Workshops

Vita Nuova provides a series of special workshops that serve different needs in advancing toward a sustainable world. These workshops vary in size from a dozen to hundreds of people. Below are a few examples. Please contact us at info@vitanuova.net if you would like to consider bringing one of these workshops or a specific one you have in mind to your community.

The GIVE Workshop

The most effective point of introducing ‘green design’ into a building project process is AFTER a project has been defined (with a site, a program of requirements, a budget and very early design sketches) and BEFORE the design is finalized (in other words, the design is still open to radical rethinking of options to improve environmental quality and to reduce costs).

This opportunity forms the basis of the proposed GIVE Workshop. It brings a group of environmental experts and consultants together with a group of project teams representing site plans and buildings that represent real projects that are advanced up to the point of early schematic design. In the workshop, the experts work collaboratively alongside the project teams to find the best solutions to real issues and opportunities. The advice is ‘just in time’ in the sense that the recommendations can be implemented immediately into designs that are ‘on the boards’, and on track to be built in the immediate future.

The advice can be—in the words of one workshop participant—‘transformational’ because it can result in very significant cost reductions, while maintaining and exceeding project quality goals.

Goals of a GIVE WORKSHOP

  • Design recommendations to improve energy/environmental quality
  • Reduce costs of green design
  • Preliminary evaluation of energy and environmental impacts of project
  • Initial LEED checklist ratings (optional)
  • Initial energy modeling (optional – this assumes very careful preparation and work during the day, but it is possible)
  • Training in workshop process, design team collaboration and public presentation

Who Should Attend:

  • Brownfield Grant Recipients
  • Municipalities
  • Non-Profits
  • Developers, businesses and other entities and their project development teams

Workshop Duration Options:

In a typical GIVE Workshop, three to four projects can be presented, reviewed and worked on in a four to five hour period. If an entire day is available, four to six projects can be presented. There should be one expert for each group (the experts work in ‘round-robin’ fashion, consulting for short periods with each project design team.

The workshop project works best when:

  • The projects are real, with site, program and budgets already committed.
  • The designs are at an early phase, not too developed or advanced to permit easy rework and reconfiguration of plan, site, facades, and systems.
  • Each project team is represented by owner, user group, architect, and all significant engineering specialties, including construction management.
  • The expert consulting group represents architecture, lighting, engineering, landscaping, energy experts, and (if/as appropriate), consultants familiar with LEED, ASHRAE, EnergyStar, and similar energy/environment rating systems.

For more information, email us at info@vitanuova.net

Advanced Tools for In-Situ Green Remediation Workshop

The Advanced Tools for In-Situ Green Remediation Workshop is an 8 hour intensive, interactive workshop with key experts from the academic, research and commercial fields. Vita Nuova has coordinated the workshop in cooperation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the Long Island Groundwater Research Institute, and more.

This course is charting the sea change from compliance-based to performance-based approaches to in-situ green remediation. These approaches depend on a new set of advanced tools that provide definitive data in designing and monitoring progress. The workshop is formulated for environmental professionals with a broad range of skills, but focused on those who evaluate environmental data or design environmental remedial projects, where in-situ degradation is a significant component. The focus of the workshop is the proper selection and implementation of state-of-the-art tools and strategies for the assessment and documentation of in-situ degradation processes. In addition to providing an overview of the fundamentals of the in-situ degradation of fuel oxygenates and chlorinated solvents, the participant will gain an in-depth understanding of the theory and application of compound specific stable isotope analysis, biomarker analysis and the use of Bio-Trap samplers as an alternative to laboratory microcosms and pilot studies. The workshop presents cutting-edge approaches to understanding the application and optimization of state-of-the-art tools and methods that exist to document and quantify roles of in-situ degradation.

Recent Workshops have been held in:

  • Portland, Oregon (in conjunction with Oregon DEQ)
  • Albany, NY (in Conjunction with NYSDEC and LIGRI)
  • Stonybrook, NY (in conjunction with NYSDEC and LIGRI)

For more information, please visit: www.advancedtools.us

Sustainable Communities Workshop

As a part of its outreach, Vita Nuova conceived and helped coordinate the 1st Annual Northeast Sustainable Communities Workshop (NSCW), held in Newark, NJ in June 2009. The workshop looks deeply at the interconnections and confluences that make for creating sustainable communities through brownfields redevelopment. Brownfields are uniquely suited for sustainable redevelopment. The program for this workshop is one day of intensive, high energy exchanges between stakeholders sharing varied perspectives on the issues surrounding brownfields and sustainability. Stakeholder perspectives that include real estate finance, government at all levels, corporations, community representatives, NGOs, and consultants who provide a range of technical expertise participate in interactive sessions that focus on best practices and the challenges to their implementation. The focus is on problem-solving.

For information about bringing this groundbreaking workshop to your area, contact us at info@vitanuova.net

Superfund Redevelopment Initiative & Risk Management Workshops

Vita Nuova developed the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative (SRI) Workshop for USEPA in support of the SRI pilot grant program. The SRI Workshop was designed to help pilots implement the Superfund redevelopment process while addressing specific issues of concern to their individual projects. Over 125 attendees from 30 communities in 20 different states participated in the first six workshops. The workshop uses a combination of lectures and breakout sessions to provide pilot communities with the foundation and tools to address site-specific implementation issues.

Following on the SRI workshops, Vita Nuova developed the Risk Management Workshop for USEPA Region 1. The workshop was designed to address concerns regarding environmental, fi nancial and transactional risks associated with redevelopment projects. The fi rst session focused on two key topics - EPA Liability Management Tools, and Private Mechanisms for Reducing Risk. Following these lectures, pilot teams met in small groups to discuss their specific needs.

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