Traditional Building Portfolio

Roundtable: Sustainability in the Urban Context

Is urbanism the key to a sustainable future?

This year's roundtable focuses on sustainability in the urban context, a complex and topical issue that could potentially affect how we live on this planet in the future. Much that's written about sustainability focuses on new stand-alone buildings, but the issues are more complex in the urban context where you're dealing either with retrofitting older buildings or new infill buildings that must be cognizant of neighboring structures.

Some of the issues the designers face include local building codes, Historic District & Design Review Commissions, the LEED rating system, equipment such as solar panels and wind energy, windows, retrofitting existing buildings, green roofs and municipal officials. Under the direction of Editor Emeritus and founder of Traditional Building and Period Homes magazines Clem Labine, we asked a number of leading architects to comment on this subject. The participants received suggested topics and issues, but were encouraged to discuss the subject as they saw fit. Here are the results, arranged alphabetically by the firm's name.  

Go to the 2010 Roundtable


The Participants

All of our participants graciously shared their expertise, time, energy and thoughts with us. They include (in alphabetical order by firm name):

David Mayernik Ltd. (
David T. Mayernik, FAAR, NCARB, RSA, president

Mayernik is an associate professor at the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture, and president of David Mayernik Ltd. An urban designer, architect, painter, writer and educator, he is also a fellow of the American Academy in Rome and the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce. His work for the TASIS campus in Lugano, Switzerland, won a Palladio Award in 2005. Mayernik contributed to the book Green Living, to be published in the spring of 2010 by Rizzoli and to the New Palladians book (Artmedia, spring 2010).

David M. Schwarz Architects, Inc. (
Gregory M. Hoss, AIA, project manager and principal

Hoss has been with the firm since 1997 and has been a registered architect since 1994. He is a graduate of The Catholic University of America where he now serves on the Design Council. He is also a member of the District of Columbia Building Industry Association (DCBIA) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Hoss served as project manager for the recently opened Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg, SC, The American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX, and the Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, TX. Currently he is working on the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, NV.

Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (
Galina Tachieva, LEED, partner, director of town planning

An expert on urban redevelopment, sprawl retrofit, sustainable planning and form-based codes, Tachieva directs and manages the design and implementation of projects in the United States and around the world, She is currently working on a forthcoming book, The Sprawl Repair Manual, to be published in the spring by Island Press. She is also the primary author of the Sprawl Repair Module, a special plug-in document to the SmartCode, which enables the transformation of sprawl types into community patterns.

Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company (
Gregory L. Rutledge, AIA, design principal and preservation specialist

During his 21 years with the firm, Rutledge has helped position Hanbury Evans as a leader in historic preservation. He particularly enjoys projects that revitalize communities, such as the Prizery Community Arts Center in South Boston, VA, and preservation planning to save national treasures, such as historic Fort Monroe. Rutledge was honored with the Preservation Award from the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects. He is a frequent lecturer on architectural history and is an active member of the Association for Preservation Technology International. He is a 1984 graduate of the University of Tennessee.

New Urban Guild, (, principal; New Urban Guild Foundation, director; Mouzon Design (
principal, Stephen A. Mouzon

As principal of the New Urban Guild, Mouzon promotes the study and design of true traditional buildings and places. The Guild was instrumental in the creation of the Katrina Cottages concept ( and hosts Project SmartDwelling, an initiative to re-imagine the American home. The New Urban Guild Foundation also hosts the Original Green ( At Mouzon Design he focuses on town building tools and services.

Urban Design Associates (
Rob Robinson, AIA, chairman

Robinson earned a degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Following graduation, he was an adjunct professor in the College of Architecture and Urban Planning at VPI for several years, and served as an architect with the Peace Corps in St. Vincent, West Indies, prior to joining UDA in 1980. In addition to urban design efforts in cities, towns and neighborhoods, Robinson also leads UDA's work in "shared vision and strategy" initiatives for regions and counties. Current projects under his leadership include various downtowns and waterfronts, mixed-use neighborhoods, new towns, vision plans and pattern books.

Voith & Mactavish Architects, LLP (
John H. Cluver, AIA, LEED AP, partner and director of preservation
Cluver received his professional degree in architecture from the University of Notre Dame, and a Certificate in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania. He has worked on a wide range of rehabilitation and new construction projects for a variety of educational, commercial and civic institutions, both as an architect and preservation consultant. Cluver is a member of the City of Philadelphia's Historical Commission Architectural Committee, and was named Young Architect of the Year by the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.



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