Learn how the technologies growers use to accomplish cultivation and post-harvest processes can help improve business outcomes in other ways beyond saving energy.
Gretchen is a professional engineer who has spent the past five years optimizing controlled environment agriculture operations for resource efficiency and productivity. Schimelpfenig earned a B.S. in Architectural Engineering from the University of Wyoming and an M.S. in Civil Engineering, Sustainable Design & Construction with a concentration in energy from Stanford University. Her diverse professional experience includes time spent commissioning commercial buildings, designing utility energy efficiency programs, and helping businesses like the University of Vermont and the City of Burlington benchmark their resource consumption. She specializes in analyzing the operation of building systems for cultivation facilities and helps the members of RII’s Utility Working Group reach cultivators with their financial incentives and technical assistance.
As Technical & Operations Director of RII, Gretchen manages the PowerScore resource benchmarking platform, facilitates RII’s Technical Advisory Council Working Groups and creates curriculum and training to educate producers, efficiency programs, and design and construction communities. She works with members and subject matter experts to publish best practices guidance for production of plants in controlled environments, develops and delivers curriculum, and supports PowerScore users with resource benchmarking analysis and reporting compliance. Schimelpfenig writes for industry publications and is a columnist for GIE Media and Meister Media and publishes in Greenhouse Grower, Greenhouse Management, Cannabis Business Times, and the Cultivation Classroom column for Cannabis Science & Technology. Gretchen grows vine crops and herbs in her veggie garden, greenhouse, and basement in her Vermont farmhouse and is constantly using her HVAC and lighting knowledge to optimize her grow environments.
She works directly with the DesignLights Consortium to increase the adoption of third-party certification of horticultural building systems. Gretchen also represents RII on several industry committees developing standards for CEA including the ASABE PAFS-30 (Plant Systems Group), ES-300 (Electrical Utilization & Energy Group), and ES-310 (Agricultural Lighting Group), ASHRAE Technical Committee 2.2 (Plant and Animal Environments), ASTM Committee D37 on Cannabis, IES Horticultural Lighting Subcommittee, and Task Group 1 of the UL 3600 Scorecard for Measuring and Reporting Circular Economy Aspects of Products, Sites and Organizations.
Brian is a founding partner of Anderson Porter Design, Inc., an international practice focused on design and architecture for the cannabis industry. Anderson Porter Design provides strategy, technology, design and thought leadership built on 20 years as a general practice in Architecture. Since 2014 they have focused on buildings for plants: Controlled-Environmental Horticulture (CEH), Extraction / Manufacturing and Retail Dispensaries.
Brian merges a RISD education in the craft tradition of making and designing objects with an analytic data driven process to drive value along the cannabis supply chain. He has a Masters degree from Harvard and has been in practice since 1992. Anderson provides professional leadership in strategic planning and design. He speaks nationally on energy sustainability in the Cannabis Industry, Facility Design, and on interior design for retail.
Anderson Porter Design were the architects for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston from 1999 – 2006. The events of 9/11 necessitated site and building security upgrades both physical and electronic. Anderson's specialty in building design for security includes a new vehicle inspection and site security measures for the FRB. The program included site upgrades and a new building for the inspection of all vehicles entering the underground garage capable of protecting the bank from a car or truck bomb. Anderson has further specialization in buildings with complex programs as architect with a team from Mumbai India for MIT’s Neuroscience Laboratory and architect for commercial medical device manufacturing facilities in Massachusetts. Anderson has extensive experience with public agencies and non-profit organizations. He brings over a decade of work with small business retail and interior design with both private and public clients.
Brian began working with cannabis clients in 2014. He is working with clients in various stages of state approvals process in MA, NJ, CO, OR, AR, OH, OK, MO, MI, VA, WVA, PA and FL.
Dr. Lefsrud, an Associate Professor at McGill University leads the Biomass Production Laboratory. His upbringing on a farm and work in the oil fields of Alberta, Canada combined with his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Agricultural and Bioresource Engineering and a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology gives him a very strong background in the fields of agriculture, biology, and engineering. His research program focuses on the plant growth environment and how to improve plant and microbial yield. The Biomass Production Laboratory focus is developing methods and technologies to improve environmental control, energy efficiency, harvesting and post harvest handling and bioprocesses of living organisms. This laboratory’s primary goal is the improvement of plants for human consumption (food security), human health (medical cannabis), environmental protection (green building materials) and energy (biofuels).
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