Designing a Carbon Negative Future with Eric Corey Freed

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October 30, 2023

Meet Eric

Eric Corey Freed is an accomplished American architect who has spent his career pioneering sustainability in architecture. Eric has authored several books on green and regenerative design, including best-seller “Green Building & Remodeling for Dummies”. 

What excites you about what you are doing at CannonDesign?

At CannonDesign, Eric is designing structures in which every element is intricately designed to create a specific set of outcomes for its end-user through influencing the end-user’s biology. To Eric, this is the most exciting thing he has ever done.

Eric explains that his team is designing buildings that trigger specific physiological responses in the human body. For example, if his team were designing a school, they would create an environment that fosters academic outcomes like student performance. If the client were a cancer center, they would design the facility to be best suited for patients to heal and recover from treatment.

What does it mean to design a building for outcomes?

The role of an architect is not only to design a building to be elegant or utilitarian; it is to incorporate elements and principles that reflect the needs of a building’s inhabitants.

Eric’s work takes this a step forward by creating physiological responses in users that guide them to reach outcomes that would benefit them. Designing spaces for outcomes using a user's own physiology creates more likelihood that those outcomes will manifest. Sometimes, these are outcomes that people are not even aware that they need or want.

How is designing for outcomes related to carbon-negative building?

To Eric, designing for outcomes using a user’s own physiology is the next logical advancement of sustainability. As a lifelong environmentally-focused architect, Eric has experience convincing various construction stakeholders to utilize materials that are better for the planet. For over 30 years, Eric has tried to convince clients, contractors, and industry stakeholders to adopt sustainable building materials and practices.

“The next logical evolution of sustainability for me is getting down to almost the cellular level of the buildings impacting one's own physiology.”

Eric Corey Freed helps organizations achieve their sustainability goals by first understanding their priorities and preferences. He uses a series of exercises to determine what is important to them and then shows them how sustainable building design can help them achieve those outcomes. He draws on studies that show the benefits of natural daylight, views of nature, and other sustainable design elements. His approach helps organizations on a journey toward achieving their sustainability goals.A priority for Eric is creating buildings that are made of carbon-negative materials, built in the most sustainable ways, and consume the least amount of energy possible to create better outcomes for their inhabitants and the environment.

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