October 10 Forum Program

7:30 a.m. -7 p.m.     Registration Open

7-8:30 a.m.               Breakfast in the Exhibit Hall

8:30-9:45 a.m.        Opening Plenary + Keynotes

Economic Engine of Zero: Investment and Communities
Policy leaders are setting resolute goals and plans to cut energy and reduce carbon emissions. In response business investments are accelerating around a new clean energy economy. But what is the risk for disadvantaged communities that are not able to actively participate? This plenary session examines the need to advance investment that supports economic growth through research and development as well as provide healthy community development.  Our keynote speakers, Jigar Shah of Generate Capital and Kat Taylor from Beneficial State Bank, will showcase the importance of financial standards that deliver on economic growth with reducing climate impacts and also spotlight the systems-level thinking that can provide equitable solutions that are beneficial to all.

9:45-10:15 a.m.      Networking Break

10:15-11:45 a.m.    Morning Breakout Sessions

Choice morning breakout sessions will delve deep into key aspects of getting to zero buildings through California policy, financing, embodied carbon, zero energy design, building-grid optimization, and zero energy programs.

Session 1 | Policy and Legislative Drivers for Decarbonization in California
Building decarbonization is an emerging solution to address statewide greenhouse gas reduction goals.  This session looks at key legislative, regulatory, and gubernatorial initiatives driving decarbonization in California, including the roles of the state agencies involved.  What role will the state’s energy code for buildings have driving energy efficiency and decarbonization, including the important prospective roles for local governments around local “reach” codes?  Multiple scenarios involving varying rates of decarbonization, and how those scenarios impact emissions footprints over time will be discussed.

Moderator: Dian Grueneich, California Public Utilities Commission

Title 24, The Role of Cities, and “Reach” Codes
Charles Eley, Consultant-at-Large

Carbon Scenarios, 2020-2045
Amber Mahone, E3

Session 2 | Busting the Cost Barrier of Zero through Smart Finance and Collaboration
Cost is the number one perceived barrier to zero energy projects even though many have been able to achieve success at no additional cost. Learn how ultra-low energy buildings combined with on-site renewables, and energy storage impacts energy savings, long-term project value, and financing decisions. Experts will show how they evaluate various financial instruments for zero energy buildings and associated solar and storage installations. Understand the crucial issues when gauging financing options, including tax-exempt leases, sale-leaseback, partnership-flip, and cash purchase scenarios.

Moderator: Jessica Pitts, Flywheel Development

Financing Deep Green Developments 
Blair Bui, S2e Developments

Financing Solar-Plus-Storage: A Winning Combination for Getting to Zero
David McIlhenny, SunPower Corporation

Session 3 | Policies on Embodied Carbon
Government policies to limit carbon emissions from the building sector have historically focused on energy use. However, energy-related operational carbon is only part of the total carbon emitted over a building’s lifecycle. Increasingly, governments are recognizing that they also have policy options to limit embodied carbon related to building materials and construction. These can take different forms, such as limiting emissions from specific high-impact materials, requiring whole building lifecycle analysis, or zero carbon certification that includes embodied carbon. A range of policy case studies will be presented, along with a discussion about the pros and cons of each approach.

Climate-Friendly Building Code/Addressing Embodied Carbon in Concrete
Bruce King, Ecological Building Network

Kathryn Phillips, Sierra Club

Eden Brukman, City of San Francisco

Session 4 | Stories from the Zero Energy Trenches and Operational War Rooms
Deep energy savings can be achieved through integrated energy efficiency measures and off-the-shelf products readily available today. Attendees and presenters will discuss common commercial and residential construction design and technology applications and illustrate the importance of integrating building systems for low-energy outcomes. Operations, another essential aspect to achieving zero energy goals, will be covered including performance with green leases, building management, and share lessons learned from occupant studies that show how users respond to efficiency measures and if they can meet zero energy goals.

Moderator: Jacob Corvidae, Rocky Mountain Institute

Lessons Learned in Commercial and Residential NZE
Andrew Bush, Morgan Creek Ventures  |  Cara Carmichael, Rocky Mountain Institute

Making Integrated Systems Easy and Routine Through Packaging And Standardization
Paul Mathew, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory  |  Cindy Regnier, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

What Tools in the Zero Energy Toolbox are Poised for Success? A Detailed Look at how Zero Energy Homeowners Utilize or Do not Utilize, the Features of their Homes
Jen Loomis, Opinion Dynamics Corporation

Session 5 | GridOptimal: Connecting Electric Grid Needs with Building Opportunities to Stabilize and Decarbonize the Grid
The modern electric grid working to evolve as the historic grid infrastructure strains to handle the growing number of distributed energy resources and smart systems. Experts looking at ways to design buildings for grid-optimal performance are using modeling analysis that layers ever-shifting carbon intensity and grid demand over the hourly annual energy model in order to understand the actual time-based carbon emissions of a building. Learn about a new metric for GridOptimal Buildings that offers energy flexibility in buildings, which can be leveraged as a carbon reduction strategy. Presenters will show how GridOptimal was applied at Sonoma Clean Power (SCP) Headquarters to demonstrate both decarbonization and grid harmonization strategies into the building design.

Moderator: Alexi Miller, New Buildings Institute

Sonoma Clean Power Headquarters: A Case Study of the First Grid Optimal Pilot Project
Brad Jacobson, EHDD |

Building Strategies for More Optimal Grid Operation
Mark MacCracken, CALMAC, a portfolio of Trane

Grid Harmonization and Building Decarbonization Cannot Be Separate Topics
Ted Tiffany, Guttmann & Blaevoet Consulting Engineers

Thinking Beyond the Building: A Community Choice Perspective
Rachel Kuykendall, Sonoma Clean Power

Session 6 | Changemakers: Scaling Zero Energy and Carbon Through Commitments
Addressing climate change requires a concerted effort from both the public and private sectors. Private corporations, private non-profits, and utilities are all pushing to advance zero in their communities and business. Hear from changemakers that are committing to get to zero including Toyota working to reduce carbon across operations, LADWP redeveloping a major property, districts participating in DOE’s Zero Energy District Accelerator, and Consumers Energy  encouraging deep energy savings in the Midwest.

Moderator: Sarah Zaleski, U.S. Department of Energy

Decarbonization at Scale: Toyota’s Environmental Challenge 2050
Mark Yamauchi, Toyota Motor North America

The Midwest is ZNE-Ready
Annie Koch, DNV GL  |  Benjamin Glendening, Consumers Energy

Walking the Talk – LADWP commits to NZ Energy on New Power Yards
Nancy Sutley, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power  |  Kate Diamond, HDR Architecture

11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.   Lunch in Exhibit Hall

1-2:30 p.m.              Breakout Sessions 2

Early afternoon breakout sessions continue to dig in on the details providing a setting where conversations and vital connections can happen. Real-world experiences offer practical insights and information..

Session 1 | Decarbonization and the Grid: Impacts and Issues
California’s decarbonization goals impact electric and gas infrastructure by increasing electric demand and reducing gas use, potentially increasing costs for utilities.  As more all electric buildings emerge and the electric demand grows, utility operators are seeking to incentivize building load flexibility in order to support healthy grid operations, including aligning energy generation and building energy demand. This session will review the high-level needs of the energy transmission and distribution systems and probe the impact of building energy load demands on grid investment requirements.  Presenters will also discuss how issues around gas infrastructure costs and cost recovery under various scenarios  including greater and lesser amounts of natural gas and renewable gas throughput.

Moderator: Ahmad Faruqui, The Brattle Group

Efficiency and Load Flexibility: What’s the Right Mix?
Paul Torcellini, NREL

Scenarios for Gaseous Fuel Infrastructure
Matthew Tisdale, Gridworks

Session 2 | Driving Innovation to Reduce Costs in Affordable Housing
Affordable housing developers are a natural fit to get buildings to zero because of their long view on investment, mission, and history of progressive leadership. However, affordable housing faces intense financial and public pressures to “maximize unit count,” which sometimes limits benefits to occupants. Scaling low-energy, affordable housing requires collaboration between foundations, utilities, local jurisdictions, banks, and impact investors to provide the necessary funding that catalyzes action. Speakers will share strategies for maximize housing units while reducing energy use and carbon emissions, as well as the tools and scalable solutions that are transforming affordable housing development.

Driving Innovation and Reducing Costs: Lessons from NY’s Investment in Carbon Neutral Multi-family Housing
Patrick O’Shei, NYSERDA

A Prescriptive Solution for Affordable Housing Performance Ills
Connor Jansen, Slipstream | Sean Denniston, New Buildings Institute

Community-Based Catalysts for Zero Carbon Affordable Housing
Steve Gelb, Emerald Cities

Session 3 | The Human Dimension of Carbon: Community Approaches to Decarbonization
Getting to zero in the building sector necessitates comprehensive policy reform at all levels as well as labor support, which is essential for a successful transition to zero-emission buildings. Attendees will hear about a school district’s framework for implementing zero carbon construction in a school district setting, and perspectives on how to maximize labor benefits for building electrification engaging with labor unions and the workforce productively. Integrated solutions across energy efficiency and conservation, scalable renewable energy generation, and community engagement used to support an existing low-income neighborhood get to zero energy will be shared.

Moderator: Rachel Golden, Sierra Club

Honoring Our Students: A District Decarbonizes to Address the Climate Crisis
Nik Kaestner, San Francisco Unified School District

Prioritizing the Workforce in a Just Transition to Zero Emission Buildings
Betony Jones, Inclusive Economics

Opening the Door to ZNE for Disadvantaged Communities
Farhad Farahmand, TRC Solutions

Building Grassroots Movements for Zero
Vinh Mason, City of Portland

Session 4 | Retrofitting Yesterday’s Buildings for Today’s to Zero Energy Goals
Nearly 99% of all buildings are not built to current energy codes, which makes opportunities for energy savings in existing buildings vast. Building deconstruction and reuse immediately reduces a building’s carbon footprint as well as provides an opportunity to save money. Attendees will hear different technologies and strategies used to achieve zero energy retrofits in existing building types. Learn how to ‘design for disassembly’ in order to ensure that structures’ materials will be used again in the future, reducing future embodied carbon.

Moderator: Ruth Cox, Prospect Silicon Valley

The Next Big Thing: Building Deconstruction
Dave Bennink, Building Deconstruction Institute/Re-Use Consulting

Retrofitting Existing Municipal Buildings to ZNE: The City of San Diego “ZN3″ Project
Marissa Van Sant, Center for Sustainable Energy

Path to Net Zero
Andrea Gulyas, SmithGroup | Marshall Andrews, DPR Construction

Scaling Residential Zero Carbon Retrofits to Improve the Multifamily Housing Market
Andrew Brooks, Association of Energy Affordability

Session 5 | Codes and Policies to Advance Zero Goals, Part 1: Codes
Effective zero energy building design starts with an energy target, which coupled with codes have the potential to advance zero energy for both individual buildings and communities. Leading jurisdictions are already implementing energy targets to guide policy toward achieving their carbon and energy reduction goals. Denver, British Columbia and a growing number of jurisdications are setting long-term building performance goals for code stringency through 2030 and beyond.  This session will discuss the collaboration necessary to plan, create, and implement above code standards to transform the market.

Moderator: Jim Edelson, New Buildings Institute

Building Codes for Net Zero
Heidi Werner, Energy Solutions

What is the End Goal? High Performance Energy Targets for Zero Energy Commercial Buildings
Kevin Carbonnier, New Buildings Institute

Codifying to Zero with the BC Energy Step Code
Bob Deeks, RDC Fine Homes | Robyn Wark, BC Hydro

Berkeley’s Building Energy Savings Ordinance- What’s Next for Decarbonization?
Nate Dewart, Energy Solutions | Billi Romain, City of Berkeley

Session 6 | Scaling Single-Family Zero to Transform Communities
The demand for zero energy homes has increased, and they are no longer custom single-family homes surrounded by conventional houses. ZE communities are being built in for all homeowners–retirees, affordable housing rentals, and neighborhood development. Hear from designers and developers of several large scale zero energy housing projects that explore design and construction strategies to achieve zero energy and how they dovetail with socially-rich, age-in-place design, financing models and marketing strategies that brought the projects to fruition.

Moderator: Tim McDonald, Onion Flats

Zero Energy at Every Age: A Case Study in Zero Energy Senior Living
Vassar Byrd, Rose Villa  |  Stephen Aiguier, Green Hammer

Designing, Building and Studying California’s Largest Single-Family ZNE Communities
Garth Torvestad, ConSol

How to Get to Zero: A Multi-state Comparison of Zero Energy Ready Homes
Ian Blanding, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance  |  William Bryan, Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance

2:30-2:45 p.m.     Networking Break

2:45-4:15 p.m.     Breakout Sessions 3

The third set of 90-minute breakout sessions will examine transforming portfolios, policies, and operations to get to zero energy and zero carbon. The real-life examples will inspire new ideas and innovative approaches to problem solving.

Session 1 | Decarbonizing the Existing Building Stock: Issues and Opportunities
A strong consensus has emerged around the concept that “new” construction is relatively easy and cost-effective to decarbonize. But what about existing buildings, most of which will still be in service 25 years from now?  In sequence, this session will look at the challenges, opportunities, and nascent approaches for decarbonizing single family homes, multi-family residential buildings, and commercial buildings.

Moderator: David Goldstein, NRDC

Existing Single Family Homes
Scott Blunk, Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Existing Multi-Family Buildings
Abijeet Pande, TRC Solutions

Commercial Buildings: Getting to Zero Cost
John Andary, Integral Group

Session 2 | Jurisdictions Lead by Example with Zero Building Portfolios
To meet energy and carbon reduction goals, local governments with assorted facilities must take a holistic portfolio approach to upgrades. Attendees will see the roadmaps created to develop energy and carbon reduction goals, including the plan for policy development, facility improvement prioritization, team-building, data management, energy benchmarking and advanced analysis, and performance reporting. Learn about the efficiency and renewable energy technologies that are transforming large building portfolios and the associated energy savings.

Moderator:  Beth Brummitt, Brummitt Energy Associates Inc.

Aligning Municipal Policies and Actions with Energy and Carbon Reduction Goals
Sharon Grant, Eco Edge  |  Rimas Gulbinas, Maalka

Getting California to Zero
Dan Burgoyne, CA Department of General Services  |  Wade Hughes, Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Leading by Example with a Portfolio Approach
Susan Freed, County of San Diego

Session 3 | Codes and Policies to Advance Zero Goals, Part 2: Policies
States and local governments actively developing energy code and policy approaches aimed at driving zero energy and/or zero carbon buildings face a range of challenges and contexts. To support the efforts, local organizations have formed coalitions to hold policy implementers accountable and activate community awareness about the benefits of zero energy.  Presenters will share a process and examples of long-term strategies to achieve energy and carbon goals leveraging voluntary requirements, stretch codes, and mandatory codes in concert with other tools to prime the market to be code ready.

Moderator: Micah Lang, City of Vancouver

Zero to 101: Accelerating the Pathway to Net Zero for the 101 Cities and Towns of Metro Boston
Cammy Peterson, Metropolitan Area Planning Council

A Road Map for Carbon Neutral Buildings and the Green New Deal
Greg Hale, NYSERDA

The Path to Net Zero New Construction by 2035 in Denver, Colorado
Katrina Managan, Denver Department of Public Health and Environment

Chasing Zero in Light of Multiple City Objectives: Policy Developments
Elizabeth Beardsley, USGBC

Session 4 | Beyond Design: Verifying Zero Through Operations
Predictive data is only an educated guess of how much energy buildings will use, leaving the onus on the building operations team to meet energy and carbon targets. This session will focus on the technical and financial feasibility of taking standard sustainable design and operations to the next levels and detail the key performance strategies and critical steps for success. Presenters will share studies that compared predictive energy models and operational energy data in over 100 buildings, illustrating the performance gap and explain why buildings do not meet modeled predictions. Case studies will examine operational strategies, trade skill needs, the role of the big data and artificial intelligence, as well as other techniques are expected to have on facility management operations and costs.

Moderator: Nick Bagatelos, Bagatelos Architectural Glass Systems

Diagnosing the Performance Gap between Design and Operational Building Energy Use
Jenny McMinn, Urban Equation  |  Craig McIntyre, EQ Building Performance

Joyce Centre for Partnership and Innovation, from Net Zero Design to a Post-Occupancy Learning Laboratory 
Steve Kemp, RDH Building Science Inc.  |  Anthony Cupido, Mohawk College

The Road to Zero Energy and Beyond
Mustapha Beydoun, Houston Advanced Research Center  |  Carlos Gamarra, Houston Advanced Research Center

Session 5 | Integrating Utility and Customer Needs: The Value of Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings
Climate change and the evolving demands on the electrical grid are creating opportunities for buildings and grid operators alike to benefit from reduced cost and a more reliability. Critical synergies are emerging between renewables, energy-storage, and passive strategies to take our buildings and our electrical grid into a decarbonized future while supporting resilience. This session will share industry-leading efforts to turn buildings into profitable, grid interactive, efficient resources. Presenters will discuss the importance of grid interactive, efficient buildings, the value based on findings from a recent analysis and emerging test bed efforts.

Moderator: Kevin Powell, General Services Administration

Strategies and Synergies: Resilience, Passive Design, and Smart Grid Optimization
Margo Rettig, SERA Architects | Ruwan Jayaweera, PAE Engineers

Integrating Utility and Customer Goals for Synergistic Benefits
Marshall Keneipp, Tierra Resource Consultants  |  Mark Wilhelm, Tierra Resource Consultants

The Value of Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings for GSA
Cara Carmichael, Rocky Mountain Institute

Session 6 | Decarbonizing and Electrifying Multifamily Housing
All-electric new construction can help communities realize a decarbonized building stock, while also working on weaning existing buildings off of fossil fuels via electrification and renewables. Case studies will illustrate the benefits of electric buildings, and share the challenges designers may face when taking on electrification. Attendees will learn about the cost of electrification, and a scalable framework for going all-electric, including a design-practitioner assessment tool which is intended to optimize packages of energy efficiency strategies to achieve zero energy for the multifamily residential sector.

Moderator: Faith Graham, NEWHAB

Integrating Decarbonization Strategies into Multifamily Retrofit Programs
Nick Dirr, Association For Energy Affordability  |  Miya Kitahara, StopWaste

Making Every Multifamily Affordable Housing Project All-Electric and ZNE-Ready: Lessons from Five Bay Area Projects
Hilary Noll, Mithun

Decarbonizing Affordable Multifamily Buildings: The One-Two Punch of Electrification + Solar PV
Nick Young, Association for Energy Affordability  |  John Neal, Association for Energy Affordability

4:30-5:30 p.m.     End of Day Plenary

Tackling Deep Carbon Reductions in Existing Buildings
Addressing the climate emergency requires innovative thinkers to transform buildings throughout its lifecycle.  Embodied carbon before construction, operational energy and carbon, and embodied carbon near end of life.  The combined effort of organizations addressing carbon reduction will support the zero carbon future.  This plenary will feature Katie Ross of Microsoft sharing innovations including a tool to select building products that reduce embodied carbon, Susan Kennedy of Advanced Microgrids looking at how AI can reduce building energy and carbon through algorithms, and Jasper van der Munckh of Energiesprong offering a program to breathe new energy efficiency into existing multifamily buildings, reducing the carbon.  When these ideas are combined throughout a buildings life, they offer serious solutions for carbon reduction.

5:30-7 p.m.            Forum Expo Reception

 7 p.m.                     Dine Arounds in Oakland

Meet new friends or connect with old colleagues at one of our Dine Around Dinners hosted by friends of the Getting to Zero Forum. These organized pay-your-own way dinners offer a chance to experiences some of Oakland’s stellar culinary options.