. We learned about biophilic design elements and renewable energy systems that aim to minimize the building's environmental impact.

- Risk & reward in the era of building performance standards: Anica Landreneau, Assoc. AIA (Sr. Principal, Global Director of Sustainable Design, HOK), Donovan Olliff, AIA (General Counsel, HOK), and Vanessa Hostick, AIA (Sustainable Design Leader, HOK) led this session focusing on the implications of rising building performance standards. They explored how contracts and project managers can adapt design tools to navigate new regulations and ensure buildings meet stringent sustainability goals.

Designing for equity and well-being:

- Outdoor & work-from-home spaces, tools for environmental justice in housing: Cyrus Dahmubed, Assoc. AIA (Director of Research, Utile, Inc.) and Rachelle Ain, AIA (Associate, Utile, Inc.) discussed the importance of incorporating well-designed work-from-home spaces and outdoor areas in housing projects, particularly affordable housing. They explored how these features can address inequalities and promote resident health and well-being.

- Cohousing communities, designing for high-functioning neighborhoods: Led by Charles Durrett, AIA Emeritus (Principal Architect, The Cohousing Company) and Nadthachai Kongkhajornkidsuk, Assoc. AIA (Architectural Designer, The Cohousing Company), this session explored the concept of cohousing. This unique residential model emphasizes social interaction and environmental sustainability. We learned about the participatory design process and the benefits associated with cohousing communities.

We didn't pass up the chance to get in touch with our colleagues.

Advocating for change: 

- Let's ban windowless rooms! A call to action: Juan Miró, FAIA (Principal, Miró Rivera Architects), delivered a passionate presentation that addressed the growing trend of windowless bedrooms in student housing. The speaker argued for the importance of natural light and ventilation in promoting mental and physical well-being, urging architects to advocate for minimum habitability standards in building codes.

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