Julia Hughes is Architect at Chair, AIA AAJ Sustainable Justice

Julia Hughes is Architect at Chair, AIA AAJ Sustainable Justice

Julia Hughes

As the leading group of architects and planners who design facilities for the criminal justice system, we wondered if today’s justice system is socially sustainable, and if not, how can we get there? Our session will introduce an innovative and unique piece of work that has begun to look at finding answers to those questions.

At this year’s Greenbuild, we’re going to present a set of social sustainability guidelines developed by the Sustainable Justice (SJ) Committee of the AIA Academy of Architects for Justice, a multi-scalar analytical and planning tool that looks at the system functions at various levels. We’ll also talk about the social sustainability guidelines through case study presentations of real, completed buildings.

Raphael Sperry is President at Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility

Raphael Sperry is President at Architects/Designers/ Planners for Social Responsibility

We developed a model of assessing social sustainability that is both idealistic and applied, and fairly advanced for the field based on what we’ve seen. So people who want to know what’s on the cutting edge should attend this session. This session is also a chance for everyone to reflect on how LEED, augmented with a unique approach to sustainability can help their communities capitalize on the human potential of all citizens. According to Miranda Gardiner, Senior Sustainability Specialist at Stantec and Greenbuild Program Working Group member, “Sessions like this (Session A13) will inform us and help redirect efforts to missed opportunities in our sustainable mission. Striving for holistic approaches to all types of buildings, we can impact behavior that will ultimately lead to better lifestyles for everyone.”

Raphael Sperry and I are really looking forward to presenting on this topic. We both have years of experience in this area of learning that we think can benefit the attendee. We were both the lead co-authors and coordinators of an AIA committee that drafted the sustainable justice guidelines over the past three years. I became passionate about these projects while doing facility work for troubled youth, which brought purpose to my project approach and the drive to advocate for the human potential in all people, especially our community’s kids. Raphael is a green building specialist who has championed sustainability strategies for a wide variety of institutional projects, including more than a dozen LEED Gold and three LEED Platinum projects. He is an outspoken advocate on the role of architecture in social justice issues and President of the non-profit Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR).

We hope that sharing this work will help inspire and advance work in other fields, and we hope that participants can help push our advocacy further as well!

Julia Hughes is working toward several exciting SJ endeavors including the development of a TEDx series and a documentary that will highlight the advocacy and our society’s journey toward a new future of restorative justice. Raphael Sperry will be teaching what he believes is the country’s first course on architecture and human rights in San Francisco this fall, and is writing a book on the topic.