12 episodes

Buildings and Beyond is the podcast that explores how we can create a more sustainable built environment by focusing on efficiency, accessibility, and health.

Buildings and Beyond – Steven Winter Associates, Inc‪.‬ Steven Winter Associates

    • Science
    • 4.9 • 36 Ratings

Buildings and Beyond is the podcast that explores how we can create a more sustainable built environment by focusing on efficiency, accessibility, and health.

    Electrification Nation with Laura Tajima

    Electrification Nation with Laura Tajima

    Cities across North America are paving the way for wide-spread building electrification. Although there are many benefits associated with going all-electric, there are also many barriers that stand in the way.

    Building Electrification Institute acts as resource for cities in their equitable transition to building electrification through education, training, and program support. They work with 11 different cities, providing them with the necessary “tools in their toolbox” to ensure their buildings are as energy efficient, healthy, equitable, and cost effective as they need to be.

    In this episode, our host Robb and guest Laura talk about electrification strategies, costs, and the importance of policy as it relates to building electrification and climate goals in cities.

    Episode Guest: Laura Tajima


    Laura Tajima works across many of Building Electrification Institute’s cities overseeing and implementing projects to advance equitable building electrification. Laura was previously with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, where she worked on policies and programs to decarbonize buildings and often led the office’s technical analysis and research. Laura has a Master of Science in Sustainability Management from Columbia University.





    Episode Information & Resources

    * Pragmatists for Clean Air– https://pragmatistsforcleanair.org/

    * An open source project for all-electric buildings in Utah supporting building professionals with plans and data on all-electric construction.

    * The Greenlining Institute– https://greenlining.org/

    * An organization focused on racial and economic justice, including working on the challenges and opportunities that building electrification presents for low-income communities.

    * Emerald Cities Collaborative– https://emeraldcities.org/

    * National non-profit working to create high-road local economies, including developing programs and initiatives around building electrification, training, and transitioning the workforce.

    * Inclusive Economics– a href="https://nam12.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Finclusiveecon.com%2F&data=04%7C01%7Craldrich%40swinter.com%7Cad4ec4166d50443d118608d8d81114cf%7Cf30ba848cc6a4...

    • 28 min
    It's time to 86 Fossil Fuels in Commercial Kitchens with Chris Galarza

    It's time to 86 Fossil Fuels in Commercial Kitchens with Chris Galarza

    In this episode, Kelly and Chris talk through some electric-kitchen-myth-busting, and ultimately answer the question “is moving away from gas and fire in the kitchen really that radical an idea or does it just make perfect sense?”

    • 56 min
    Farm-to-Shelter Building with Andrew Linn

    Farm-to-Shelter Building with Andrew Linn

    We’ve all heard of “farm-to-table” in the context of our food, but what about “farm-to-shelter” in the context of our homes? As we try to become more conscious about the food we eat and the clothes we wear, we must also consider the materials we use when constructing our homes. While many acknowledge the need for better materials in buildings, very few modern day designers have successfully completed a project that consists of healthy and sustainable materials from top to bottom.

    Andrew Linn and his partner Jack Becker of bld.us are doing just that. They started by building their own sustainable (and compostable) structure – the Grass House – located in Washington, DC. This project holds a special place in our hearts, because we worked as the sustainability consultants for the house. In this episode, Robb talks with Andrew about the materials he employs in his projects, and their positive sustainability and health impacts.

    Episode Guest: Andrew Linn, bld.us

    Andrew Linn founded bld.us with Jack Becker in Washington, DC in 2013. bld.us integrates traditional construction methods with new technologies and organic materials ideally suited to the Mid-Atlantic region to create an architecture of accommodation. Based in Historic Anacostia, bld.us seeks opportunities in economies–of scale, of scope, of density, of means, and of materials. Andrew has 16 years of experience in the Architecture industry, and has been a lecturer at University of Maryland’s School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation since 2017.



    Episode Information & Resources

    * Grass House Case Study

    * bld.us website

    * Tour the Grass House

    * Building materials mentioned throughout episode:

    * BamCore

    * ThermaCork

    * BarkHouse

    * a href="https://nam12.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fhavelockwool.com%2F&data=04%7C01%7Cjalvarez%40swinter.com%7Cde7912237205493e6e7508d8ae7562fb%7Cf30ba848cc6a4255aa81aa813d0947bf%7C0%7C0%7C637451166502263879%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJ...

    • 36 min
    Designing for Inclusion with Victoria Lanteigne

    Designing for Inclusion with Victoria Lanteigne

    Disability inclusion in the built environment is extremely important. But, it shouldn’t end there. How do we ensure that we are being truly inclusive of all types of people, taking into account a wider diversity of backgrounds, orientations, and abilities? The answer is Universal Design.

    On this episode of Building’s + Beyond, Robb chats with former SWA employee and Universal Design expert, Victoria Lanteigne. Victoria has devoted her career to the advancement of Universal Design, educating herself and others on the concept and its limitless applications. In her interview, she discusses trends, tactics, and examples from the field, and challenges practitioners to re-think their definition of the word, design.

    Episode Guest: Victoria Lanteigne, MPP, WELL AP


    Victoria Lanteigne is a Universal Design subject matter expert with over 15 years of experience leading inclusive design initiatives. She is passionate about elevating the connection between Universal Design and high-performance building initiatives, including sustainability and health, and has spoken on this topic at Greenbuild, the AIA National Convention, and Design DC, among others. Victoria is a WELL AP and WELL Faculty member and has served as a WELL Community Concept Advisor since 2017. She has a BA from Michigan State University, a Master of Public Policy from the George Washington University, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Design from North Carolina State University.




    Episode Information & Resources

    Articles written by Victoria on Universal and Inclusive Design:

    * The Post-Pandemic Workplace Could Be the Most Inclusive Workplace We’ve Ever Designed – FOX Architects

    * Universal Design: A tool for creating equitable spaces after COVID-19 | Articles | WELL International WELL Building Institute

    Previous Podcast Episodes on Universal Design:

    * Universal Design with Mary Jo Peterson

    * Universal Design and Accessibility in Mexico City with Luis Quintana


    * Universal Design Principles Published in New WELL Building Standard (WELL v2)

    * a href="http://www.buffalo.

    • 39 min
    Solar Panels or Asthma? Equity and the Built Environment with Jeremy Hays

    Solar Panels or Asthma? Equity and the Built Environment with Jeremy Hays

    Social equity is key to the work that we do in the built environment. Far too often, marginalized communities receive more of the burdens and less of the benefits of 21st century living – especially when it comes to housing. As an industry, it is our responsibility to address these disparities and come up with solutions that are inclusive of all people. But first, we wanted to grow our own understanding of the issues and hear what others are doing to prioritize social equity in the built environment.

    Our guest for this month’s episode of Buildings + Beyond is Jeremy Hays. Jeremy has a wealth of knowledge, experience, and perspective that stems from a combination of social and environmental justice. We learn about how cities are incorporating equity into their sustainability plans, why diversity of perspectives can create better solutions, and how actively thinking about equity can help the transition to a green economy.

    Episode Guest: Jeremy Hays

    Jeremy is a Principal at Upright Consulting Services, Strategic Partner at Kapwa Consulting, and the former Executive Director of Green For All, a national nonprofit he helped found in 2008. His consulting practice draws on years of experience working with diverse stakeholders to design and implement equitable models of economic and workforce development in the environmental sector.  In his nonprofit career, Jeremy worked with scores of cities and communities across the country to pioneer inclusive approaches to creating shared prosperity and healthy communities.

    Jeremy is passionate about translating commitments to racial equity and sustainability into measurable outcomes and increased capacity for change agents in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.



    Episode Information & Resources

    * Uplift CA

    * Portland Clean Energy Fund

    * Denver’s Climate Action Stakeholder Process

    * a href="https://nam12.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https:%2F%2Fwww.usdn.org%2Fequity-foundations-training.html%23:~:text%3DAn%2520independent%2520study%2520professional%2520development%2Cis%2520available%2520to%2520members%2520here.&data=04%7C01%7Cjalvarez%40swinter.com%7Cba492443e9184128aaa508d8756785a4%7Cf30ba848cc6a4255aa81aa813d0947bf%7C0%7C0%7C637388434821457040%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVC...

    • 1 hr 1 min
    'Back to the Basics' of Affordable Housing with Les Bluestone

    'Back to the Basics' of Affordable Housing with Les Bluestone

    In a city as crowded and expensive as New York City, there is a growing need for access to safe and affordable housing. With this demand comes great innovation, as well as roadblocks and challenges between construction, financing, and policy.

    In this month’s Buildings + Beyond episode, Robb sits down with Les Bluestone, co-founder of Blue Sea Development. Les has been leading the way in affordable, green building in New York City since the 80’s. He gives us a brief history lesson on affordable housing in NYC, and provides us with his outlook of what development and construction will look like in 5 years and beyond.

    Episode Guest: Les Bluestone, Co-Founder, Blue Sea Development


    Les Bluestone has been developing, building, and managing affordable housing for 40 years.  His firm, Blue Sea Development, developed and built NYC’s first affordable Energy Star certified home, it’s first three affordable LEED Platinum multifamily buildings, and the country’s first building certified under the Partnership for a Healthier America’s Active Design Verified program. As former Board Chair of Habitat for Humanity NYC, Les was appointed to and presently serves on the NYC Workforce Development Board, is a founding board member of the Center for Active Design, and a member of NYSERDA’s Green Jobs/Green NY Advisory Board.  His passion and focus is on improving people’s lives through housing and on making sustainable, healthy lives possible for people who need it most, but can afford it least.



    Episode Information & Resources

    * Arbor House Case Study – SWA + Blue Sea Development project discussed in the episode

    We Want to Hear From You!

    Send your feedback and questions to podcast@swinter.com

    About Buildings and Beyond

    Buildings and Beyond is a production of Steven Winter Associates. We provide energy, green building, and accessibility consulting services to improve the built environment. For more information, visit www.swinter.com.


    Robb Aldrich | Kelly Westby

    Production Team

    Heather Breslin | Alex Mirabile | Dylan Martello | Jayd Alvarez

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
36 Ratings

36 Ratings

Chef_Galarza ,

Induction cooking!

Love the way this podcast and its host frames the conversations around sustainability and the episode on induction was super informative!

alexflavia ,

Farm to shelter

Loved it. Very interesting!

Jayd _A. ,

Podcast for building nerds

Such an informative podcast. The hosts ask great questions and the guests are always very knowledgeable! Perfect for you If you are interested in learning about sustainability, energy efficiency and accessibility in the built environment

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