Charlie Szoradi
AUTHOR

Charlie Szoradi

Charlie Szoradi's two decade combination of drawings and observations sheds new light on critical thinking for young and old minds, high Return on Investment (ROI) for business opportunities, springboards for groundbreaking future innovations, and a sustainable triple bottom line that supports people, the planet, and profit. At the 6” x 9” size, this book has 200 drawings and images across 400 pages and 60,000 words of actionable intelligence from travel observations around the world. Charlie Szoradi is an architect, inventor, and the CEO of Independence LED Lighting. He is passionate about cost-effective sustainability and is a sought after speaker. As an entrepreneur, Charlie has pioneered groundbreaking new energy intelligent products and services. He graduated from the University of Virginia and earned his master's from the University of Pennsylvania. Charlie has authored numerous articles, op-eds and the biography of Leon Battista Alberti for the Encyclopedia of Architecture. He lives with his family in a solar home that he designed outside of Philadelphia. This book earned Editor's Choice and Rising Start Awards from iUniverse. Additional background also online (www.IndependenceLED.com/bios): Charlie Szoradi is the founder of Independence LED Lighting, the first authentic U.S. manufacturer of high-efficiency LED fixtures and a lighting solutions provider with comprehensive support services for property owners and managers. Mr. Szoradi brings multiple decades of hands on experience to sustainability and cost-savings for retrofits and new construction. He focuses on high performance architecture, and in the early 1990s he wrote his Masters of Architecture thesis on Energy Intelligence – “Eco-Humanism.” Mr. Szoradi is a graduate of the University of Virginia, and he earned his Masters from the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Szoradi is a LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Accredited Professional), a Certified Building Performance Institute (BPI) Energy Auditor, and he has taken a leadership role in sustainability at the regional and national level. In 2009, Mr. Szoradi was elected to the Board of the Sustainable Business Network and selected as a member of the Green Economy Task Force, with direct participation on the Capitol Hill Delegation. The next year, he moved the Company’s LED tube manufacturing from China to southeastern Pennsylvania. Mr. Szoradi led the team, wrote the primary claims, and developed the key figures for the July 21st, 2011 Patent Filing for: LIGHT ENGINE DEVICE WITH DIRECT TO LINEAR SYSTEM DRIVER. The Patent file has multiple different claims and over 30 figures. In that same year, the company won the Green Business of the Year Award by the Main Line Chamber of Commerce, followed two years later with the Best Lighting Retrofit by the U.S. Green Building Council for the Urban Green Award. Independence LED Lighting has since earned the trust of facility managers and engineers across the market with installations ranging from Fortune 100 clients to the U.S. Military. The company has also provided the lights for the largest LED tube retrofit in U.S. history with over 2 miles (38 football fields) of installed energy saving tubes. From the cover profile of Inventors Digest Magazine to a speaker at the Made in America State of the Region panel, Mr. Szoradi has dedicated his career to innovation in clean energy technology. Prior to Independence LED Lighting, Mr. Szoradi founded and ran GREENandSAVE, a leading efficiency resource focusing on Return on Investment (ROI), that was one of the finalists of the Sustainability Awards. Mr. Szoradi has always been inspired by the potential of making environmentally sensitive architecture accessible to mainstream Americans. Rather than just defaulting to techniques from 1970s technology and aesthetics, he created a platform to produce active/passive integrated systems. The design solutions focus on function, style, significant cost-savings, and environmental sustainability. Mr. Szoradi encourages the adaptive re-use of existing structures and materials, all while maintaining functionality and an overall aesthetic that appeals to the traditional as well as contemporary aesthetics. Mr. Szoradi and his wife, Cynthia, completed the renovation and a major addition to a formerly in-efficient 1950s residence that they were able to “re-use” and transform rather than tear down. The home focuses on saving money as well as the environment, and it is one of the most eco-friendly homes in America. This adaptive-reuse concept is also core to the business model of Independence LED Lighting, in that for many applications the LED tubes replace the less efficient fluorescent tubes while re-use the existing fixture housing for cost-effective results. Mr. Szoradi is a sought-after subject matter expert and speaker on adaptive re-use and sustainable design with appearances at a diverse range of leading institutions such as the Green Building Council, Brain Reserve Think Tank, and the Wharton Business School. He has served multiple years as the Senior Lecturer at the University of the Arts, where he has created programs such as Urbitec, which focus on innovative product design through recycling and re-use. He has also been featured in a documentary film that received the Director’s Award at the Black Mariah Film Festival. The film specifically profiles his vision and follows the process of adaptive re-use in converting a 22,000 square foot abandoned church complex into a mixed-use residential and commercial property. Mr. Szoradi has also served as a consultant to the Philadelphia Office of Recycling across many years. He created the education kiosk program and the website as the cornerstone of the interactive marketing initiative. 1993 and 1994 were benchmark years that “seeded” the growth of Independence LED Lighting. In 1993, Mr. Szoradi completed his Masters Thesis and secured his first US Patent #5,215,490 on the modular building block set of tenon engaging edge connecting members. The thesis set the stage for the groundbreaking new approach to energy efficient and environmentally sustainable architecture. The invention set the stage for a new modular approach to lighting, given the patent’s focus on modular construction sets, which also led to applications in high performance concrete and structural insulated panels. In 1994, Mr. Szoradi conceived and produced a pilot Eco-Culture/Recycling show “Fix the Hut.” The show was the culmination of over twenty-five interview segments shot across the country over a two-year period. The show focused specifically on people that had created innovative habitats, furniture, fashion, and lifestyles related to adaptive re-use and environmental sustainability. This interest in communicating through eco-education programs, speaking engagements, and media has coincided with Mr. Szoradi’s ongoing work in architecture, energy smart real estate development, and high performance lighting. Over his career, Mr. Szoradi has partnered to purchase over 200,000 sq. ft. of urban space that he has had a hand in converting from “left for ruin” factories, warehouses, and schools into mixed-use residential and commercial property. Transforming neighborhoods and salvaging urban landscape has been an integral part of overall sustainability in his career. Over the course of his energy auditing, Mr. Szoradi continued to see commercial properties with fluorescent tubes that had not been optimized for decades. He found that lighting accounted for over 25% of commercial electricity, which inspired the LED technology which now cots the wattage and cost by more than half. Mr. Szoradi’s early inspiration to focus on sustainability came at the end of the 1970s when he sat at a young age in a gas line with his dad during the gas crisis. His father, an architect that had escaped through the Soviet iron curtain to come from Hungary to America in 1957, introduced his son to colleagues that were then pioneering active and passive solar powered houses in America. Mr. Szoradi learned from is dad that Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the White House, so he teamed up with two friends at St. Albans School for Boys and proceeded to build “Omega – The Boat of the Future” and subsequently won the Grade School Science Fair Popular Prize with their solar powered ship. Over extended family events, like Thanksgiving, Mr. Szoradi also learned in his childhood about his great grandfather on his mother’s side. Carl Zwermann had secured over a dozen patents of his engineering designs for what we all use and take for granted today. He invented key aspects of the “water closet” with the bowl, tank, and interior mechanics that we now call the modern toilet. His manufacturing facilities in Michigan and Illinois became key cornerstones of production in the early decades of the 1900s. The production plants also used innovative thermal management to increase efficiency in the porcelain kiln and drying processes. By the end of the 1920s, Carl Zwermann had built the family’s U.S. porcelain sanitary plant into one of the largest manufacturing facilities of its kind in the world. Years later, major influences on Mr. Szoradi have also included working in Northern California’s bay area, working in Japan for the celebrated eco-architect Kinya Maruyama, living in Eastern European hubs like Budapest and Prague, rural villages, and Amish communities that rely almost exclusively on sustainable living practices. Over his academic and professional career, Mr. Szoradi has traveled extensively throughout Asia, Africa, Central America, North America, plus Central and Eastern Europe, where he has studied specifically how people build cost-effective and environmentally sensitive homes, commercial structures, and communities. Mr. Szoradi grew up in Washington, DC and graduated from St. Albans School for Boys. He then earned his undergraduate degree in Architecture from the University of Virginia and went on to earn his Masters of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Szoradi is a registered architect and currently lives in Greater Philadelphia with his wife, son, and daughter in their self-sustaining home. Mr. Szoradi comes from a four generation line of patent holders, U.S. manufacturers, and innovators across the built world with 100 Years of Family Innovation. IN THE NEWS: CISCO Systems selected Mr. Szoradi, for their One Million Acts of Green. See the video profiles: Small Acts, Big Rewards and The Most Energy Efficient Home. Links here: www.IndependenceLED.com/bios

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