Sustainable Tompkins was honored to be asked to co-host, along with the Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative, the 50th Anniversary Celebration for HOLT Architects on February 22. The keynote speaker for the anniversary celebration was Ed Mazria, the visionary and courageous leader behind the 2030 Architecture Challenge to build only zero carbon buildings by 2030.

Gay at HOLT Anniversary

Gay provided opening remarks to a large audience at the Hanger Theater composed of HOLT clients and local sustainability advocates. Sustainable Tompkins has partnered with HOLT in the past when they helped us put on our Health and Sustainability conference in 2007, and they are currently sponsoring and helping to design sessions of our Climate Smart & Climate Ready conference to be held April 18-21.

We appreciated Ed’s encouragement to the architects and engineers in the crowd to remember that they hold great power in helping to determine how effective our response to climate change will be.

As Gay emphasized in her remarks, this is no time for business as usual. And in fact, there is no more business as usual because even if we continue to build in the same old way and move around in the usual way, the outcome is no longer “as usual.”

The philosopher Holmes Rolston calls this a “hinge point” in human history. We have set in motion planetary changes and have entered a new era of human-induced major shifts in the ecosystems that support us. Thanks to visionaries like Ed Mazria and leaders like the folks at HOLT, we have only to implement the restorative power we already possess.