Closing Keynote


BNIM Architects


Any list of accomplished, influential environmentalists and preservationists includes Bob Berkebile. Highly regarded by fellow professionals and the recipient of numerous awards, Bob focuses on improving the quality of life in our society with the integrity and spirit of his firm’s work. He is a founding principal of BNIM Architects and brings over 37 years of experience to the architectural profession. He is the founding chairman of the American Institute of Architects’ National Committee on the Environment (AIA / COTE) and was also instrumental in the formation of the US Green Building Council and its LEED rating system.

By combining his design and leadership skills, Bob has consistently created new approaches to holistic, integrated community building. He utilizes education, systems thinking, dialogue and collaborative design as tools to restore social, economic and environmental vitality.

Bob is a board member of The Nature Conservancy and the Center for Global Community. He has been a juror and/or guest lecturer at numerous universities including Harvard, Stanford, Rice and Cambridge University. Bob currently serves on NAFTA’s Advisory Board (the Commission on Environmental Cooperation) and the boards of Environmental Building News, Athena, New Earth Organization, Bridging the Gap and the National Leadership Forum; he is also an advisor to the US Green Building Council board and is a founding member of the USGBC’s Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee. In Kansas City, where BNIM is headquartered, Bob is a Steering Committee Member of the Kansas City Climate Protection Plan, a member of the Mayor’s Economic Development & Incentive Policy Task Force, the Metropolitan Energy Center, and he served on the advisory boards of Kansas City Power and Light Company, the Civic Council and the Chamber of Commerce, and he co-chairs the Environmental Management Commission for Kansas City, MO.

Bob and his firm are setting new design standards for resource efficiency at the building and community scales. Through their involvement, energy, materials and human resources efficiency strategies are being implemented on a broad range of projects including Greening of the White House, Greening of the Pentagon, Greening of the Grand Canyon, two facilities at the University of Texas at Houston, and a 3,000-acre redevelopment in North Charleston, South Carolina. He has led or been an integral part of several national expert teams assisting with the rebuilding of New Orleans post-Katrina. His involvement in New Orleans includes the “New Orleans Principles” sustainable rebuilding guidelines; the sustainable restoration initiative for the Holy Cross and Lower Ninth Ward neighborhoods; and the Sustainable Design Competition for New Orleans Neighborhoods, sponsored by Global Green and Brad Pitt. Similarly, for the City of Greensburg, Kansas, which was devastated by a tornado in May of 2007, Bob and his firm have become the primary design and planning leaders in the town’s efforts to rebuild. Currently, the firm’s involvement includes the design of the town’s new k-12 schools, streetscapes and an incubator project, as well as the preparation of a comprehensive master plan to rebuild the city into a benchmark rural American city that is climate-positive and is an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable community.

Bob has received numerous awards including the US Green Building Council’s National Leadership Award in 2005, and he was recognized by the EnvironDesign® Journal as the No. 1