Jul 17, 2019
In this episode, Charlie talks with Z about his very unique career through the green building industry after earning multiple degrees. Z Smith decided to get his Master’s degree in Architecture after he already had a Bachelor’s in Physics and PhD in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science. Yes, you read that right. His career also includes a variety of experiences with pioneering brands and countries including Xerox, RCA Labs and the Japanese government.
[1:40] Z Smith’s background
[2:34] The university job that introduced Z Smith to the sustainable industry
[5:57] The start of Z Smith’s journey into architecture
[7:49] What is happening behind the scenes on the research side
[10:50] What frustrated Z Smith the most in architecture
[14:46] Touchstone throughout career
[18:29] Tracking our work
[23:13] Applying rigor to a practice
[27:15] David Lake’s Spice Girl moment
[31:49] Rating systems have a place but we need to pick up the pace
“At the time I was going to college, it was the late 70’s. We were just getting through the energy crisis and it looked like if we didn’t solve problems with energy, we were going to end up in some war with the Middle East.”
“In fact, if you pick up your iPhone or smartphone, you are actually looking at a field of amorphous silicate.”
“Many of our clients would love to have an energy efficient building if not a net zero building but they just assume that it is not possible and not practical.”
“My main gift is to convince people that things are possible.”
Z Smith is the Director of Sustainability and Building Performance at Eskew+Dumez+Ripple and an associate professor of architecture at Tulane University, and a speaker on sustainability issues.
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