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Board of Directors  //  for BioRegional North America

BioRegional North America’s work in the United States and Canada is guided by the leadership of a Board of Directors comprised of some of the most experienced green architects and real estate developers in our field. The International Expert Panel on One Planet Living also provide guidance, as do experienced colleagues at BioRegional Development Group in the UK.

Bob Berkebile


Bob Berkebile

Principal – BNIM Architects, Kansas City, USA.

Bob Berkebile is one of the nation’s leading authorities in the field of sustainable design, and was the founding chairman of the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) National Committee on the Environment. He brings over 37 years of sustainability experience to the architectural profession. Bob is highly regarded by fellow architects, the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2009  Heinz Award from Theresa Heinz and the Heinz Family Foundation for his leadership and commitment to the environment. He is a founding Principal of BNIM Architects.

Bob and his firm are setting new design standards for resource efficiency at the building and community scales including energy, materials and human resources on abroad 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 Noisette, a ground-breaking 3,000-acre redevelopment in North Charleston, South Carolina.

Bob is a board member of the U.S. Green Building Council, the Nature Conservancy and the Center for Global Community and has been a juror and/or guest lecturer at numerous universities from Harvard to Rice to Cambridge University. He was a delegate to the Earth Summit in Rio and has presented keynote speeches, lectures and workshops at international environmental conferences in Stockholm, Helsinki, Cambridge, Caracas, Vancouver, and Ottawa. Governors, U.S. Senators and Representatives, and organizations such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the Urban Land Institute seek his advice and participation.

Dan Sloan


Dan Slone

Partner – McGuire Woods LLP, Richmond, USA

Dan Slone (Richmond) is a consultant and legal counsel to developers, green businesses and localities around the world, advising them on traditional neighborhood development, conservation development, eco-industrial projects, distributed generation and business matters. He is co-author of A Legal Guide to Urban and Sustainable Development for Planners, Developers and Architects.

Dan is national counsel for the U.S. Green Building Council, and the Congress for the New Urbanism. Among his other public interest clients are the Seaside Institute, the World Green Building Council, Greening America, the Eco-Industrial Development Council and Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.

Dan assists developers of sustainable new towns, biomass projects and innovative utility projects. He also represents localities developing innovative regulatory approaches. Combining extensive experience in environmental issues, land use issues, utilities and sophisticated business and real estate transactions, Dan’s practice is far reaching. He works on land use and environmental permitting for large-scale projects including power facilities, solid waste management facilities and towns, as well as mining issues and the development of large-scale, mixed-use projects around the world. Dan has assisted clients in dealing with wetland permitting and enforcement for almost two decades. He has developed a unique practice focusing on green and responsible development, in addition to a related focus on the converged communication, power and essential services industries.

Doug Farr

Doug Farr

Principal – Farr Associates, Chicago, USA

Doug Farr (Chicago) is the founding principal of Farr Associates, an architecture and planning firm regarded by many as one of the most sustainable design practices in the country. An architecture graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia University, Doug is on the board of the Congress for the New Urbanism and also chairs the LEED Neighborhood Development project (LEEDND), a first ever leadership standard for sustainable land developments, now in its pilot phase. He is the author of Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature.

Having a mission to create sustainable human environments, Farr Associate’s unique niche is in applying the principles of LEED, a Green Building Rating System, at the scale of the neighborhood and in designing green buildings exclusively for urban contexts. Farr Associates also holds the unique distinction of being the only architecture firm in the world that has designed two LEED-Platinum buildings: the Chicago Center for Green Technology and the Center for Neighborhood Technology. Farr Associates designs healthy and valuable places and buildings for its private, not for profit and public sector clients. Having worked for John Vinci, Davis-Brody and Paul Rudolph, Farr’s own work has been featured in Architectural Record, the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune, and Doug is a featured speaker on an upcoming six-part PBS series on sustainability and green buildings.

Uwe Brandes

Uwe Brandes

Executive Director – Urban and Regional Planning, Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA

Uwe Brandes (Washington, DC) is the founding executive director of Georgetown University’s Master of Professional Studies in Urban and Regional Planning program. He is the former Vice President of the Initiatives Group at the Urban Land Institute (ULI), where he oversaw ULI’s work on sustainability and the futurist City in 2050 Initiative. Uwe is an urban design and development professional with over 15 years of experience in the planning, design and construction of new buildings, public infrastructure and the urban landscape.

Prior to ULI, Uwe served as Vice President at the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation, where he oversaw a $175 million public infrastructure program, and as Project Manager of the national award winning Anacostia Waterfront Initiative, an unprecedented public-private partnership between the District of Columbia, the General Services Administration, the U.S. Navy, and the National Park Service to redevelop and restore the shores of the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C. Prior to public service, Uwe practiced architecture and urban design in New York City, where he managed urban redevelopment projects in Buffalo, Philadelphia and New York City. Uwe is a Fulbright Scholar and completed his bachelor degree in engineering at Dartmouth College and Master of Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.

Christopher Sweetnam-Holmes

Christopher Sweetnam-Holmes

Director of Product Development and Innovation,  Laprise Commercial – Montreal, Quebec

Christopher Sweetnam-Holmes (Montreal) directs the development of modular building products for high rise buildings, i.e. micro lofts, bathroom pods, and more at Laprise, a modular construction leader. He is also an award winning real estate developer, eco-building specialist and designer. Christopher combines his business experience with extensive knowledge of high performance building construction technology to ensure the financial success and viability of multi-family green development projects.

The conception, direction and development of Abondance Montréal: Le Soleil is among his recent projects. As the first 100% solar condo building, with a durable R45 envelope, low air infiltration and innovative use of market ready technologies. It has won many prizes, including the Prix d’Excellence en Immobilier from the Urban Development Institute of Quebec (2011) the Net Zero Energy Home Coalition “Best Net Zero Production Builder of the Year” (2009) and the “Grands Prix du génie-conseil québécois” (2010).

Christopher is currently the treasurer of the Canada Green Building Council, Quebec Chapter, and was the Vice-Chair of the Canada Green Building Council from 2009-2012.

Rich Franko

Rich Franko

Principal – Mithun, Seattle, USA

Rich Franko (Seattle) is a Principal at Mithun, Architects+Designers+Planners, an integrated design firm in Seattle, Rohnert Park. He has been a leader at Mithun for the design of green communities, buildings and the creation of new tools to analyze and aid the process of understanding the environmental impacts of settlement. His current projects include, a new Museum for the Suquamish Tribes, carbon neutral Farm-worker Housing, a low impact neighborhood in Oregon, a vision study for three valleys north of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and a vision plan for the Tulalip Tribe in Tulalip, Rohnert Park. He has completed two LEED certified Gold projects; Islandwood, an environmental learning center for children on Bainbridge Island and the Yesler Community Center in an inner city neighborhood of Seattle. He has developed strategies to create resource efficient strategies for all projects at Mithun. Rich was a leader on the Lloyd Crossing Sustainable Urban Design Plan which received national AIA and ASLA honor awards. The plan uses an eco-system based analysis of resource flow modelling to inform the design of urban places.

Rich is also a board member of the Center on Ecotourism and Sustainable Development, a joint venture of Stanford University and the Institute for Policy Studies.

Rich has lectured in the US and abroad and has presented at Greenbuild, EnvironDesign and SB002 in Oslo.

Sebastian WinklerSebastian Winkler

Director for Europe – Global Footprint Network, Geneva, Switzerland

Sebastian Winkler is Global Footprint Network’s Director for Europe. In 2010, he was part of the Spanish European Union Presidency team and supported the country in a number of International and European biodiversity negotiations. Sebastian has a distinguished career as an advisor on international issues, and has held a variety of important economics-, biodiversity-, and sustainability-related posts at IUCN, UNEP, and Mexico’s Deputy Minister of Environment.

He holds a BA from the University of Konstanz, Germany (Development Economics, Administrative Science and Policy), and has earned Masters Degrees at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, The Netherlands; the University of Trier, Germany; and the Ecole Polytechnique of Lausanne, Switzerland. He also studied at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques of Grenoble, France and at the Harvard Business School (Management). He speaks fluent Spanish, German, English, and French, and has working knowledge in Portuguese and Italian.


Ben Gill

Ben Gill

One Planet Communities International Project Manager – BioRegional, Athens, Greece

Ben Gill (London, UK) oversees the One Planet Living Programme ensuring all projects globally are on track to meet the Common International Targets. Ben has been the senior consultant on many BioRegional Consulting projects, and is BioRegional’s chief scientist on footprinting projects. He has helped BioRegional develop Sustainability Action Plans for clients such as the British Department of the Environment, assessed the biomass supply chain for London, and conducted Ecological Footprinting studies and sustainability appraisals of many neighborhood developments.

Ben draws on experience from working in a broad range of environmental fields. He has worked in the construction sector designing energy efficient school buildings and working on urban renewable energy options. This experience is complemented by working at Waste Watch; awareness raising in schools about the issue of waste and working with schools and local authorities to design practical policies to enable schools to reduce their waste.

He has also worked in an off-grid environmental research and education centre in Spain, running the Appropriate Technology department; researching low impact technologies such as solar cookers and maintaining the on site ram pump, solar water heaters and wind turbine. In Senegal working for Pesticide Action Network he helped fund and run farmer field schools in farming techniques that avoided pesticides and also worked in schools awareness raising about the dangers of pesticides. This experience is complemented by running a 15 acre smallholding where he planted and manages 1 hectare of woodland and an MSc in environmental technology, with a thesis on the social and environmental impacts of renewable energy technologies.

Ben graduated in Earth Science and completed an MSc in Environmental Technology. Ben is a qualified Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) offices assessor. He speaks French and Spanish and intermediate Greek.

Greg_against_solar.300Greg Searle

Founder, BioRegional North America – Ottawa, Canada

Greg is a sustainable community strategist,  facilitator, and occupant engagement specialist. As a serial social entrepreneur, he is the founder of assorted initiatives like HARVEST NOIR (a pop-up picnic and dance), BIOREGIONAL NORTH AMERICA, and TOMOYE CORPORATION (an internet startup acquired by NewsGator).

At BioRegional, Greg focuses on facilitating community engagement around One Planet Action Plans and implementing occupant engagement programs in commercial/residential buildings. Greg is developing a network of ECOCONCIERGES – on-site coaches who make sustainable lifestyles more convenient for tenants in buildings and ecodistricts. Greg is also a specialist in designing for sustainable behaviors and occupant engagement in existing buildings, master-planned communities, and ecodistricts.He is a certified ecoTeams trainer and designs programs for eco-concierges and property teams to increase retention and  building efficiency while reducing tenant footprint.

Greg is a founding board member of the Ottawa Centre EcoDistrict,  advises the Metcalf Foundation’s Reinventing Growth program (Toronto), and sits on the Program Committee for the 2014 EcoDistrict Summit (Washington DC). He is a past advisor to the US Green Building Council, Clinton Climate Initiative, and Special Advisory Panels of the Urban Land Institute, and is a past Vice President of the Social Planning Council of Ottawa. Previously, Greg worked as an innovation consultant facilitating big ideas into reality for clients like the United Nations (Rome) and World Conservation Union (Brussels).

Greg is also an international speaker and gives  lectures at conferences and universities on occupant engagement, sustainable behaviors, and on ground-breaking case studies like BedZED (where he lived) and the Grow Community. He also gives motivational keynote speeches on 7 generation thinking and engaging ordinary people and businesses in the fight against climate change.