World renown architect, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe taught at Illinois Institute of Technology and left behind him several buildings of his design and several other that were built using his methods.  Mies van der Rohe was considered one of the fathers of modern architecture and was critical to the development of the glass curtain wall buildings that are now commonplace in American urban architecture.  These buildings known for their ability to be built in factories and assembled in the field, radically changed the urban landscape.  Most of these buildings, however, were built at a time when energy was cheap and seemed to be limitless. 

That was then, this is now.  Univerdant member, Syntropy Building Systems was called in to passively reduce the temperature of the Life Sciences Building on the IIT campus, one of the Mies van der Rohe-inspired buildings on its Chicago campus.  The building was getting so hot that the air conditioning system was generating excess air pressure in a losing battle to cool down the building.  The air pressure was so high in the building that on more than one occasion it blew out twelve foot wide, quarter inch thick plate glass windows creating an enormous safety hazard for anyone entering the building during a hot summer day.

Syntropy, a distributor of Halcyon Shades, a metalized reflective film product made in St. Louis, Missouri, designed over sixty large shades with special magnetic brackets.  These shades literally could be taken out of the box and snapped in place in less time than it took to move the ladder used by the installer.  The magnetic brackets were necessary to avoid drilling into the steel window frames designed by Mies van der Rohe so as to avoid allowing corrosive moisture into the frame.  In the photo above, you can see the new shades installed by Syntropy (dark bronze) side-by-side with the old venetian blinds that had been used in the building for years.  The new Halcyon Shades allow building occupants to take in in the view of the surrounding campus while rejecting nearly 70% of the heat.  Consequently, head pressures on the air conditioning system can now be lowered thereby eliminating the threat to the glass and reducing energy demand substantially.

Univerdant members, Exergonix (makers of nano- particulate high-capacity lithium battery systems) and Unico (manufactures of high velocity heating and coolingsystems) have been working together to solve a persistent problem with high capacity energy storage - heat.  Typically, battery storage controls the temperature of the room or building containing the battery storage units.  The system under development in this collaboration, however, allows the cooling system to monitor and manage the heat of individual battery cells.  In a large capacity system like the ones built by Exergonix, there can be hundreds, or even thousands of individual lithium battery cells.  Being able to micromanage the temperature of the individual cells increases cell life, but also increases the efficiency of the entire battery storage system.

David Singer is the president of Warehouse of Fixtures TNG, one of the region's largest new and refurbished office furniture companies.  Warehouse of Fixtures has a comprehensive office furniture recycling program that significantly extends the life of office furnishings thereby avoiding waste.  Born and raised in University City, David MICDS before attending Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.  During his college years, he spent a year studying in Israel learning about sustainable farming and solar energy generation.  In 2004, after graduating from Brandeis, David restarted his family’s new and used furniture business, Warehouse of Fixtures, with his mother Joanne Singer and good friend Dan Lohman.  Warehouse of Fixtures ships their products to environmentally conscious corporations nationwide.
David is a member of the St. Louis Chapter of Entrepreneur’s Organization, a member and past president of the MAC Toastmasters Club, and a board member of the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition.  In his free time, enjoys hiking with his wife, Danielle, and dogs, Argos and Kassie.    

David was elected by the membership of Univerdant to be the president of the organization for the 2013 fiscal year.  He succeeds Nick Hennen as president of the organization.  Nick will remain on the board per the organization's operating agreement throughout 2013 as well.  

David has strong operational management skills and the membership is looking forward to his contribution to launching Univerdant into a fully funded, full service organization.   He has already made major contributions to the group by being one of the principal authors of the groups organizational documents operational plan.  

Jim Curran is executive vice president of the Electrical Connection, a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local One and the St. Louis Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). He cultivates professional relationships and develops new business opportunities with economic development stakeholders with a focus on Eastern Missouri, including the St. Louis region.

With more than 30 years experience in development and marketing positions, Curran is engaged in a number of organizations advancing Missouri’s economic development and energy needs. He is a board member and an elected member of the Missouri Energy Initiative’s Executive Committee.  He is also on the board of the Hawthorn Foundation. Since 2004, Curran has been the elected District 5 Director of the Missouri Economic Development Council (MEDC) and is the Public Policy Liaison for District 5. 

In addition, Curran serves on the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association (RCGA) Green Talent Task Force; the China Hub Initiative Advance Manufacturing Committee; the St. Louis Regional Clean Cities Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Committee; the Univerdant Sustainability Network board; I-44 High Tech Corridor Advisory Board, Missouri’s Small Modular Reactor Suppliers Committee member; and the St. Charles Economic Development Center Incubator Advisory Committee.  He was also named to the St. Louis Business Journal’s list of Who’s Who in Energy in 2012.

Curran previously served as economic development director for the cities of O’Fallon and Fenton, both suburbs of St. Louis, and as president of the Fenton Development Association.  He was formerly president and CEO of the International Order of the Golden Rule and president of Curran Consulting.  Earlier in his career, he was associate director of the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, where he generated more than $3 billion in economic impact through his bookings.  He is past president of the Hotel Sales and Management Association.  For eight years, he hosted the “Curran Events” talk show on WGNU.  

The Electrical Connection is located at 5735 Elizabeth, St. Louis, Mo. (63110).  Its member electrical and communication contractors and their IBEW craftspeople serve facility owners in the city of St. Louis and the 25 Missouri counties of Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Dunklin, Franklin, Iron, Jefferson, Lincoln, Madison, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Perry, Reynolds, Ripley, St. Charles, St. Francois, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Scott, Stoddard, Warren, Washington and Wayne.