Introductions first

Our columnists at the Student Services Center

Our columnists at the Student Services Center

Photo by Evan Tuchinsky

This issue marks our inauguration as first-time columnists with Sustainable Space—the CN&R’s newest column. You might say that we’re pretty green at this. But with two of us writing, we hope to increase the odds of offering some useful and thought-provoking information on current and growing movements in sustainable design for homes and buildings. Our plan is to have great fun while using this space to share sensible and practical thoughts on how to make your space sustainable, green, energy-efficient or just plain smart. Most important, we have a desire to share insights that could help people understand how to tackle the growing concerns about our impact on the Earth’s climate, environment and our own health.

By the way
We are Lori Brown and Greg Kallio, professors at Chico State University. CN&R Editor Evan Tuchinsky introduced us in the last issue; if you missed that, Lori is department chair and a professor of construction management, and Greg is a professor of mechanical engineering. We have complementary backgrounds in green building and have decided to alternate our writings for the column—except for this introductory piece and perhaps a few others in the future. Lori has a background in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating systems and is a LEED AP trainer for construction and interior-design firms. Greg is into building energy simulation and teaches thermodynamics, heat transfer and pollution control. (Greg is the nerdier one, in case you haven’t figured that out.)

Walk this way
Our first column comes just in time for Chico State’s fourth annual This Way to Sustainability Conference, which is scheduled for Nov. 6-9, predominantly in the Bell Memorial Union. This conference is great because its sessions are diverse and the talks are not overly technical or arcane—there truly is something for everybody. Participants will find lectures that offer holistic interpretations of sustainability, as well as very practical how-to presentations.

Shameless plug
This year, the event has more green building lectures and panels than ever before. Most of them are on Saturday (Nov 8). Both of us are giving talks (Lori: “Green Building—the Basics,” Greg: “Sustainable Wall Systems for Residential Building”), but there is much more. Find the full conference program online by clicking on a link at

In the meantime, here are several presentations that caught our attention:

• “Extreme Energy Makeover,” Tom Barrett—a case study of implementing retrofit energy-saving techniques toward achieving a zero-energy home.

• “LEEDing the Way: Environmental Sustainability in Remodeling, New Construction, Integrated Building Design and the Value of Comprehensive Modeling,” panel discussion—how green building can be profitable for the construction industry and also affordable for businesses and homeowners.

• “State of the North American Solar PV Market,” Robert Friedman—current insights into the PV market for commercial and residential projects.

• “Renewable Energy Systems Applications in Residential Buildings,” Bill Shady—designing solar-assisted radiant floor heating systems.

• “An Exploration of Renewable Energy Sources,” Bill Knudsen—a beginner’s survey to biomass, solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, waves, tides, jet-stream and ocean-current energy resources.

We hope to see you at the conference! And don’t forget to look for us here (in GreenWays) each week.

Sustainable Spaces columnists Lori Brown and Greg Kallio are professors in the College of Engineering, Computer Science and Construction Management at Chico State University. E-mail them at