Bob Berkebile, FAIA, a founding principal of Kansas City, Mo.-based BNIM Architects, will offer attendees at the 19thannual METALCON International a new way of looking at their role in the future of design and construction.

NEWTON, Mass. - Bob Berkebile, FAIA, a founding principal of Kansas City, Mo.-based BNIM Architects, will offer attendees at the 19thannual METALCON International a new way of looking at their role in the future of design and construction. His keynote presentation titled, Creating a New Sustainable Economy, is slated for 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 6, which is opening day of this major international conference and exhibition at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Fla.

Berkebile is a leading authority on sustainable design and a distinguished presenter whose vision, passion and commitment to improving the quality of life via the built environment stretches far beyond what the eye can see.

At METALCON, he will give the audience some encouraging thoughts on how to approach today’s economic and environmental situations.

“We’re being so inundated with news about economic freefall and collapse of the environment that the average citizen or business person may become overwhelmed and conclude there’s nothing they can do,” he said. “But from what I’ve observed in recent global summits, this is the most transformative and powerful moment in the history of the planet. We’ve reached this critical stage because we’ve used obsolete thinking for centuries. Right now, we have the technology and communications systems to make the changes required to improve our children’s economic and environmental vitality. But the question is whether we have the will to become more informed and to make the change.”

Although there has been a shift in thinking in the last 10 years, Berkebile feels we still need to evaluate whether we’re on the right path.

“Recent changes in the construction industry such as the USGBC’s LEED rating system have brought us to rethink materials sourcing, how we design and construct, and the impact of those decisions,” he said. “That’s a nice start but the key, and still unanswered, question is, are we propping up an old obsolete system or creating a new regenerative one?”

BNIM Architects (www.bnim.com) is a multidisciplinary architecture and planning firm founded in 1970 in Kansas City. In addition to this headquarters location, the firm now has offices in Houston, Texas; Des Moines, Iowa; and San Diego, Calif.

BNIM has worked with metal since the 1970s when the firm was a design consultant for Butler Manufacturing. The firm worked with Butler builders nationally to find ways to use the systems more elegantly, to create better designs and to improve benefits for occupants of the buildings.

Berkebile and his firm are known as pioneers in the sustainable movement and as thought leaders in the industry who are setting new design standards for efficient use of resources. “We recognized the efficiencies in a well-designed metal structure as we started working with the USGBC and life cycle analysis,” he added.

Each year METALCON brings together nearly 8,000 architects, builders, contractors, specifiers, developers, building owners, government officials and manufacturers from 50 different countries. The 2009 event will feature 300 exhibiting companies, a 47-session education program and three days of new, exciting live-action demos of application techniques. For more information, call 800-357-7765 or visit www.metalcon.com.