Innovation, Integration and "The Living Building" – Implementer Perspectives

Note to Reader:

On December 3, 2013 the Partnership for Water Sustainability and the Irrigation Industry Association of BC (IIABC) are joining forces to co-host a workshop that will explore regulatory requirements, water balance benefits and practical applications of rainwater harvesting design and operation. The workshop is structured as four cascading modules.

In the third  of four modules, the team of Mark Buehrer, Craig Borland and Ron Schwenger will highlight what one needs to know about the design and installation of rainwater harvesting systems in a Living Building context. Their context presentations will prepare participants for a “Town-Hall Sharing & Learning” segment on Rainwater Harvesting-Greatest Challenges.

TO REGISTER for the workshop, go to the IIABC website:

TO DOWNLOAD a copy of the Program Overview, click on Get Your Mind Into the Gutter: A Workshop on Rainwater Harvesting in British Columbia.


2013-Rainwater-Harvesting-Workshop_Module Team C


Living Water Smart: Doing Business Differently in British Columbia

Many BC communities are often water-short when demand is greatest. And now our climate is changing. To future-proof communities, the 45 actions and targets in Living Water Smart, British Columbia’s Water Plan establish expectations for doing business differently. This provincial target frames the learning outcomes for the workshop: 50% of new municipal water needs will be acquired through conservation by 2020.

Implementer Perspectives

Mark Buehrer, founder of 2020 Engineering (Washington State), will use the Bullitt Center in Seattle to bring to life the components of The Living Building Challenge: Meeting the 100% Re-Use Target. The Bullitt Center is described as the planet’s ‘greenest’ office facility. Currently serving on the Cascadia Green Building Council, Mark Buehrer is the Technical Development Leader of the “Water Team” for the development of the Living Building User’s Guide (Version 2.0).

Craig Borland of Toro Irrigation (California) will then add the landscape piece with Outdoor Water Use: How Do You Decide What is Achievable? In providing an educational perspective, he will share his vision on why “rainwater harvesting is the next wave”. His responsibilities at Toro include technical support for both Marketing and Engineering in regards to Smart Water needs, and “Voice of the Customer”.

Ron Schwenger, founder of Architek Engineered Solutions for Living Buildings (British Columbia), will close the loop by emphasizing the application and integration of multiple technologies, and presenting a picture of “what could be” – Benefits of Integrating Rainwater Harvesting into Living Buildings. Ron is passionate about living architecture and high-performance buildings. He offers a unique perspective on how to utilize green technologies to maximize both their economic and holistic benefits.

Learning Objective

Mike Tanner(120p)“The learning objective for this module is that participants will understand what is involved in applying practical concepts for sustainable water resource management, for both buildings and site designs,” states Mike Tanner, Workshop Chair. “A town-hall sharing and learning module will follow this session so that Mark Buehrer, Craig Borland and Ron Schwenger can engage the audience in a conversation. We are fortunate to have three recognized experts share their experience, wisdom and stories at the Rainwater Harvesting Workshop.”

To Learn More:

Mark Buehrer: The Bullitt Center in Seattle: The planet’s ‘greenest’ office facility?

Ron Schwenger: CENTS & SUSTAINABILITY: Making the business case for Living Architecture in an economically driven world


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