Sherwood Institute is a non-profit founded in 2009 in San Francisco by a group of forward-looking engineers seeking to address some of humankind’s most pressing problems. Modern cities depend upon a fragile web of systems currently on the brink of collapse – central to these are the water, energy and ecological networks that are unraveling. The increasing scale and threat of ecosystem collapse, drought, catastrophic flooding, water wars and energy crises point to the challenges ahead. Sherwood Institute’s mission is to get the policies, plans and technologies in place to support the rapid transition to resilient energy, water and ecological infrastructure. The Institute is supported by a group of the world’s leading experts from Asia, The US and Europe.


“…to find the balance that will one day make our projects truly sustainable, the need for continued research and innovation persists. Every step we take moving forward is encumbered with greater knowledge and greater risk. Greater knowledge of our surroundings and the greater risk of losing control of the balance that supports the life on our planet. It is in the context of this challenge that we have started the Sherwood Institute. The institute was established to further the research and advancements associated with our work as engineers, planners and thinkers, and to deepen the interdisciplinary collaboration focused on finding solutions to the world’s water, energy and infrastructure challenges.”

- Bry Sarté, Sustainable Infrastructure: The Guide to Green Engineering and Design

Key Projects Underway

  • Sustainable Water Resource Planning for the City of New Orleans, USA
  • Bangalore Lakes Restoration, India
  • State of the States, USA

Projects Under Development

  • Sustainable Water Resource Plan for the City of Langfang, China

Recently Completed Projects

  • Sustainable Water Management Toolkit for the Pearls Rating System – Estidama, United Arab Emirates

International Impact

The Sherwood Institute is focused on advancing key policies and sustainable technologies in the developed world while prioritizing advancements in the developing world where rapid urbanization is having the biggest effect on the environment.

The Crisis

Modern cities depend upon a fragile web of systems currently on the brink of collapse. Central to these are the water, energy and ecological networks that are closely linked and are unstable globally.

The increasing scale and threat of ecosystem collapse, drought, catastrophic flooding, water wars and energy crises point to the challenges ahead. Much of this is an outcome of the outmoded mechanisms of city-making: fighting nature, extractive infrastructure, reckless and wasteful.

In the US alone $2.2 trillion in upgrades to our nation’s infrastructure is needed over the next 5 years to prevent catastrophic failures. And this is in the world’s wealthiest country. Globally infrastructure is continuously being reworked and expanded. It is critical to start building in a way that will sustain our survival and allow our inheritors to prosper. It is city infrastructure that has allowed modern civilizations to expand and could also be its undoing.

Our Vision

We envision a future where our cities are supported by water, energy and ecological infrastructure that is regenerative, efficient, and resilient.

Water and energy infrastructure modeled after the multi-purpose, regenerative designs that nature has perfected will replace the single purpose, highly wasteful systems of the last century that are consuming earth’s resources faster than they can be renewed.

It is only through rapid and widespread adoption of this vision, coupled with aggressive adaptive pilot programs that we can hope to see our population grow from 7 to 10 billion people on earth and will take even more work to provide a high quality of life.

Our Mission

The Sherwood Institute’s mission is to transform destructive, resource depleting cities from within by creating life-enhancing regenerative water, energy and ecological infrastructure. To replace human dependence on fossil fuel-based technologies and outmoded infrastructure, Sherwood Institute advances urban and ecological change by: promoting transformative technologies, creating supportive implementation frameworks, and providing resources for local champions.

What We Do

Sherwood advances our mission through four major activities:

  • Research
  • Projects
  • Consulting
  • Education / Outreach


S. Bry Sarté, PE – Executive Director -

Bry Sarté founded the Sherwood Institute in 2009 where he serves as Executive Director. The Institute is comprised of academic, professional, and government advisors from five countries directing research and innovation at the nexus of critical water and energy issues. Mr. Sarté is the author of the recently published John Wiley & Sons book, Sustainable Infrastructure: The Guide to Green Engineering and Design, which serves as a comprehensive guide to integrating sustainable strategies into infrastructure planning and design with emphasis on water resource management, site design and land planning.

John S. Leys, PE, LEED AP – Associate Director -

Mr. Leys currently serves as Associate Director of the Sherwood Institute, a non-profit focused on directing research and innovation at the nexus of critical water and energy issues. The nonprofit’s mission is to safeguard and extend the availability and energy efficiency of the threatened vital fresh water resources in the six developed continents. Mr. Leys is a LEED Accredited Professional and a member of the US Green Building Council. He received degrees in Environmental Studies and Civil Engineering from the University of California and has worked in the offices of planners, architects, and landscape architects as a civil engineer.

Michael W. Thornton, PE, LEED AP – Managing Director -

Michael Thornton is a passionate advocate of innovative, inclusive, long-view thinking and design and applies this passion at Sherwood Design Engineers to advance new concepts in infrastructure, buildings and land use on projects around the world. He helped found the Sherwood Institute to extend this mission further. Mr. Thornton graduated with a dual degree BS Mechanical Engineering and BA Environmental Sciences / Policy from Duke University which gives him a diverse background in engineering and sustainability challenges to draw from. In addition to his non-profit work at the Sherwood Institute, Mr. Thornton co-founded and serves as Chief Technical Officer of the US based Kamu Kamu, Inc. a non-profit doing work in Uganda and serves on the Executive Board of the Uganda Village Project.

Jeremy Linneman – Board Member -

Jeremy Linneman, Special Projects Director, The Ocean Foundation. Jeremy has almost a decade of experience in marine conservation philanthropy, during which time he has consulted for a number of private and public foundations. He has been the Special Projects Director at The Ocean Foundation for over five years, where he manages their grantmaking activities, as well as their International Coral Trade and SeaGrass Grow campaigns. Jeremy has a master’s degree in Pacific International Affairs from the University of California, San Diego, with special emphasis on international environmental policy and international economic development. Jeremy is an avid cyclist, SCUBA diver, traveler, and general lover of the outdoors.

Michaela Kerrissey – Board Member -

Michaela Kerrissey’s work has focused on finding replicable, community-based solutions to public health challenges. She currently serves as a consultant with the Bridgespan Group, a nonprofit management consulting firm spun out of Bain & Co. Through this role, she has provided advisory services to help strengthen the impact of nonprofit organizations in various fields. She has a Master of Science degree from the Harvard School of Public Health, where she was a Reynolds Fellow, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University, where she was a Robertson Scholar and a Hart Fellow. She has worked for a number of years in sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on Uganda, Tanzania, and South Africa. She is the founder of the nonprofit organization Kamu Kamu, Inc.

Barbara Franzoia – Board Member -

Barbara Franzoia has been a pioneer in brand marketing for startups since1995. In her consulting practice she has successfully established awareness for a wide range of organizations, from open source solutions provider, Red Hat to national non profit, Public Architecture. Franzoia has held board positions with San Francisco Beautiful, StartupCause, and Wholly H20. She holds degrees in Business and Communications from CSUC and San Francisco State University. Recent impactful marketing campaigns include the Diaspora Project, Opower, and The Power of Pro Bono.

Vivek Menon; CEO, Invicus Engineering

Vivek Menon, M.S.C.E, P.E., current CEO of civil engineering consulting firm Invicus, has extensive international experience working on large infrastructure projects with oversight of contracts worth over INR 7,000 Crores. Previously, Mr. Menon was a senior executive at Parsons Brinckerhoff, and has held Senior Executive Management positions at CH2M Hill, Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam and the Texas Department of Transportation. Mr. Menon has also served as a steering committee member of various institutions, including the Houston Metropolitan Study, the Indo American Political Action Committee (IAPAC), the American Society of Indian Engineers and the Chapter Coordinator for the American India Foundation.



Vincci Mak – Board Member -

Vincci Mak is an Assistant Professor within the Division of Landscape Architecture at HKU’s Faculty of Architecture. She is the Design Studio Coordinator for MLA Year 1, and is also involved in the teaching of the BAAS (LM) program. Vincci received her architectural training and obtained a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) degree from the University of Southern California in the US. She then pursued her further studies in landscape architecture, and received a Masters in Landscape Architecture (MLA) degree from the Graduate School of Design (GSD) at Harvard University. As a design practitioner, Vincci sees no definite boundaries among the various design disciplines. She has been practicing as a landscape designer/master-planner/urban designer in both Hong Kong and London, with project locations ranging from Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

John Collins; Managing Director of The Clean Tech Advisory.

Collins has worked with emergent technology companies and investors in the wind power, water, carbon, sustainability, and energy efficiency spaces. John has extensive experience in high-tech sales, partner relations, marketing, and management with such companies as ChoicePoint (NYSE: CPS), TouchPoint, Atlantech Pacific, and FWB Hammer. He is the Operations Lead at Imagine H2O and serves on the advisory board of the Sherwood Institute. John has an B.A., from Columbia University in the City of New York.

Voon-Fui Lai; Architect and Urban Planner.

Lai has experience across a variety of design disciplines including master planning, architecture, landscape design and interiors. He understands the strategic issues needed for a city to grow sustainably and develops clients’ initial ideas into robust contextual solutions to foster successful communities. He identifies and leads effective integrated project teams to deliver real estate and infrastructure development projects in the Middle East, Europe and Central Asia, working on developments which range from 45 Ha to 2,600 Ha. Lai regularly liaises with governmental agencies to contribute to their vision on strategic transport, tourism, development and sustainability policies. Lai also speaks at seminars and conferences worldwide on thought leadership issues relating to the delivery of strategic developments in developed and emerging economies.

Paul Kephart; Biologist, Restoration Ecologist, and Designer of “living architectural systems.”

Kephart is sought after for his skill as an innovater and pioneer in the fields of ecological design and environmental planning. Mr. Kephart has developed his deep understanding of natural processes over the course of thirty years of diverse ecological work including: ecological design, horticulture, biological assessment, watershed management, land stewardship and resource management planning. Paul applies ecological principles to architecture and design by integrating mechanical, plumbing, and energy systems with site and structure.

Lewis Knight; Urban Strategist & Designer with Gensler in San Francisco.

Knight has experience throughout the United States, Europe and his native (and dry) Australia. Lewis believes our settlement patterns need to evolve to become deeply nourishing, and maintains teaching and research agendas as the foundation of design of places of extreme sustainability (that capitalize on cultural, environmental and design capital).

Richard Mullane; Director, Living Projects.

Richard is a built environment professional with 10 years of experience. Following an MSc in City Regeneration & Planning at the London UCL Bartlett school, Richard worked to establish Design for Homes, a UK non profit educational initiative to improve the quality of UK mixed use environments. He remains a Design for Homes Director but has since set up Living Projects, which specialises in educational films about the built environment. Richard writes and produces films alongside built environment training and quality assessment of UK schemes. Recent films include a documentary about the green city extension to Stockholm ‘Hammarby Sjostad’, as well as training and case study films for the UK architectural design watchdog the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment and the UK government Homes and Communities Agency. Richard also teaches the planning unit “Film making in the Built Environment” at the UCL Bartlett. He lives and works in London. Site: www.living-projects.co.uk/planning

Sandy Robertson; Senior Research Engineer and Lecturer in Stanford’s Civil & Environmental Engineering Department.

Robertson’s work in the water/environmental field began with the Peace Corps in Thailand, followed by work as an engineer for a consulting firm in Sacramento, California. At Stanford both as a student and staff member, Robertson has been involved in research on topics ranging from copper geochemistry, groundwater recharge, advanced wastewater treatment processes, and human exposure to pesticides.

Michel St. Pierre; Urban Planner and Architect with EHDD in San Francisco.

St. Pierre is a licensed architect and urban designer that has developed a unique expertise in planning and urban design spanning several continents. His areas of interest include urban infill / brownfield site reuse; new towns/new communities master plans; transit oriented development ; and historic revitalization. His practice has a special focus in the creation of sustainable urbanism, with a strong emphasis in creating places that seek a balance in the built environment in which human and environmental needs are carefully considered.

Mr. St. Pierre is a frequent guest critic at the University of California, Berkeley, and he lectures extensively on urban design and planning around the world. He recently published “Shanghai Emerging,” (Urban Land, September 2009) which profiles the challenges that cities like Shanghai face to become a true global city. His work has received numerous awards.


Mark J. Spalding; President of the Ocean Foundation.

Spalding is also the Chair of the Council of the National Whale Conservation Fund and the former Executive Director of the Orca Fund. For 10 years he was a professor of international environmental law and policy at UCSD’s Graduate School of International Relations & Pacific Studies and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Spalding also served as a member of a Presidential and Congressional Advisory Committee on U.S.-Mexico environmental border relations during the Clinton Administration. He holds a B.A. in history with Honors from Claremont McKenna College, a J.D. from Loyola Law School, and a Master’s degree in Pacific International Affairs from the UCSD Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies. Site: www.oceanfdn.org

Bill Bean; Strategic Business Consultant in the sustainability space

Bean is Founder and President of Green Planning & Coaching helping individuals and companies build better business plans faster to achieve their objectives for sustainability and growth. Bill is a LEED® AP, with an MS in Wood Technology and 30 plus years of business and planning experience in the US and Canada. He has had international experience in Korea and in the Middle East, is an adjunct professor in the Green Building program at UMass, Amherst and is on the Board of two other nonprofits, the Hancock Shaker Village Museum and Berkshire Children and Families, both in Western MA. Site: GreenPlanningAndCoaching.com

Clark Wilson; Urban Designer.

Mr. Wilson’s area of focus is ecologically sustainable development, with a specific concentration in advancing the transportation, livability, and environmental goals of smart growth in street design. He also manages various technical assistance projects with communities around the country ranging from corridor revitalization to implementing green infrastructure systems. Prior to joining the EPA, Mr. Wilson was an urban design consultant with the firm Community Design + Architecture in Oakland, California focused on creating pedestrian-friendly and ecologically responsible neighborhoods and streets. For seven years he was an adjunct faculty member in urban design at his alma mater, UC Berkeley. Mr. Wilson has an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts, and graduate degrees in Architecture, Landscape Architecture and City Planning. Mr. Wilson has lectured extensively nation-wide on smart growth, green redevelopment and green streets issues.







    • Zach Soenksen: me like what you doing to water
    • be2: Good post. I be taught something more difficult on completely different blogs everyday. It will at all times be...
    • Edwina: I am really thankful to the owner of this web page who has shared this fantastic article at at this place.
    • Jillayne: I am just writing to make you be aware of of the amazing experience our child encountered reading your web...
    • Jennifer: Excellent article, well done The World Bank estimates that forcible “development-induced displacement and...


  • RSS