Design Excellence: Integration and Community

March 3, 2020
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Credit: 1.5 HSW
325 N. Saint Paul St.
Suite 150
Dallas, TX 75201

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Design Excellence Series Sponsor

Design Excellence Session Sponsor

Design Excellence Happy Hour

AIA empowers architects to design a world that allows people, communities, and our planet to thrive.  Its members work to advance our nation’s quality of life and protect the public’s health, safety and welfare.  While AIA has a long history promoting sustainability in architecture, in 2019, AIA took several actions to inspire sustainable, resilient, and inclusive design in all projects.  At the AIA Conference 2019, Betsy del Monte, FAIA, presented Resolution 19-11: Resolution for Urgent and Sustained Climate Action, which garnered a favorable vote of 93% of the constituents present and which was ratified by the AIA Board of Directors.  To support this resolution, AIA is developing the Framework for Design Excellence, made up of 10 dimensions, formerly known as the COTE Top Ten.  It organizes our thinking, facilitates conversations with our clients and the communities we serve, and sets meaningful goals and targets for climate action.

These sessions will be led by designers for designers.  Each session will start with networking over drinks and snacks, followed by a short presentation and case study to facilitate the ultimate goal of a conversation about how to explore these topics with clients.

Come be part of the conversation and be better prepared to take part in the solution.


What is the big idea behind this project—and how did the approach toward sustainability inform the design concept? Specifically explain how the design is shaped around the project’s goals and performance criteria, providing utility, beauty, and delight. How does the project engage all the senses for its users, and connect people to place? What makes this building one that people will fight to preserve? 

Discussion Leader: Heather Holdridge, Assoc. AIA, LEED Fellow, Lake Flato
Heather Gayle Holdridge is the Sustainability Director at Lake|Flato Architects. Leveraging her background in mechanical engineering, Heather directs all Lake|Flato teams in establishing sustainability goals. She devises strategies and systems to realize those goals under programs such as LEED, the 2030 Challenge, and the Living Building Challenge. Heather works closely with teams to evaluate passive systems and performs energy modeling throughout the design process.  She received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Business Administration from The University of Texas at San Antonio.


Sustainability is inextricably tied to the wellness of communities. Describe specifically how community members, inside and outside the building, benefit from the project. How does this project contribute to creating a walkable, human-scaled community inside and outside the property lines? How were community members engaged during the design and development process? How does the project promote social equity at local, regional, and global scales? Also, transportation-related emissions negatively affect public health. Because the CO2 emissions associated with how a building’s occupants travel to and from the building are frequently comparable to the CO2 emissions associated with operating the building, describe how the project, by its siting and operations, helps reduce transportation-related emissions.

Discussion Leader: Robert Meckfessel, FAIA, DSGN Associates
Robert Meckfessel brings over 35 years of experience in the planning and design of institutional, residential, and commercial projects throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Many of these projects have been recognized for innovation and excellence in urban design, architecture, sustainability, and preservation from professional and industry organizations, including AIA Dallas, NCTCOG, the Texas Society of Architects, Preservation Dallas, and Preservation Texas. He has served as President of leading organizations involved with the quality of the built environment, including LaReunion, AIA Dallas, Preservation Dallas, and the Dallas Architecture Forum. He currently serves on the boards of La Reunion, the Trinity Parks Conservancy, the Trinity Commons Foundation, Docomomo US and Greater Dallas Planning Council. He lectures often at professional events, political forums, and educational venues. In 2007 Meckfessel was elected to Fellowship in the American Institute of Architects for his service to his profession and community.


How Do I Get to the AD EX?
For your convenience, please use our parking & commuting guide when planning your visit to AIA Dallas. For this event, we will NOT be validating parking. If you have any questions about alternative parking options, please feel free to call our reception desk at 214.742.3242