Sustainable-design champion Bob Berkebile, FAIA, will join the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) as a senior strategic adviser, the Portland, Ore.–based institute announced earlier this week. He will work part-time with ILFI, focusing on its Living Product and Living Community challenges, and will remain a principal at BNIM in Kansas City, Mo., which he co-founded in 1970 (initially as Patty Berkebile Nelson Love Architects).
A former student of R. Buckminster Fuller at the University of Kansas, Berkebile went on to help found the AIA’s Committee on the Environment in 1990 and publish its Environmental Resource Guide, which examines the building-material supply chain's upstream and downstream impacts. He was a founding member of the U.S. Green Building Council and helped to establish its LEED rating system as well as ILFI's Living Building Challenge. Last month, he was named a recipient of the fifth-annual Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainability, which is awarded by ARCHITECT's publisher to individuals and groups whose contributions to the green-building sector and related policy make a lasting impact. Berkebile now works at the local level to bring financial and cultural capital to blighted neighborhoods in application-specific ways—a process he calls "urban acupuncture."
In an article in ARCHITECT's sister publication EcoBuilding Pulse earlier this year, Berkebile is described as having "made a career of crusading tirelessly to reverse the building industry's most destructive beliefs and practices while earning admiration and love from virtually everyone he encounters."
Now, with ILFI, Berkebile said in a press release that he is "eager to ... share a role in creating a world in which communities, and the materials we use to construct them, are made for the benefit of all, regardless of economic level or location.”