Program for 4/17

7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. Registration Open

8 a.m. – 1 p.m.  Workshops

We are offering several options for intensive workshops that dig into the details on critical aspects of zero energy buildings from how to drive scale to making ready the next generation of practitioners. Workshop times vary. Be sure to check times carefully if adding a tour. For additional details and pricing, visit

10:30 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. Building Tours

Pittsburgh boasts a number of model zero energy and ultra-efficient building projects. As part of the program, we have arranged for several tours. Times vary and spaces are limited. For details and pricing, visit

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Opening Plenary Session + Leadership Keynotes | Grand Ballroom 1

Welcome + Opening Remarks from the Co-Hosts 

Ralph DiNola | CEO, New Buildings Institute

Victor Olgyay | Principal, Rocky Mountain Institute

Cities and States as Shining Beacons for Clean Energy and Climate Action
Leading jurisdictions are pulling out a battery of policy tacks, setting ambitious goals, and working to meet them with special attention being paid to improving the overall efficiency of local building stock. Zero energy buildings and the resulting carbon reduction benefits are more often being named in local policies, but questions remain for this nascent market. Our opening keynote speakers will showcase innovative leadership and share approaches for cities and states to deal with the pressing issue of cutting carbon emissions while stoking economic growth and ensuring electricity reliability and affordability.


Mayor Bill Peduto | Mayor, City of Pittsburgh

Andrew McAllister | Commissioner, California Energy Commission

3:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. Exhibitor Showcase + Networking Break

4 p.m. –5 p.m. Getting to Zero Case Study + Innovation Jam

Get ready! These “jam sessions” will cover a lot of ground in a limited amount of time. Presenters on case studies of ZE design, tech innovation, planning and finance will surface the latest experiences and thinking.

Rivers Room | Deep Energy Retrofits to Zero  (1 AIA LU | HSW CEUs)
How can you interrupt the typical capital renewal process with commercial properties to create multi-building deep energy retrofit projects? This jam session will explore methods for benchmarking energy performance, integrated design, financing programs, operations and other techniques for impressive long-term energy and cost savings.

ModeratorMyrrh Caplan | Director, Green Project Solutions, Skanska USA, Inc.

Soup to Nuts PACE-funded Campus Deep Energy Retrofit – Starting with Planning, Through Development, Design, Financing, and Execution
Phillip Saieg | Regional Director, McKinstry
Blair Madden Bui | CEO, John Madden Company

A Net Zero Retrofit Idea Exchange: From Scientific Inception to Construction
Chris McEntee | Executive Director, American Geophysical Union
Roger Frechette | Managing Principal, Interface Engineering
Holly Lennihan | Senior Associate, Hickok Cole Architects

Grand Ballroom 3 | Game changing Innovation and Approaches (1 AIA LU | HSW CEUs)
Although technologies are not the primary barrier to getting to zero, there are many emerging technologies that can greatly support low-energy outcomes. This session shares the recent research on technology gaps to get to ZE and unique approaches such as deploying existing digital technologies to create interactive engagement systems between buildings, environment and occupants.

ModeratorMindy Craig | Principal and Owner, Blue Point Planning

Technology Gaps in Zero Net Energy
Smita Gupta | Senior Principal Energy Consultant, Itron, Inc.

Alexa Optimize Performance: The Future of Voice Interactive Building Dashboards
Edward McGraw | President/CEO, Ashley McGraw Architects, D.P.C.
Calvin Ahn | Associate Principal/Senior Project Manager, Ashley McGraw Architects, D.P.C.

Zero Net Energy with Zero Net Funding: The California Existing Building Approach
Dan Burgoyne | Sustainability Manager, State of California, Department of General Services

Grand Ballroom 4 | Developing for Zero (1 AIA LU | HSW CEUs)
Hear from developers and teams on innovative approaches to achieve zero energy performance and a foundation of building science and stakeholder investment. Conditions ripe for brainstorming, modeling options, evaluating certifications, and advanced design and operational practices are resulting in commercial buildings pushing the envelope of sustainability.

Moderator: Jason Tierko | Principal, Ewing Cole

Getting to Zero in Pittsburgh – a Policy Push from p4 and PHFA
Brandon Nicholson | Founding Principal, Nicholson Kovalchick (NK) Architects

Market Rate Net Zero: Innovative Methods for NZE Speculative Office Building Projects
Chris Light | Director of Engineering, Point Energy Innovations
Jim Gaither Jr. | Managing Partner, Hanover Page Mill Associates, L.P

How Developers Can Create an Environment of Inspiration
Julia Rogers | Sustainable Design Leader, WSP
Brad Mahoney | Development Project Manager, MP Boston

Commonwealth One | Zero Energy and Passive House (1 AIA LU | HSW CEUs)
Passive House standards have the potential to deliver the efficiencies necessary to achieve zero and are growing in number across the country. Hear from this panel who will share aspects of the standards and the critical details of passive measures, including a sharp focus on the building envelope, as well as renewable generation resources—both on- and off-site—that interact on the path to zero energy and emissions.

Moderator: Laura Nettleton | Architecural Collaborator, Thoughtful Balance

The Path to Zero in the PHIUS+ 2018 Passive Building Standard
Graham Wright | Senior Scientist, Passive House Institute US

Using Passive House to Deliver Zero Energy
Ken Levenson | Board Member, North American Passive House Network
Craig Stevenson | President, AUROS Group
Brenda Morawa | Vice President, North America, Integrated Environmental Solutions, LTD
Rob Hosken | Principal, Building Performance Architecture

Commonwealth Two | Cost and Finance (1 AIA LU | HSW CEUs)
An investment made today for the future is the key to getting to zero, and it doesn’t have to cost you. Learn about what happens when forward-thinking innovations in design, construction, and financing come together to catalyze the development sustainable real estate, improving efficiency and net operating incomes through residential and commercial PACE financing.

Moderator: Radhika Lalit |  Rocky Mountain Institute


Business Case and Market Landscape of NZE Buildings and Homes
Iain Campbell | Managing Director, Rocky Mountain Institute

Policymakers’ Perspective on Financing and Scaling NZE development
Paul Scharfenberger | Chief Operating Officer, Colorado Energy Office

Leveraging Commercial PACE as a financing tool to bolster high-performing buildings
Joshua Kagan | Vice President, Business Development, CleanFund Commercial PACE Capital

5:45 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Opening Reception at Phipps Conservatory
***Please note the Reception is for registered attendees only.***
Shuttle buses will depart from the Hotel Lobby beginning at 5:45pm. The last bus will depart Phipps at 8:00pm.