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  • Lars Lawson

Daniel Overbey: IRC Recycling Rock Star

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

Celebrate the awesomeness of Daniel Overbey by making a donation to the IRC in his honor. Your tax-deductible contribution will help the IRC reach its 30th Anniversary fundraising campaign goal and helps fund our education and advocacy projects – and more

Daniel Overbey designs buildings that are safe, sustainable and suitable for everyone. This architect is future-focused: he creates high-performance building designs and maximizes energy efficiency. Each creation is built to last.

People rarely have control of the design behind the buildings they enter. Overbey connects their needs with environmental needs. As a result, he makes the best decisions for both the health of the people and the health of the environment.

Overbey’s path in sustainable design began back in 2002, when he pursued his degree in architecture. He discovered the book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. This manifesto was written by chemist Michael Braungart and architect William McDonough. He never expected the book would change his life the way it did. 

The book, written by chemist Michael Braungart and architect William McDonough, emphasizes the “cradle to cradle” approach to production. It’s the idea that products should serve their purpose for a long time. At the end of the product’s life, it should discover rebirth through a new use. This idea of rebirth is at odds with the “cradle to grave” approach, when an item is made for one or two uses. When he read about these concepts, Overbey “saw the opportunity to find more meaning in a profession.” and he decided to take advantage of this. 

Now, Overbey is an Assistant Professor at Ball State University, as well as the Director of Sustainability at Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf Architects in Indianapolis. His impact spans throughout Indiana, manifesting in projects with over one million square-feet of LEED-certified building space in Indiana. He sets an example for his students to engage in sustainable practices in architecture and design.

Overbey emphasizes that waste is a human-made product, and that it does not exist in natural systems. Waste is prevalent in architecture, and Overbey attempts to reduce all kinds of waste as much as possible in his planning. He involves experts from other industries to reduce all forms of waste in production. These collaborations increase the use of cradle to cradle products.

Overbey hopes that Indiana, specifically Indianapolis, will do better in reducing its waste stream. He sees a possible future that creates more sustainable products and services.

Written by Maura Heneghan


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