Breakout Session 1

10 - 10:50 a.m.

Project-Based Environmental Engineering — Half Project

Elida de Obaldia

We have successfully incorporated an Environmental Engineering module in the Introduction to Engineering curriculum (ENGR 1201) called Half Project in the last three years, originally at Eastfield and recently at Richland College. In this module, students design a house in the Metroplex area that cuts in half the energy and the water consumption. Furthermore, 30 percent of the energy needs to be self-produced. Students research alternative clean energy as well as water conservation techniques. They design and build a scale model of the house, taking into account position, passive heating and cooling techniques and solar panel installation as well as appliances. In this workshop we propose to demonstrate the implementation of such a module, including solar panel energy calculations and water conservation techniques as well as novel ideas on conservation provided by students. 

Solar in Your Community

Mohammed Abdalla; Lucas Martin

Members of the Good Faith team will give an educational presentation on the basics of solar energy, home efficiency techniques, and "Smart Home" products. This presentation will include the importance of conservation, how renewable energy can transform neighborhoods, and paths toward sustainable careers. Our team will highlight stories and the impact of our "Solarize South Dallas" campaign, which is part of the Department of Energy's Solar in Your Community Challenge.

After working in the oil and gas industry, Mohammed Abdalla started the Dallas-based solar company Good Faith Energy on the premise of people over profit. He began working with Lucas Martin and other team members on building a brand around human-centered design and sustainable action in the 21st Century.
 Sustainability at Home

The 4-Foot Perspective: A Case Study Engaging Young Students in Walkability, Mapmaking and Grass Roots Social Action

Suzanne Massey

Over a number of months, three community-focused nonprofit entities (Kids-U, Injury Prevention Center of Dallas and Southern Methodist University) joined in pursuit of helping elementary students realize their ability to influence public policy and improve their community. Students participated in a PhotoVoice and mapping effort to understand and examine their neighborhood. Further, students developed skills to express and address concerns about their neighborhood. This case study will showcase student effort and engagement as well as struggles. The reality is that impacting a community is challenging, but this presentation will provide examples of success and ideas for engaging with young people who are most affected by their surroundings.
 Environmental Justice

Whether you view the Paris Climate Accord to cut greenhouse gas emissions as long overdue, irresponsible or expensive – the truth is we already have the cost-effective knowledge, technology and methodology to exceed the performance goals it projected. Much fanfare was given to transforming global economies away from coal and other fossil fuels and into solar and wind power. While this is a wonderful long-term goal, with current technology and science it is near impossible as far as we can see. However, energy neutrality is not only achievable, but also cost-effective. We already have the technological means and knowledge to drastically reduce or eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels. GGO Architects has been employing creative planning and innovative technologies to create net-zero residences and near-net-zero commercial work. Often, it is assumed that energy-efficient buildings are unattractive – this couldn't be farther from the truth. Beauty is an essential component of sustainability. A breathtaking, energy-efficient future, beyond the limited thinking behind the Paris Climate Accord, is ours – if we have the will to effect it!

Gary Gene Olp directs the highly acclaimed GGO Architects, a boutique green architectural practice in Dallas dedicated to excellence in design and sensitivity to place and the environment. GGO Architects is a general practice established in 1987 to effect a fundamental change in the application of the craft of architecture based on an understanding of environmental stewardship. Gary’s efforts reflect an enterprising approach to energy efficiency, passive solar techniques, natural day lighting, enhanced fresh air systems with an emphasis on reducing construction waste and the use of natural, non-toxic building materials. His firm has secured the USGBC LEED Platinum certification for the Plano Environmental Education Center, LEED Silver LEED certification for the McCommas Bluff Eco-Training Center, Gold level certification for the city of Dallas Northwest Service Center, Silver for the city of Dallas Hampton-Illinois Library and many more. Two of his residential buildings have also received significant achievement awards. Gary's own home was awarded IBO's EVHA Silver Award, Custom Category for Hot Humid Climate in 2005. He has served as a board member on various cultural, educational and civic boards, committees and task forces, including the nonprofit Sustainable Dallas organization. Gary is actively involved with the Boy Scouts of America and is one of the originators and co-chairs of the Committee on the Environment, Dallas Chapter AIA. He is immediate past chairman for the board of the North Texas Chapter of the USGBC. Gary was elected to the American Institute of Architects, Prestigious College of Fellows, in 2014.