April 17-19, 2018 | Wyndam Grand Pittsburgh

2018 Forum Program Details

Three jam-packed days of tours, workshops and learning sessions

Don't miss this premier event dedicated to zero energy buildings!

Check out our 2018 Getting to Zero National Forum Program!

The 2018 Getting to Zero National Forum program is below. The event will include three jam-packed days of tours, workshops, networking opportunities, interactive sessions and thought leadership about the growing trend toward zero energy (ZE) buildings.

Luminaries in this field will set the stage with a vision for the future of the built environment. Policymakers and practitioners highlighted the strategies for catalyzing a transformation to ZE performance. We cannot wait to see you there.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

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

8:30 a.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 gettingtozeroforum.org/workshops

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 gettingtozeroforum.org/tours/

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.     Opening Plenary Session + Mayors Panel

Three mayors of leading jurisdictions will examine how buildings are a primary solution for meeting worldwide energy and climate change mitigation goals. Our three civic leaders will offer their own perspectives and vision for ZE as a catalyst that could transform the future of the built environment to meet energy and climate action goals.

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

4 p.m. –5 p.m.                    Getting to Zero Case Study 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.

Deep Energy Retrofits to Zero  
How can you interrupt the typical capital renewal process with commercial properties to create multi-building deep energy retrofit projects? This is case study 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.

Gamechanging Innovation and Approaches
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 ZNE as well as possibilities of deploying existing digital technologies to create interactive engagement systems between buildings, environment and occupants.

Developing for Zero
Hear from innovative developers and teams on innovative approaches to achieve zero energy performance with a foundation of modeling, science, and stakeholder investment. Conditions ripe for brainstorming, modeling options, evaluating certifications, and pushing the design and operations boundaries are resulting in commercial buildings pushing the envelope of sustainability.

Zero Energy and Passive House–Policy to Projects
This panel of national and diverse industry experts have successfully delivered Passive House and Zero Energy buildings in many forms. Passive measures, on-site renewable generation, and off-site renewables that interact on the path to zero energy and emissions will be examined through the lens of the city of Pittsburgh and its progressive policy at the city and state level to fund net zero Passive House developments.

Cost and Finance
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.

5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.    Opening Reception at Phipps Conservatory
                                                 (shuttle buses will take attendees to Phipps)

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

7 a.m. – 7 p.m.                 Registration Open

7 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.          Exhibitor Showcase + Breakfast Buffet

8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.        Morning Breakout Sessions 1

Get ready to feed your brain. Choice breakout sessions will delve deeper into key aspects of zero energy codes and policy, districts and portfolios, design, and operations with bonus sessions targeting critical topics.

10 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.       Exhibitor Showcase + Networking Break

10:30 a.m. – 12 noon       Morning Breakout Sessions 2

Town Hall and Solutions Lab-type sessions have been added to optimize attendee participation and engagement. Together, attendees, speakers and moderators will evaluate opportunities for scale, policies and programs that drive progress, barriers to success and other critical aspects of Getting to Zero.

12 noon – 1:30 p.m.          Lunchtime Plenary Session + Keynote

Digital Disruption: How Data and Technology Innovations Are Changing the Way We Approach Building Energy Performance and Other Cool Stuff

Innovative technology advances and the advent of the Internet of Things and “Big Data” analytics promise to revolutionize the performance of our buildings and communities. Advanced modeling software, controls, lighting and heating and cooling products, and the ability to better monitor energy performance in real-time make ultra-low and zero-energy buildings more feasible than ever before.  Hear why, how and where building owners around the world are investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy and how new digital technologies are serving as key enablers for achieving ultra-low energy performance.

Clay Nesler, Vice President, Global Sustainability and Industry Initiatives, Building Technologies and Solutions, Johnson Controls

1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.                Afternoon Breakout Sessions 3

Our afternoon group of Breakout Sessions continue to delve into the details in small group setting where conversations and vital connections can happen. Real-world experiences offer practical insights and information that can be use immediately when you get back to your desk.

3 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.                Exhibitor Showcase + Networking Break

4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.          Getting to Zero Status Update + ZEDx

NBI Research Director Cathy Higgins will share the trends of zero energy buildings from NBI’s latest Getting to Zero Status Update and Buildings List. Presenters of ZEDx (Zero Energy Developments) talks will share the latest in zero energy news and projects. The rapid sharing of ideas will feed the conversation where you can add your own perspectives through a group dialog and polling on key solutions, policy and market subjects.

5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.            Networking Reception

7:00 p.m.                                   Dine Around Dinners Out

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

thursday, april 19, 2018

7:15 a.m. – 7:45 a.m.                 Morning Run/Walk

8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.                 Breakfast

8:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.               Master Speaker Sessions

These Master Speaker Sessions will spotlight some of the critical conversations about what is driving momentum in zero energy buildings. Who are the changemakers building awareness and understanding that eases the way for zero energy policies to take root in an organization? What is the business case that will drive corporate owners and developers to invest in ZE buildings? How does zero energy help cut carbon emissions in order to curb impacts of climate change? Experts will share their perspectives and ask attendees to add their own.

10:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.               Last Chance Exhibitor Showcase + Networking Break

10:45 a.m. – 12 noon                    Closing Plenary Session + Keynote

12 noon – 12:30 p.m.                    Event Wrap Up: Take + Shake Up the World


To see past Forum programs, visit: gettingtozeroforum.org/past-forums