CSBR College of Design

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Staff Biographies

Rebecca Foss

Rebecca Lynn Foss

September 22, 1951 - May 7, 2005

In Memoriam to Our Friend and Colleague

"In the end, we will conserve only what we love...We will love only what we understand...We will understand only what we are taught." Lao-Tsu

Rebecca is greatly missed at the Center for Sustainable Building Research (CSBR) at the College of Design where she worked from 2000 until she passed away in May of 2005. We will continue to value and miss her warmth, humor and team spirit as well as her incredible knowledge of sustainable practices and materials.


While at the Center for Sustainable Building Research, she led or contributed to many projects including the Buildings, Benchmarks & Beyond (B3) Project: The State of Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines (MSBG), the Sustainable Materials Database, the Minnesota Green Affordable Housing Guide, Post Occupancy Evaluations of DNR Area Office Headquarters at Tower and Windom, Minnesota, and Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board (SWMCB) Post Occupancy Evaluations among many other projects. Some of her areas of specialty included green specifications, materials lifecycle analysis, and sustainable landscape architecture.


At the University of Minnesota, Rebecca also taught many classes in sustainable design to interior design and construction management students and guest lectured in undergraduate and graduate classes at the College of Design. Education was a theme in much of what she did, whether it was teaching a formal class, doing outreach or working on sustainable design tools. The quote at the top, from her email tag line, illustrates how important she felt education was as part of her commitment to environmental conservation and restoration.


Rebecca had many other career activities before and during her work at CSBR. After many years as a specifier for Ryan Companies, Ellerbe Becket Architects and Engineers and Meyer, Scherer and Rockcastle, Ltd., Rebecca started her own business as a sustainable design consultant in a company called EcoDesign Resource, Inc.. She also started a sustainable landscape design-build firm with her son called Sustainable Concepts, Inc.. Rebecca was an active member and leader of the Minneapolis-St. Paul CSI chapter and served as chapter president in 1999-2000. Rebecca was also active in the local AIA Committee for the Environment, and was a founding member and chair of the local USGBC chapter.


We will remember her friendship and her many contributions, and we will benefit from both as we continue her work in trying to make the world a better place.

Gifts in memory of Rebecca Foss, which will support sustainability programs in the College of Design, can be mailed to the University of Minnesota Foundation, noting Rebecca Foss Memorials, Fund 7683, at the following address:


University of Minnesota Foundation CM-3854 PO Box 70870 St. Paul, MN 55170


Online gifts can be made at https://www.foundation.umn.edu/pls/dmsn/online_giving.start_null

To speak with someone in person please contact Mark Hintz,(612) 624-7808; mihintz@umn.edu.


CSBR - Center for Sustainable Building Research:
1425 University Avenue SE, Suite 115
Minneapolis, MN 55455
voice: 612.626.2737
fax: 612.626.7424