Colloquium: “Greening of the Buildings” – Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Robert Knapp Jr.

Come to this week’s colloquium to hear Robert Knapp Jr. give his talk, “Greening of the Buildings,” on Wednesday at 4 p.m. in One West.

The building sector is a key locus for promoting sustainability since it accounts for more than 40% of energy use in the US and a similar proportion in greenhouse gas emissions. There is a strong push being made for “net-zero” target – buildings producing all or more energy than they use each year. 2013 saw the opening of Seattle’s Bullitt Center, a six-story net-zero office building in the cloudiest U.S. city. The colloquium will outline technical and organizational moves needed for progress, address technical and social prospects and limits for sustainable energy as it pertains to buildings, and provide specific inventions that would make a difference.

Robert H. Knapp Jr. joined the faculty of The Evergreen State College in 1972, the second year of full operation for this innovative institution. His training in physics at Harvard and Oxford has been the grounding for two kinds of teaching: undergraduate physics and ecological design. He has been a recipient of the college’s Burlington Northern Award for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching and has twice served as academic dean. His current scholarly interests center on “green” architecture, especially on the interplay of technical, organizational and emotional forces in mainstream institutional buildings. In such buildings, needs for energy efficiency, resource effectiveness, regulatory fairness, user expectations, and esthetics may collide, but can also generate resolutions of unexpected integrity; Knapp’s research aims to understand the circumstances of such success stories.

Pushpa Bhat is a senior scientist in the Particle Physics Division and the Directorate and a member of the Fermilab Colloquium Committee, which organizes the Colloquium series.