GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted
BS* + Beer

The BS* + Beer Show: “Pretty Good” Landscapes

Two landscape architects discuss best practices for residential landscape design and construction

A sustainable, resilient, and regenerative landscape in San Mateo, California, designed with a defensible space to protect the house against wildfire.

This episode of the BS* + Beer Show is a discussion about landscaping with Kerry Lewis and Sutter Wehmeier. Though they work on opposite coasts, they share common practices that ensure climate-appropriate, resource-efficient, and long-lived residential landscapes. Water harvesting, triple-bottom-line materials, “drought-preferring” plants, site protection during construction, and wildfire resilience are among the talking points.

Enjoy the show!

The BS* + Beer Show schedule

Join us on May 5, 2022, from 6-7:30 p.m. ET for a conversation about “Company Leadership Transitions” with John Abrams, Paul Eldrenkamp, Deirdre Bohan, and Rachel White. How do you transition a company from one owner to another? Are there special considerations for design and/or build businesses? Some owners simply close the doors, or work until they can’t. There are other, perhaps better, options. As the founders and new owners/managers of two building science–focused design-build firms, these folks are uniquely qualified to explain those options.


John Abrams is CEO and co-founder of South Mountain Company. For 45 years, John has devoted himself to creating, nurturing, and growing SMCo and a variety of public initiatives. These days, he concentrates on building capacity for the 2022 transition and sharing his expertise with others. John’s book Companies We Keep: Employee Ownership and the Business of Community and Place, was published by Chelsea Green Publishing in 2008.

Deirdre Bohan is COO and co-owner of South Mountain Company. Deirdre was born and raised in Europe and spent childhood summers in Vineyard Haven on Cape Cod. After graduating from Brown University, with a degree in Computer Science, she returned to the island to work a variety of jobs before settling at South Mountain. Since joining the team in 1995, she has inhabited a variety of roles, including but not limited to: bookkeeper, founder of the interiors department, chair of the management committee, and now COO.

Rachel White is CEO of Byggmeister Design/Build, a nearly 40 year-old residential remodeling company that is striving to serve as an exemplary steward of homes and to prepare them to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Rachel has been affiliated with Byggmeister since 2008, when she hired the firm to renovate her house. What started as an effort to reduce the energy and carbon footprint of her own home became her life’s work. Prior to joining Byggmeister Rachel taught modern Jewish history to adult learners. She holds a PhD in Religious Studies from Brown University and a BA in Religion from Haverford College.

Paul Eldrenkamp is a business consultant with HELM Construction Solutions. His first job in construction was building panelized passive solar livestock confinements in Eldora, Iowa, in the late 1970s. Shortly after finishing college, in 1983 he founded Byggmeister, Inc, a residential design-build remodeling firm. In 2014, Byggmeister began a conversion to employee-ownership that was completed in October of 2021. Paul was an early participant in groundbreaking remodeling industry peer review groups such as Les Cunningham’s Business Networks and Linda Case and Victoria Downing’s Remodelers Advantage; from that experience he went on to co-found NESEA’s Bottom Lines peer review networks with Jamie Wolf and John Abrams in 2014 and continues to serve as a group facilitator. He was a member of the first Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) training with Katrin Klingenberg in Urbana, Illinois, in 2008, and a founding member of the Passive House MA board in 2010. He has served on NESEA’s board and as chair of the Building Energy 13 conference. Over the years, he has written several dozen articles on business and technical topics for the Journal of Light Construction, Green Building Advisor, and Fine Homebuilding. Most recently, he helped establish NESEA’s BEST program, which creates mentoring and career discovery opportunities between small design, construction, and engineering businesses and students from Boston-area vocational high schools.

Use this link to register for The BS* + Beer Show


Kiley Jacques is senior editor at Green Building Advisor. Photo by Caitlin Atkinson, courtesy of BASE Landscape Architecture.





Log in or create an account to post a comment.



Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |