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nDash Writer Profile for Martin Smith

Martin Smith


Green Building Professional

About Me

• Masters in Sustainability Solutions (MSUS), Arizona State University.

• Interested in sustainable design, advanced materials, 3D printing, parametric design, BIM, energy modeling, and biomimicry.

Industries I Write About

Renewables & Environment

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Architecture & Planning

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Building Materials

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Environmental Services

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Market Research

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My Writing Samples

Why your company should look to bio-inspired architecture

More than ever, cities are in desperate need of buildings that not only are environmentally friendly, but also defend people and ecosystems from pollution.


How retailers can win over Millennials with ethical products

Brands can engage Millennials to pioneer new models and practices that can deliver economic growth while reducing negative impacts on the environment.


5 companies leading the charge on net zero building

As the WorldGBC prepares to roll-out its national net zero certification systems, and progressives such as California ready their citizens with Zero Net Energy Action Plans, organizations seem to be plotting their own energy-efficiency endeavors.


Building materials that tap into nature's elegant, and harmless, designs

How are we going to design buildings with harmless materials, both for our planet and the people occupying them? What can we use in our buildings to make sure their annual energy needs are kept to a bare minimum?


A discussion with Perkins+Will on mass timber

Wood is back on the menu. Recent innovations in wood manufacturing and engineering have led to the creation of “mass timber” products. Andrew Tsay Jacobs, Director of the Building Technology Lab at Perkins+Will, discusses the history of mass timber and how his company is currently using it.


Let there be (natural) light

Designed to look like normal commercial ceiling lights (unbeknownst to the average person), Solatube’s “Tubular Daylighting Devices” (TDD’s) are gradually becoming the norm for high-performance green buildings.


Workplace design: green spaces may improve vibe

Greenery, plants, gardens, and even a simple window-view of trees outside have all been found to mentally benefit humans. If incorporating plants and indoor gardens throughout the workplace is appropriate, why is it so rarely seen?


Building cities like forests: when biomimicry meets urban design

Nature is holding sustainable solutions to numerous city design and development problems we are currently facing—we just have to look deeper to see where the solutions are already being applied in the natural world.



Associate Project Manager

Worked on a variety of LEED projects for high profile clients including Jones Lang LaSalle, Cal-CityConstruction, and the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD). Coordinated with energy modeler and completed LEED EAp2 credit for large creative office space project. Managed internal marketing efforts, including curation of content for website and social media pages, blogarticles, SEO, and media relations. Managed all Net Zero 2017 Conference initiatives.

Company: Verdical Group

I worked there from 8/2016 until 7/2017


Contributed green building and sustainability related articles to this well known media outlet created by Joel Makower. Since 1991, GreenBiz has chronicled and been a catalyst for thought leadership in aligning environmental responsibility with profitable business practices.

Company: GreenBiz

I worked there from 8/2015 until 3/2017

Creator / Writer

Created online sustainability, design, and music blog in December 2013. Over the course of three years, I managed various contributors’ articles for publication on blog and authored multiple articles covering sustainability and biomimicry that gained +200 social media shares.

Company: The Modern Ape

I worked there from 12/2013 until 8/2016

Content I Write

Ideas and Pitches I Wrote

The battle against climate change requires embracing technology

This 2,000 word research paper will cover the rise of architecturally relevant computer software (CAD, BIM), advanced fabrication methods (3D printing), and how they have significantly improved efficiencies in the workplace, cut costs, and most importantly, improved our environmental sustainability. The paper will compare traditional architectural approaches (manual drafting, etc.) to new methods, concluding that refusing to embrace recent technologies is an inconsiderate approach to design.

Content type: Whitepaper

Keywords: sustainable design,CAD,BIM,environmentalism,sustainability,climate change,energy modeling,drafting,computer aided design


Using nature's tried-and-tested designs to advance building materials

This article will cover the rise of biomimicry and bioinspired design research. It will dive into the latest emergent technologies and building materials that have stemmed from bioinspired research. It will be argued that biomimicry is the most promising route for advancing the industry of sustainable building materials.

Content type: Article

Keywords: biomimicry,bioinspired design,emergent materials,emergent technologies,LEED,Living Building Challenge,sustainable design,sustainability


Utilizing biomimicry to create environmentally sustainable products

Biomimicry is defined as re-creating designs, functionalities, or mechanisms observed from the natural world in order to benefit from their effectiveness and efficient use of materials, resources, and energy. Many firms today are unaware of the enormous potential biomimicry experts can bring to their products’ designs. This report will analyze the effectiveness of biomimicry in creating sustainable products, later advising how firms can get started with their own biomimetic designs today.

Content type: Whitepaper

Keywords: biomimicry,sustainability,sustainable design,biotech,biotechnology,nature,environmental design,climate change


Biophilic design for the workplace: looking beyond plants

Biophilic design of course means bringing plants and shrubbery indoors. But, did you know that it could also mean circadian lighting, non-rhythmic sensory stimuli, and a presence of water? This article will dive into the details about what constitutes biophilic design and how its properly being utilized by architecture firms and green building masters.

Content type: Article

Keywords: biophilia,biophilic design,nature,sustainability,sustainable design,plants,trees,water,earth


The false concept of "waste"

Quoting the brilliant architect and environmentalist William McDonough from his book Cradle-to-Cradle, we don't have a "waste" problem, "we have a materials in the wrong place problem.” This detailed article will reference McDonough as well as other sustainable designers and circular economists to make the case for wiping out our false concept of "waste." Everything in the circular economy is reused; it is put back into the system as technical nutrients.

Content type: Article

Keywords: waste,circular economy,sustainability,environmental design,products,sustainable product,e-waste


How Laser Scanning Can Improve Your Next Project

Laser scanning has quickly become synonymous with smart construction. This method of virtually mapping out a building captures every detail via laser beams. This 3D representation of a project is especially helpful for renovations and redevelopments that lack construction or maintenance documents. But, it is also a useful tool for new construction, as it aids in quality assurance and creates an accurate record of the project, providing great value to the contractor, developer, and business owner

Content type: Article

Keywords: Laser Scanning,Construction,Renovations,Quality Assurance,BIM,Data


Your next project needs a self-performing concrete contractor

A "self-performing" general contractor, a buzzword in the construction industry, simply means the GC on a project completes certain construction activities, such as concrete work. Hiring a self-performing contractor for concrete work can bring a multitude of benefits, such as total control over cost, schedule and quality of the concrete portion. This gives the client a cost advantage as well as a more polished end product.

Content type: Blog Post


The future of lightweight structures: taking cues from nature for construction

The building design and construction industry are in dire need of a new, revolutionary approach for conserving materials. Nature might just hold the key to vastly improving our current construction methods. The use of biomimicry and new technologies, such as CAD programs that analyze stress points in a structure, has allowed researchers to build lightweight, multifunctional structures from nature to achieve weight savings of 50% (half the amount of material is used with same strength).

Content type: Blog Post

Keywords: biomimicry,lightweight structures,CAD,biodesign


New game-changing materials for the construction industry

"Super materials" are often described as such for their multifunctional traits: they can give a building the power to clean the environment, make food, repair itself, and more. No, this isn't some sci-fi future -- it is all happening right now. Researchers creating their own genetically modified materials to have superpowers hold the shared objective to improve construction methods and make the built environment more sustainable -- for humans and the natural world alike.

Content type: Blog Post

Keywords: building materials,super materials,3D printing,sustainable design


Choosing adaptive reuse for a sustainable, employee-friendly work environment

Using real-world examples, such as VIP's One Webster's Landing project (and office space), this piece will cover what an adaptive reuse project entails, why they are both economically and environmentally beneficial, and how they can even be a productivity haven for employees and employers.

Content type: Article

Keywords: adaptive reuse,sustainable design,timber buildings


Passive house and high-rise residential: an up-and-coming duo

Up until today, the design/construction industry in the U.S. has viewed Passive House certification as something reserved for single-family homes. Well, not anymore. New York's recent high-rise residential projects built with passive principles, such as the famous Cornell Tech dormitory on Roosevelt Island and "Perch Harlem" ( Manhattan's first passive house rental), are proving that passive house design can be economically integrated into all types of residential projects.

Content type: Article

Keywords: Passive House,New York,Residential


Biophilic design creates stress-free healthy environments

This piece will cover the growing body of evidence in support of biophilic design -- that is, the incorporation of organic elements and natural patterns in interior spaces -- and will elaborate further on all the benefits it brings to workspaces, hospitals, and living spaces. A few biophilic design examples that will be discussed: visible wood grain, living green walls, non-rhythmic stimuli such as waterfalls, and more.

Content type: Article

Keywords: biophilia,biophilic design,healthy workplaces


Corporate landscaping reduces stress and improves employee productivity

This piece will review the science behind biophilic design and biophilia, referencing numerous research articles that prove being surrounded by vegetation reduces stress and actually improves mental acuity. Projects that the Garden Continuum has worked on, such as Delta Dental, will be referenced as examples and case studies.

Content type: Article

Keywords: biophilia,biophilic design,corporate landscaping,employee happiness


Attracting public support and recognition with sustainable landscaping

This in-depth article will discuss how various types of sustainable landscaping strategies (e.g. biodiverse species, rooftop gardens and rainwater irrigation, etc.) can improve the public's outlook on a large project, help garner support, and actually increase its marketability via green building rating systems such as LEED that offer credit points for this landscaping.

Content type: Article

Keywords: sustainable landscaping,biodiversity,LEED,commercial buildings


Unlocking wood's greatest potential in commercial building design

This piece will review how wood has been typically applied in new commercial building construction up until now, where we are starting to see the rise of "mass timber" buildings -- the utilization of cross-laminated timber and engineered wood as alternative structural elements to stone, masonry, and concrete. This trending form of construction is often more economical, environmentally sustainable, and occupant-friendly.

Content type: Blog Post

Keywords: mass timber,engineered wood,glumam,heavy timber


The future of BIM for design and construction

This piece will briefly review the vast role BIM currently plays in the design and construction of commercial buildings. After, it will discuss how BIM is evolving and what this technology may have in store in the near future, and how the advent of "generative design" (computer algorithms utilizing BIM data to inform design decisions) will impact projects and workflows.

Content type: Blog Post

Keywords: BIM,generative design,revit,autodesk,building information modeling


The results are in: resilient design saves money long-term

This article will cover the benefits of building for resiliency; developers and building owners will be happily surprised to find that investment in resilient design can pay off by more than six-fold. The National Institute of Building Sciences’ recent report titled “Natural Hazard Mitigation Saves: 2017 Interim Report" calculates the long-term benefits of implementing hazard mitigation measures. These design measures will be broken down for developers to easily replicate on future projects.

Content type: Blog Post

Keywords: resiliency,resilient design,climate change,sustainable design


Use energy monitoring to achieve LEED platinum on your building

The well-known Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building rating system utilizes a credit system to grant building projects "points" for achieving certain sustainability objectives, such as going above and beyond energy efficiency benchmarks. In order to achieve the highly desired LEED "Platinum" rating, building owners must opt-in for clever energy monitoring devices that allow facility management to properly watch and maintain low energy usage levels.

Content type: Article

Keywords: LEED,energy monitoring,sustainability


Keeping an eye on recent 3D printed successes

Up until recent, the construction industry hasn't been too worried about 3D printing technology. However, now that recent small successes have proved its powerful potential, such as the world's first 3D printed bridge in the Netherlands, we are beginning to get a glimpse at what may lie ahead for this industry (for better or worse).

Content type: Article

Keywords: 3d printing,concrete,bridges,construction,sustainable building,construction technology