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2021 Preliminary Program

The program is under development and speakers are still in the process of being invited and confirmed.
If you have any questions, please email Leada Fuller-Marashi at [email protected]

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

10:00 AM-5:00 PM

5:00 PM-6:30 PM

Welcome Reception

Thursday, October 28, 2021

7:30 AM-8:30 AM

Exhibitor Showcase & Networking Breakfast

8:30 AM-9:45 AM

Opening Plenary Session: How Bold Climate Goals Put the Empire State in the Lead

9:45 am-10:15 am

Networking Break

10:15 am-11:45 am

Breakout Sessions

Transforming Traditional Project Delivery to Achieve Equitable Building Decarbonization

Our built environment sits at a cross section of the health, wellness, and equitable support of our communities. The technical feasibility and cost-effectiveness of carbon neutral new construction is well-established, however the feasibility and knowledge of decarbonization the existing building stock continues to be a challenge. Often, those most in need of an upgrade are those the most vulnerable to the negative health impacts of indoor and outdoor air pollution.  How are we able to design policies and programs to ensure our investments are prioritized for frontline communities of color and our most vulnerable populations. This session will discuss the language, tools, and approaches that disrupt traditional construction methods to achieve decarbonized buildings with a high standard of indoor health for occupants.

Lori Ferriss, Goody Clancy | Nakita Reed, Quinn Evans
Saving Buildings to Save the Climate – How to Leverage our Built Heritage to Meet Climate Goals

Amanda Markovic, GBBN Architecture | Derrick Tillman, Bridging the Gap Development Corp.
Transform Traditional Delivery to Reach Socially Just Outcomes

Alice Sung, Greenbank Associates
Indicators for Equitable Building Decarbonization towards Zero Carbon

Transforming the Market: Different Pathways and Programs to Zero

Utility and other incentive programs play a big role in providing the carrot for the market to transform to zero. In order to effectively transform the market at scale, programs must be developed, stakeholders must be continually engaged, and program elements evaluated on an ongoing basis to ensure program success. This session will discuss multi-state programmatic efforts to incentivize and drive high performance buildings to scale. Panelists from around the country will share experiences working to scale up market-based decarbonization of buildings. Learn from all three programs as they discuss from the value proposition, outreach strategies to connect with utility customers and design teams are leading market transformation.

Donovan Gordon, NYSERDA | Michael Stoddard, Efficiency Maine Trust
Scaling Up Decarbonization of Heating: Challenges and Lessons Learned from Successful Programs

Elin Shepard, Energy Trust of Oregon | Forest Tanier-Gesner, PAE Consulting Engineers
Driving and Sustaining Innovation on the Path to Net Zero

Jennifer Green, Burlington Electric Department
The Role of Carrots and Sticks in Achieving NZE in Burlington, Vermont

The Carbon Value of Demand Flexibility

The NY-based electricity grid is required to be 70% renewable based by 2030 and demand flexibility in buildings is an essential part of the solution. This session will share techno-economic analysis that spells out the four reasons why demand flexibility–the ability to shift building energy use based on different signals (cost or carbon primarily)–is key. RMI and WattTime recently completed the analyses which quantifies the carbon value of demand flexibility. Top findings include: demand flexibility could reduce emissions by 10% in the 2030 timeframe, can contribute 45% carbon reduction in a clean grid, and could cut demand by ~40% over a several hour period, reducing the need for dirty and expensive peaker plants, which negatively impact health.

Moderator: Sangeeta Ranade, NYPA
Cara Carmichael, RMI | Henry Richardson, WattTime

Breakout Strategies for Decarbonizing the Multifamily Sector

Successful low-carbon and net-zero projects require and integrated approach to incorporating technologies and design strategies. This session will highlight the application of several design methods and technologies that seek to significantly reduce (and decarbonize) residential building loads. From a large multifamily passive house project in New York City, to the role central heat pumps play in decarbonizing hot water loads, to insights from a design team on how to put all the pieces together, this session will focus on how designers are leveraging design strategies and technologies to improve building performance by reducing and decarbonizing key residential energy loads.

Ryan Lobello, Handel Architects
Sendero Verde – America’s Largest Passive House Complex and a Model for Sustainable Affordable Housing

Mark Frankel, Ecotope | Jonathan Heller, Ecotope
Decarbonizing Multifamily Buildings at Scale with Central Heat Pump Water Heaters

Rosanna Lerma, EDesignC, Inc.
Multifamily=Net Zero

Finance and Development Programming Block, Part 1: Innovative Approaches to Net Zero Cost and Financing

A first look at financing zero energy and carbon neutral projects can seem expensive, but innovative examples are emerging that manage costs and deliver stellar spaces. This session will feature financing models that are delivering cost-effective projects including a deep dive into the costs of building a new Living Building on a system-by-system basis that will offer real-world feedback for other projects. In addition, presenters will share a unique bundling of high performance envelope with solar and battery storage that provides payback and profits for zero carbon homes with all of the energy upgrades wrapped into a 30-year loan. Finally, a look at new options for energy savings performance contract structures and financing that will open the doors for deeper energy retrofits, as well as new operational models that promise to take building energy reduction further.

Marc Brune, PAE Consulting Engineers | Jill Sherman, Gerding Edlen Development
Making it Pencil: Developer-Led Models for a Living Building

Timothy Unruh, NAESCO
Don’t Forget the Importance of Finance and Contract Structure!

12:00 pm-1:45 pm

Luncheon Plenary Session: The Business of Getting to Zero

2:00 pm-3:30 pm

Breakout Sessions

Breaking the Cost Barrier through Data and Design

In pursuing high performance, there are many potential financial pitfalls including improper investments that tip the balance away from achieving both energy and construction cost goals. For example, rules of thumb for HVAC system sizing when you have a high performance envelope can make low-energy targets seem out of reach. However, using data to question and inform optimal design decisions will achieve true high performance without driving up construction cost and extend benefits beyond energy savings to indoor environmental quality, thermal comfort and access to daylight. In this session, experts will engage attendees in a game that simulates the design decisions encountered on actual projects and guide them to solutions using real world experiences and case studies to showcase each scenario. In the game, teams compete to achieve high performance goals, while breaking the cost barrier.

Colin Schless, Thornton Tomasetti | Carolyn Day, Perkins Eastman | Jana Silsby, DLR Group | Jacob Knowles, BR+A Consulting Engineers

Decarbonization is Possible for Everyone

Too often, examples of climate actions and solutions are from major global cities. While the progress these pioneers make is important, the actions and solutions may not be directly relatable to medium- and small-local governments in terms of staff capacity, budget, and social and economic contexts. Many exemplary and early-adoption cities have made progress even if on their own have not been able to push markets to fully meet the carbon reduction goals stated by global and U.S. climate leaders. However, each local government, no matter where, is an opportunity to increase market pressure and accelerate climate action adoption, such as net zero buildings. Hear from a number of jurisdictions working to achieve building efficiency goals through scaled policy options providing proof-of-concept that decarbonization is possible for everyone, everywhere.

Smita Thomas, Energy Shrink, LLC
How Fairfax County is Developing Goals and a Roadmap for Destination Zero Carbon

Kelsey Waidhas, Atlanta Regional Commission | Ayo Aladesanmi, University of Pennsylvania
The Opportunity of Everywhere Else

Busting Barriers to Net Zero in Multifamily Housing

To achieve our net zero and zero emission goals within the residential building sector, numerous hurdles must be overcome. This session will focus on a number of these hurdles, including barriers specific to affordable housing, achieving decarbonization through building renovation, and how to sustain net zero operations in multi-tenant buildings. Taken together, this session will provide key insights into how specific barriers were addressed and look to developing policies and practices that can scale for maximum impact.

Katie Ackerly, David Baker Architects
When Zero Emissions and Affordable Housing Collide

Peter Turnbull, Peter Turnbull and Associates LLC
Real World Lessons for Taking Multifamily Decarbonization to Scale: Action Plans Based on What Works, What Doesn’t, and What’s Needed

Marta Schantz, Urban Land Institute
It Can Be Done: Multi-Tenant Net Zero Landlord-Tenant Collaboration

Embodied Carbon Block Programming, Part 1: Solving for the 11% of Embodied Carbon in Buildings

To drive change quickly and move the market, we need to demonstrate the economic benefits of low-embodied carbon materials. This session will demonstrate the business case for cost-effective materials that are widely available today. Presenters will share solutions-based information about the options for cutting the carbon footprint of steel, timber and cement; explore our ability to effectively consider, compare and evaluate comprehensive environmental impact- all carbon, and beyond carbon – as critical to achieving buildings that are “net zero” and more sustainable in a holistic way; and steps to select low carbon or carbon storing materials, how to balance carbon reduction goals and cost, and how to implement all this knowledge on their projects. Attendees will have the opportunity engage with presenters on this important topic.

Matt Jungclaus, University of Colorado Boulder
The Economics of Embodied Carbon: Driving Change Quickly

Victoria Herrero-Garcia, Ambient Energy | Greg Kingsley, KL&A Engineers and Builders
Getting the Fish to See Water

Anna Lasso, Building Transparency | Jeffrey Zeman, TrueNorth Collective
Uncovering Hidden Carbon: The Role of Embedded Carbon in Net Zero Calculations

Finance and Development Block Programming, Part 2: Owner Action for Decarbonizing Portfolios

To lead the way toward a decarbonized real estate sector, numerous owners and investors have pursued carbon neutral projects and set public net zero goals. This session will surface how analysis was key to overcoming an owner’s hesitation on all-electric heat pump technology and overcoming uncertainties about meeting interior thermal comfort during peak.  Attendees will learn how companies  were able to build internal buy-in to make net zero commitments, development of strategies to meet this goal, and what metrics they plan to use to measure progress. Panelists from leading global real estate firms will provide their perspectives on the market drivers for net zero and value they expect to achieve by achieving net zero.

Sigal Shemesh, Buro Happold
Taking Fossil Fuels out of the Fossil Park: How to Advocate for Electrification

Monika Henn, Urban Land Institute
Strategies for Setting and Achieving Net Zero Goals in Global Real Estate Portfolios

3:30 pm-4:00 pm

Exhibitor Showcase & Networking Break

4:00 pm-5:30 pm

Breakout Sessions

Zero Comes in All Sizes

Net zero buildings provide no room to hide from performance challenges associated with the design, construction, or operations phase of a project. Net zero on a smaller scale can be relatively easily achieved, but how do you build on your successes and utilize lessons learned to achieve a greater scale of net zero and carbon neutrality? This session will feature stories of net-zero buildings at scale including new construction and deep energy retrofit projects on all SUNY campus buildings to drive down the energy demand, promote electrification and provide an applicable toolkit for this portfolio of buildings; reconstruction of the Old Jaffa port, the oldest active port in the world, with a goal to be energy positive; and several examples from Chicago, Minneapolis and Little Rock to highlight key lessons learned from all building phases.

Lois Vitt Sale, Wight & Company
How Not to Screw Up a Net-Zero Building (from people who have)

Yaron Klein, Atarim
Building Positive Energy Balanced Public Center on the Tel Aviv-Yafo Coastline

William Bishop, Pathfinder Engineers and Architects | Shanta Tucker, Atelier Ten

Game Changing Technologies for a Better World

New technologies promise to dramatically change the carbon footprint of buildings with the application of products that optimize energy use for maximum savings. This session will focus in three critical technologies that are game changers in the press to decarbonize the built environments. Water heating accounts for up to one-third of the energy used in buildings, but heat pump water heaters have the potential to cut that that dramatically with 2-4 times the efficiency of conventional products. HVAC system efficiency could benefit from better applications of geothermal heat pump systems, but cost barriers are keeping market share low driving engineers to look at hybrid systems or other integrations of air-source heat pumps and thermal storage. Finally, attendees will consider system integrations of shading and lighting that could super charge the effectiveness of both products for better energy savings.

Smita Gupta, New Buildings Institute

Cathy Higgins, New Buildings Institute

Micah Zender, Melink Zero | Steve Hamstra, Melink Zero

Key Technologies Enabling Building-Grid Optimization

Buildings are central to today’s electricity grid, but building-grid interactions are changing fast. It is increasingly important to consider when, not just how much, energy buildings use. This session examines selected key technologies enabling buildings to be more flexible, efficient, and intelligent about how they use and generate electricity. Panelists will consider the grid support implications of passive design strategies such as enhanced envelopes, active building systems such as HVAC and thermal energy storage, and distributed energy resources such as electric vehicles.

Mark MacCracken, Trane
Electrification, Heat Pumps, and Thermal Energy Storage: A Step Towards Decarbonizing and Grid-Friendly Buildings

Walter Schaefer, DNV | Praga Meyyeppan, DNV
Don’t Miss the (Electric) Bus: Analytical Load Modeling for Strategic Electrification and Decarbonization

Lisa White, PHIUS
Passive Building is the Capacitor for the Renewable Grid

Embodied Carbon Block Programming, Part 2: Looking Upstream for Low-Embodied Carbon Strategies

As operational efficiencies continue to advance, embodied carbon becomes more a share of the building carbon footprint with predictions that it will be responsible for half of emissions by 2050. Session leaders in this breakout will share an investigation that compares the life cycle impact of different materials in building applications finding significant opportunities for bio-based materials compared to conventional materials such as steel, aluminum, and concrete. In addition, a look at the potential for mass timber to move beyond business-as-usual sourcing to support climate-smart forestry and provide new pathways to procuring sustainably harvested wood, calculating carbon impacts of forest management, and targeting certain landowner types for equitable economic impact. Finally, participants will discuss how federal, state, and local governments are leveraging their purchasing power to drive down the embodied carbon of building materials and products through encouraging cleaner manufacturing practices and the disclosure of embodied-carbon data.

Jacob Dunn, ZGF Architects | David Diaz, Ecotrust
Looking Upstream: Transforming Mass Timber Supply Chain and Carbon Accounting

Meghan Lewis, Carbon Leadership Forum
From Pilot to Policy: Scaling Actions to Reduce Embodied Carbon

It CAN be Done! Decarbonizing the World One Existing Multifamily Building at a Time

Per ACEEE, “low-income households pay 7.2 percent of household income on utilities – more than three times the amount that higher income households pay” (ACEEE, 2016). Additionally, low-income families are more likely to rent, with no agency to affect the energy efficiency of their homes, and are more likely to experience long-term negative health effects due to lower indoor and outdoor air quality from fossil fuel-based systems. This is the inequity of the climate crisis with communities at risk of being left behind as we begin the crucial shift toward a low carbon future. This session will examine considerations related to electrification for multifamily housing. Centered on three case studies that have made the switch from natural gas to electricity, presenters will outline perceived versus actual challenges, post-upgrade utility bills, and the innovative incentive programs that made these deep retrofits possible.

Meghan Duff, Association for Energy Affordability | Sarah Hill, Association for Energy Affordability | Christina McPike, Winn Companies

5:30 pm-7:30 pm

Exhibitor Showcase and Networking Reception

Friday, October 29, 2021

8:00 AM-9:00 AM

Exhibitor Showcase & Networking Breakfast

9:00 am-10:30 am

Breakout Sessions

Developing the Plan for a Decarb Transition

Companies, institutions, and governments around the world are establishing aggressive net zero carbon goals for their building portfolios yet developers and owners are struggling to create strategic decarbonization plans that demonstrate how net zero goals will be achieved. Owners need better tools for creating strategic decarbonization plans. Too many project decisions are made with a limited understanding of future carbon opportunities, risks, and technologies. This session will highlight a holistic suite of policy, financing, and technological solutions presented in a decision-making framework to achieve large scale successful building portfolio, campus, and large infrastructure decarbonization projects. Examples from the University of Virginia will focus on replicable, cost-effective measures that support a zero emissions campus.

Narada Golden, WSP | David Symons, WSP
Looking Back from the Future: A Strategic Framework for Creating Long-Term Decarbonization Plans

Ethan Heil, University of Virginia
Towards a Zero Carbon Campus

Don’t Get Burned: Implementing Electrification Strategies

Meeting 2050 building decarbonization goals across the nation will require structural change and transformational policies. This session will highlight a series of lessons learned from states and jurisdictions adopting electrification policies. Attendees will learn about models from around the country including Washington’s building decarbonization policy framework for meeting 2030 and 2050 targets and Vancouver’s ultra-green building code. In addition, speakers will share about the electrification mandates of Brookline, Massachusetts, which were driven by organizers  with serious consideration was given to the societal effects of the transition to electric buildings, especially on vulnerable populations and the workforce central to this transition. Together, these three unique approaches to electrification, along with other stories of jurisdictional electrification will discuss how to effectively transition an entire building stock.

Poppy Storm, 2050 Institute
A Systems Approach to State Building Decarbonization

Sneha Ayyagari, RMI
Accelerating the Adoption of Leading-Edge Municipal Electrification Policies

Title TBD

Elaine Miller, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
Innovative Market Pathways to Accelerate Adoption of High-Performance Insulating Windows

Nicholas Bagatelos, Bagatelos Architectural Glass Systems
Vacuum Insulating Glass can Save $20B of Annual Energy Costs that go “Out the Window” Every Year

Kyle Sword, NSG Pilkington
Energy Efficient Glazing Alternatives – From Upgrading Existing Windows to Power Generating Glazing

10:30 am-11:00 am

Exhibitor Showcase & Networking Break

11:00 am-12:30 pm

Breakout Sessions

Busting the Myth of “Difficult” Building Types

Some building types present greater challenges for achieving zero energy and carbon neutrality than others. For example, historic buildings, those with unique process loads like commercial kitchens or laboratories, or buildings with unpredictable occupancy patterns all present challenges that may not be able to be solved with a one size fits all solution. This session will discuss energy efficient and grid-friendly electrification strategies for three specific and unique building types including a NYC tall buildings with specific attention to the electrification of systems while minimizing the impact on the grid; a historic hotel net zero retrofit that adhered to passive house standards while maintaining the historic landmark status and aesthetic of the building’s exterior; and an examination of all-electric design solutions for this high process load laboratories.

Kate Doherty, Steven Winter Associates
Pirelli: Checking Into a Historic Existing Buildings Hotel

Megan Gunther, Affiliated Engineers, Inc
Overcoming the Hurdles of Laboratory Electrification

Daniel Nall, Daniel Nall Consultant, LLC | Scott Frank, JBB
Electrification Strategies for Tall Buildings in New York City

Better Codes, Better Buildings

Energy codes and policies are one of the biggest opportunities for cities and states to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the built environment. This session will cover three successful approaches to energy codes that provide pathways to achieve electrification, deep energy efficiency, and greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Attendees will engage with speakers on the use of energy targets as a critical step in the design and delivery of zero energy and high-performance buildings. Building on this metric, discussion will cover the options available to jurisdictions to incorporate electrification into their building policies, legislative hurdles that are being put in the way of electrification, and how local governments are selecting and implementing policies.

Mark Lyles, New Buildings Institute
Building Performance Targets: Incorporating Energy Targets into Codes

Kim Cheslak, New Buildings Institute
Electrification of Codes and Building Performance Standards

Rahul Athalye, NORESCO | Bing Liu, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Achieving Deep Energy Savings through Codes: Washington State’s Ambitious Energy Code Technical Roadmap

Equitable Carbon Neutral Communities

The COVID pandemic and ensuing economic crisis has added an additional layer to the already challenging work of achieving carbon neutrality. Cities must now not only create scalable approaches to eliminating greenhouse gases and sequestering carbon, but they must also simultaneously generate more economic opportunities for local communities than ever before. This session will showcase innovative approaches to advancing climate positive communities with a spotlight on traditionally underserved communities through data analysis, tools, and policy. This work will be discussed through the lens of three case studies working to address the shared challenges of sustainability, resilience, and inclusion.

Johanna Partin, Building Decarbonization Coalition | David Johnson, SERA Architects
Restoring Culture and Climate – Growing Equitable Climate Positive Communities

Zachary Berzolla, MIT Sustainable Design Lab
Developing Jurisdiction-Specific Emissions Reduction Plans Using Urban Building Energy  Modeling

Amir Rezaei, CannonDesign
Flipping the Net Zero Policy on its Head: Using Thermal Resilience to Advocate for Community Justice and Net Zero Energy

Microgrid Mastery: Seeking Win-Win Solutions

Microgrids are fast gaining more attention in the buildings space due to their potential to provide resiliency, grid support, cost savings, emissions reductions, and other benefits. This expert panel will define several different types of microgrids and consider the varying impacts of different microgrid goals and design concepts. Building from real-world project experience, the presenters will provide lessons learned and recommendations to help attendees build microgrids that benefit everyone involved: developers, building occupants, building owners, electricity grid operators, and the planet.

Stephen Chapes, IDeAs Consulting | David Kaneda, IDeAs Consulting
Different Flavors of Microgrids

Rushil Desai, Integral Group | James Perakis, Integral Group
A Study of Microgrids – Design for Cost vs Design for Resilience

Craig Collins, PAE Consulting Engineers | Darren Murtaugh, PGE
The Power of 3: How a Community, City, and Utility can Achieve Safety, Resiliency, and Sustainability

12:30 pm-1:30 pm


1:30 pm-3:00 pm

Closing Plenary Session