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WaterBuild: The Many Facets of Water Resilience, by Joanne Rodriguez

on October 19, 2017 at 3:44 pm under

At Greenbuild 2017’s WaterBuild, engage in discussion of how water resilience intersects with equity, technology and infrastructure.

Originally posted at GreenBuild 2017 on October 13, 2017

Greenbuild 2017 WaterBuild Many Facets Water Resilience Joanne Rodriguez

Many Facets of Water Resilience

With the extreme weather events of the past month—hurricanes, floods, drought and wildfires—it may indeed be time to more urgently think about water resilience and water risk mitigation. How are you and your community incorporating water resilience and water sustainability in planning and design? When water quality hangs in the balance, and we have too much or too little water, what is the downstream effect?

“The second WaterBuild summit at the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo will focus on resilience to climate and storm related community stresses, with specific emphasis placed on the role of innovative infrastructure solutions. We are faced with the growing threat of frequent extreme weather events as our bridges, tunnels, levees, dams, buildings, and streets continue to age. At WaterBuild, leaders come together to drive discussion around innovative solutions that will ensure the survivability and sustainability of our cities and communities.” ~ WaterBuild 2017

Join us at Greenbuild Boston, from November 8 – 10, 2017, as we dive deep into water resilience at the WaterBuild Summit: Rising Above: Using Innovative Solutions To Build Resilience on November 7. Industry experts are convening for a full day of programs and discussion that you won’t want to miss.

Here are just a few considerations at the nexus of water and resilience that we’ll be exploring at WaterBuild 2017:

Greenbuild 2017 WaterBuild Many Facets Water Resilience Joanne Rodriguez

Water resilience and technology

We know that our communications and energy infrastructure can be crippled by a severe storm, but how can technology help us predict and model our design shortcomings? Technology can help us track performance of our infrastructure, including rainwater quantity and quality, potable water quality, wastewater processing and water access.

We can use an emerging set of tools to adapt to the “new normal” of our severe weather cycles. At this year’s WaterBuild Summit, we will be talking about and applying some of the emerging technologies, as well as revisiting some of the existing technologies that might help us plan better and adapt better in the long term.

Water resilience and equity

Many residents displaced by flood events do not have the available resources to rebuild new homes, restore their old homes or return to live in recovering communities. When the water rises or spoils, it does so indiscriminately. Its impacts are rarely felt equally.

How we plan for those often predictable impacts, and how we provide support services doesn’t have to be indiscriminate; it can be done with intention. This year’s WaterBuild program will build on the 2016 summit and deepen discussion on this important topic, giving consideration to how water can negatively impact a community and how to design with greater equity in mind.

Water resilience and grey/green infrastructure

We have developed amazing feats of engineering to manage and mitigate risks to water quantity and quality. When deployed effectively, these can complement nature’s many tools in its toolbox.

Engaging communities and design teams in dialogue about how to apply both grey and green infrastructure to have the greatest impact on adaptation is essential to developing solutions that will last. There are many dimensions to infrastructure development. Considering the greatest multiple outcomes of a solution set will set the standard of gaining the greatest return on investment.

“The U.S. Green Building Council is committed to developing practical solutions to social equity challenges, including those that arise from issues related to bias in communities of diverse racial, economic and social composition. At the heart of the summit will be the belief that equitable access to quality water is paramount to resilience. In order to ensure the safety and security of diverse communities, we must address concerns around potable water availability and use, water capture and treatment, water reuse, wastewater management, and more.” ~ WaterBuild 2017

Summit Sessions

Numerous sessions will be held at WaterBuild including: The WaterBuild Opening Session; Design with Climate: A resilient neighborhood for Cambridge; Collaborative Research, Tool-Making, and the Water Challenge; Towards Net Zero Water in LEED: a Forum on Whole Project Water Use; WaterBuild Luncheon; Charrette: Resiliency, Equity, and Water Management at Chelsea Creek; Water-Energy-Food Nexus, Powered by Pecha Kucha; The New Paradigm for EcoDistrict On-Site Water Management; Rising to Meet the 21st Century Clean Water Challenge, Powered by Pecha Kucha; Innovative Water Management in Our Nation’s Capital; and the Combined Closing Plenary.

See the descriptions of all of the WaterBuild Summit Sessions here.

Come and Be a Part of WaterBuild 2017

Join us at WaterBuild to discuss all these important aspects of water resilience at Greenbuild 2017 in Boston.

Greenbuild 2017 WaterBuild Many Facets Water Resilience Joanne Rodriguez

~ Joanne Rodriguez

Greenbuild 2017 WaterBuild Many Facets Water Resilience Joanne Rodriguez

Joanne Rodriguez has two decades of experience working within the building products and construction communities, with an emphasis on sustainable building impacts and high performance building envelope assemblies. In 2017 she fully launched GreenStructure–a multi-disciplinary environmental consulting firm founded in 2012, housing over 20 years of experience in the built environment. With expertise in strategic sustainability and resiliency planning, she has coupled her highly technical background with the emerging trends in ecosystems and risk mitigation to become a green infrastructure asset specialist. GreenStructure has experience in zero-landfill and waste diversion programming, energy efficiency audits, and sustainable roof and building envelope solutions.

At Tremco, she was responsible for the development of sales and marketing platforms focused on sustainability in the built environment. She was responsible for the implementation of programs like Roof Recycling and Zero Landfill. She has worked with architects and engineers across the country in the development of specifications and drawings that meet the highest technical standards. LEED AP through the USGBC, she is a former member of the Construction Specifications Institute Strategic Planning Task Team, past President of Chicago CSI, a frequent National speaker on topics related to sustainability impacts (water, energy, air) of building envelope technologies, as well as a speaker and participant for the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America meetings in Chicago and Denver focusing on Women in the Workforce and Sustainable Buildings. She has participated as an expert in the first two Resilient Cities Summits, hosted by the National League of Cities, Urban Land Institute and USGBC, intended to address urban issues related to health, wellness, and resilient design solutions. Rodriguez was the co-Chair of Tremco Group’s Green Chemistry team, which worked to examine the potential hazards and risk posed to employees, contractors and community through raw material and product usage.

She is on the EPA’s Environmentally Preferred Purchasing Pilot Panel for Paints/Coatings, helping to develop the technical framework of how the Federal Government will purchase materials now and in the future. She is currently a part of the USGBC WaterBuild Advisory Group for GreenBuild 2017 and was a speaker at the International Roofing Expo, as well as a Keynote Speaker for Virtual Roof and Wall Summit 2017. Joanne has participated as a moderator and in design Charrettes for Cities Alive. Her vast experience working across many stakeholders has proven to be beneficial in addressing complex issues related to material use, health related impacts, durability and life-cycle impacts.

Greenbuild 2017 WaterBuild Many Facets Water Resilience Joanne Rodriguez

Publisher’s Note: is extremely proud to have Joanne Rodriguez as one of our Keynotes for this year’s 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture, currently running on demand through December 31, 2017.  Read all about Joanne’s Keynote video, “Roofing BMP’s for Low-Impact Development Projects” where I had the pleasure of interacting with Joanne during her highly informative session.  If you’re not already registered, sign up with the Special Round#2 Discounted Rate of only $25.

Contact Joanne Rodriguez at: 630-235-1526 or


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