Over the last several years, three members of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s diverse faculty have been working together to conduct cutting-edge research on developing and maintaining green infrastructure.
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, and its charitable arm, the Green Infrastructure Foundation have named Southern Illinois University Edwardsville as a Living Architecture Regional Center of Excellence. SIUE is one of four higher education institutions in the nation to receive the honorable designation.
At the 16th Annual CitiesAlive Conference, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities and the Green Infrastructure Foundation announced the winners of a competition to establish four Regional Centers of Living Architecture Excellence.
“The Regional Centers will allow for the integration of practical, industry driven skills and knowledge with academic excellence in research, innovation and pedagogy,” said David Yocca, Chair, Green Infrastructure Foundation.
“We’re very excited about the establishment of Regional Centers of Living Architecture! Living architecture, is – literally, “by nature,” – truly regional work,” said Matt Barmore, Chair, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. “The work at the Centers will support the development of living architecture research, professional training, and policy development at a regional, market-specific level; will foster interaction and dialogue between the academy, industry, and policy in their regions; and will lead us to better understand and address the regional environmental, market place, regulatory, and climatological realities.”
“The Centers will build upon much of the work in living architecture already underway at these universities and set the stage for new developments in research and innovation, while helping students prepare to enter this growing industry,” said Dr. Reid Coffman, Chair, GRHC Research Committee.
The Centers will be multidisciplinary in their nature. The academic partners and the lead academics for each Center are as follows:
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Dr. Bill Retzlaff, Associate Dean, CAS, Distinguished Research Professor, Biological Sciences
Stevens Institute of Technology, Dr, Elizabeth Fassman-Beck, Associate Professor, Department of Civil, Environmental and Ocean Engineering
Colorado State University, Dr. Jennifer Bousselot, Special Assistant Professor, Department of Horticultural and Landscape Architecture
University of Colorado Denver, Leila Tolderlund, Assistant Professor College of Architecture and Planning
Kent State University, Dr. Reid Coffman, Associate Professor, College of Architecture and Environmental Design.
University of Cincinnati, Professor Virginia Russell, Director, Horticulture/Landscape Architecture/Professor Landscape Architecture, and Dr. Ishi Buffam, Department of Biological Sciences
Heidelberg University, Mark E. Mitchell, Biological and Environmental Sciences
“We are very pleased with the high level of cooperation between industry and academia and look forward to working with our partners to advance the green roof and wall industry and contribute to the resiliency of our buildings and communities,” said Steven W. Peck, GRP, Honorary ASLA, Founder and Chair, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, Co-Founder, World Green Infrastructure Network.
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) is a member supported industry association with a mission to develop the green roof and wall industry throughout North America. GRHC provides online and in-person training programs, manages the Green Roof Professional accreditation, publishes the Living Architecture Monitor (livingarchitecturemonitor.com) organizes events to support market development and advocates for supportive policy. greenroofs.org
The Green Infrastructure Foundation is a charity that partners with communities to shape healthy, resilient, and sustainable places using living green infrastructure. It runs community driven design charrettes and provides training on green infrastructure and economic valuation. greeninfrastructurefoundation.org
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Bill Retzlaff, PhD, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, has joined a prestigious group of tenured faculty members, earning the University’s highest academic rank of Distinguished Research Professor.