Climate Adaptive Design Symposium - where Building Science meets Climate Science

The Asheville section of the American Institute of Architects continues its series of professional development programs designed to build proficiency related to climate change and architecture. Where Building Science Meets Climate Science is the 6th annual gathering of the series that brings architects together with climate scientists.

Building Science Presentation: Climate Change – Now What?  How will Architects Respond?

When we emerge from the Corona Virus Global Pandemic will our collective awareness and understanding be sufficiently heightened as to how truly interrelated we all are to each other, how global problems require global solutions and how we all need to do our part?  Hopefully the lessons that we are now learning will carry over and enable the World to come together and better address what is certainly a much greater threat to humanity – Climate Change.  

There has been much said about the costs that are required to effectively address Climate Change but much less about the greater financial ramifications associated with inaction.  This presentation will clarify both and put into perspective what society is now experiencing in terms of Climate Change impacts and what will very likely occur in the future if efforts to mitigate the impacts are not significantly increased NOW.  Presented will be the most up-to-date information relative to the estimated costs associated with specific mitigation strategies as well as the financial and social benefits that can be derived from these specific solutions – solutions that can be made possible by sustainable design.   

Because of the very significant impact that the operation and construction of buildings has on greenhouse gas emissions, how architects respond to the challenge will determine what kind of world we have for decades to come.    

Climate Science Presentation: Let Them Eat Cake: An Untraditional Guide to Navigating the National Climate Assessment Data Marketplace

In what seems like an impossible connection, this talk will use cake as a perfect metaphor to introduce how climate data and information are identified and accessed out of the National Climate Assessment (NCA). Ms. Champion will highlight a series of data sources and tools to orient any interested consumer of the NCA. Following this presentation, users will understand how data and information are collected, accessed, and applied out of the NCA, and will have a list of sources and tools by which they can tailor the information for their applications. 

Continuing Education Credits

This 6th annual program earns participants two continuing education credits approved by related professional associations for the purpose of maintaining professional certifications.


This 2-hour webcast includes two speaker presentations, questions and answers, and a paneled discussion.

Featured Speakers

Michael Nicklas, Fellow of AIA, President of Innovative Design

Michael Nicklas, a Fellow of AIA, is a national authority on solar and sustainability. He graduated from NC State University with a Bachelor of Architecture and has been the President of Innovative Design since the firm was established in 1977. He has served on the board of directors of the NC Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA), American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) every year from 1979 to 2005. While serving on these boards, he led many significant efforts from implementing solar tax credits in the NC legislature to supporting energy-efficiency and solar energy inclusion within the UN Earth Summit’s Agenda 21.  Mr. Nicklas has met with heads-of-state of eight countries and presented lectures and organized conferences around the globe to educate and encourage sustainable energy. 

Sarah Champion, Data Architect - National Climate Assessment

Sarah Champion is a leader of the National Climate Assessment of the US Global Climate Research Program. This program opens authentic sourceable data and information to professional practitioners, policy makers, and businesses for direct use across the U.S. Since 2014, she has worked for the North Carolina Cooperative Institute of Climate and Satellites in collaboration with NOAA National Center for Environmental Information.  She currently leads the team to manage all institutional assessment data including transparency, curation, and archives, making her an expert in accessible climate data.

Ms. Champion is a veteran, serving the U.S. Air Force as a professional meteorologist and the Pentagon as a planning officer. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Pennsylvania State University and Master of Science in Meteorology from The Naval Postgraduate School. She is currently earning a PhD from North Carolina State University.

The conference is a collaboration between the Asheville Section of American Institute of Architects (AIA Asheville) and CASE Consultants International - Led by Steering Committee:

For information about previous events see or contact 

CASE Consultants International applies Climate Arts and Sciences Expertise to inform real-world decisions in climate adaptation, sustainability, and resilience. We mainstream climate science into the practices of climate-sensitive professions. CASE connects science to solutions, informing decisions in a warming world.