Cutting Carbs | 260 | Cutting Carbon Emissions, Sustainable Building and Design

I found myself at the Design Hardware on 3rd Street in Los Angeles for a conversation on building sustainability, design, and wellness. I don’t think it will surprise anyone to know that there are a growing and distinct link to be made between sustainable design and designing for wellness. The trouble with the conversations around sustainability is that it’s dry, some say dull and it can be. What is truly exciting about the subject though is what happens in the application of sustainable practices. There is, truly a revolution taking place in the design and architecture space. The focus has completely flipped on its head, in a good way. Where many would once talk about how a structure is to be used and lived in, now we talk about how to design and build to serve the people who use that structure. Design is experiential. The experience is what makes it work.

Tract Metro moderates this chat with Maria McCain from the Natural Resources Design Council, Ben Stapleton of the US Green Building Council and Real Estate pro, Erick Zumwalt. This conversation connects the dots between sourcing, sustainable design, property value and how these elements all work together.

Enjoy this conversation recorded live from Design Hardware moderated by designer and TV host, Tracy Metro.

Maria McCain | Natural Resource Defense Council

Maria McCain’s work encompasses the organization’s entire real estate portfolio. McCain analyzes NRDC’s extensive data on waste, water, energy, and travel to develop and implement strategies that minimize the organization’s carbon footprint. These strategies are also applied to internal green construction projects. Overall, McCain values a methodical and integrated approach to solving challenges. She received a master’s degree in environmental monitoring, modeling, and management from King’s College London and a bachelor’s degree in environmental and natural resource economics from West Virginia University. McCain is based in NRDC’s Santa Monica office.

Ben Stapleton | US Green Building Council

A native Angeleno, Stapleton is a recognized sustainability leader, who brings to this position extensive experience and connections across real estate, technology, and innovation. He led major operational growth, program development, and partnerships to triple revenue for the non-profit. Simultaneously, launched and managed the La Kretz Innovation Campus in Downtown Los Angeles, most recently serving as SVP, Operations & Finance for the LA Cleantech Incubator (LACI). The Campus has become an epicenter for sustainability in the region featuring events with
prominent local, national and international leaders, while being home to a community of cutting-edge businesses and nonprofits.


Eric Zumwalt

That’s a wrap on this episode of Convo By Design recorded live from Design Hardware featuring Eric Zumwalt, Ben Stapleton, Maria McCain and of course Tracy Metro. Thank you Design Hardware for hosting and putting on such a great event. Thank you, Walker Zanger, for your generous support and of course, thank you for listening. If you haven’t already, subscribe to the show everywhere you find your favorite podcasts. Until next week, Keep creating.