Catherine Mohr Builds Green, Spills Yogurt, Explains Embodied Energy


In February 2010, Catherine Mohr gave a short talk at a TED convention wherein she “walks through all the geeky decisions she made when building a green new house — looking at real energy numbers, not hype. What choices matter most? Not the ones you think.” Specifically, she clearly illustrates the concept of ’embodied energy’ – which is the total of all the energy used to initially produce a product; all of the energy costs to acquire the raw materials, to manufacture the item and to transport it to its final destination. Even if you just watch the first two and a half minutes of her hilarious presentation, you will gain an understanding of the dizzying number of variables that can go into accounting for and minimizing embodied energy.

Catherine Mohr is the Director of Medical Research at Intuitive Surgical, Inc. where she supervises “the development of next-generation surgical robots and robotic procedures… she’s the clinical design leader for the DaVinci Surgical Robotic system. She also works at Stanford’s School of Medicine, where she studies simulation-based teaching methods to teach clinical skills to budding doctors. And she’s a senior scientific advisor to the GlobalSolver Foundation, an innovative funding and study group that looks at ways to match up scientists and money to help the world’s oceans.”  Catherine has also been writing about her adventure in green building on her blog 301 Monroe – When Geeks Build Green.

“TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference on the West Coast each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer — TED includes the award-winning TED Talks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.” For more about TED or to view more of their 1400+ TED Talks, visit their website at

Published byMelanieDawn

Melanie Dawn Molina Wood is a Miami native currently living in the historic downtown district. She has earned her LEED Green Associate accreditation, the NAR GREEN designation, and an Eco-broker credential. She is also a proud member of the US Green Building Council, and a member of the Sierra Club. For more information about sustainability in Miami, or to connect with a real estate agent anywhere in the world, contact Melanie Dawn by text/phone at 305.801.3133, or by email at


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