Q&A with Bill Leddy, FAIA

MDC 2022 Hosts Essential Learning Sessions on Zero Net Carbon Design


With MDC less than three weeks away, we sat down to talk with Bill Leddy, FAIA, about the special ZNCD learning sessions he programmed for attendees. (They’re free to all who registered attendees—select your sessions here—and fulfill CAB’s new ZNCD requirement for licensure.) 

We wondered what motivated Leddy—a leader of AIA National Firm Award recipient, Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, and AIA California Vice President of Climate Action — to make these sessions a priority. We know we shouldn’t be surprised, given that the practice has focused on mission-driven design for over two decades, but that’s the question we started with. How did he respond?

Read on:


MDC: As a whole, why were these sessions important enough for you to set aside time to curate?
Bill Leddy, FAIA, LEED AP: AIA California Climate Action focuses on enlisting its 11,000 members—and architects everywhere—to respond to the accelerating climate emergency by embracing Zero Net Carbon Design and community resilience in every project.

These aren’t just “building code requirements” or learning credits to be fulfilled - they are essential elements of architectural design excellence in our time. So we’re delighted to introduce ZNCD into the design conversation at the Monterey Design Conference.


MDC: In general, what’s a topline about the panelists you’ve gathered for these sessions?
Leddy: California is blessed with some of the nation’s leading voices in regenerative, climate-positive design.  We’re all very fortunate to have some of them joining us at MDC:

MDC: Who is sharing insights at the first session, “Introduction to ZNC Design: transforming design culture”?
Leddy: Keith Hempel, FAIA, and Gwen Fuertes, AIA – both leaders of the national AIA 2030 Commitment Working Group – will share the strategies and benefits of evolving our firm cultures toward Zero Net Carbon Design.


MDC: What should attendees expect at Saturday’s second program,  
“Design for decarbonization: new materials / old buildings”?
Leddy: Using low-carbon materials and harvesting the embodied carbon of existing buildings through reuse are two key strategies of Zero Net Carbon Design.  Avideh Haghighi, AIA, LFA, and Larry Strain, FAIA - two of our leading voices on these important topics – will share the latest best practices.


MDC: The “Zero Net Carbon Design and Wildfire Resilience” session keeps making us think back to MDC a few years ago. Fires were engulfing Northern California.

Leddy: Given the accelerating impact of wildfires on overall carbon emissions in California and globally, Wildfire Resilience is a rapidly emerging Zero Net Carbon Design issue. Libby Barnes, AIA, has assembled a group of wildfire experts who will explain what architects can do.


MDC: We noticed you’ve packed some major firms into the “Re-designing Design Excellence” panel on Sunday morning. 
Leddy: How can we quickly evolve our firm cultures to fully integrate decarbonization and community resilience into our work every day?  Nationally acclaimed design architects Angela Brooks, FAIA, Julie Eizenberg, FAIA, and Christiana Moss, FAIA, will tell us how they’ve done it.