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Cypress Villages' Martha Norbeck presents at AIA conference in Des Moines

martha norbeckMartha Norbeck, owner and president of C-WISE, was invited to speak at the Members of the American Institute of Architects last Thursday in Des Moines. The topic of her presentation was “Shades of Green: Tales from the Trenches”.

Ms. Norbeck is an Iowa City native, whose parents instilled a strong passion for science and the value of biological systems. Her father is Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Iowa, and her mother holds a Masters in Biology and worked as a researcher at the U of I biology department. Martha has been working in Fairfield for over two years, consulting with local builders and planners on Sustainability issues.

Ms. Norbeck’s architecture career was launched as a result of her Fulbright research of ecovillages in Sweden. She earned a Masters of Architecture degree from the University of Oklahoma in 2001, and thereafter worked in Iowa City for Neumann Monson Architects as an intern and Sustainability specialist. She has worked in Fairfield full-time for the past nine months as Project Designer for the Cypress Villages sub-division, whose homes are designed to equal the highest levels of LEED (Leadership in Environmental & Energy Design) standards.

Prior to attending OU, Ms. Norbeck researched as a Fulbright scholar in Sweden in 199-1998. Her study, “Individual, Community, Environment: A study of 9 Swedish Eco-villages” presents the results of her research. Martha founded C-Wise, an acronym for Carbon-Wise, in 2007. C-Wise now has two architects and an Iowa State design intern.

This is the third year she has presented at the AIA Iowa convention. Her company’s goal is to implement Green, Sustainable building principles through her own practice, and also to educate architects, planners and builders nationwide.

Members of the AIA Iowa were gathered to discuss their responsibility to the future of architectural design at this Falls convention, “Now What”, at the Polk County Convention Complex. This year’s theme reflected on the history of architecture while exploring the future of the profession and its impact on Sustainability of Iowa’s communities. The purpose was to motivate attendees to become more involved in the sustainable design in their communities.