BuildingEnergy Boston Conference Sessions

View a printable PDF with clickable links to all the conference sessions

Thursday, March 8
Session Title Time Session Speaker(s) Areas of Focus
Keynote Panel: Building Our Community: Engaging the Emerging Workforce

Dr. Jacques will lead a panel that will provide data about the state of our industry, share strategies for effectively engaging and elevating the work of emerging and mid-career professionals, and... Full Description

8:30 am to 10:00 am

The BrightBuilt Barn 10-year Anniversary: Celebrating the Birth of Affordable, Off-Site-Built Net Zero and the Industry Change It Spawned

In 2006, a group of industry leaders collaborated on an ideal for the future of homebuilding in the Northeast, focusing on affordability, sustainability, replicability, and beauty. Their project,... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Design & Construction process

Practice

Escalating Excellence in Envelopes: Stories from Practice

There are five basic components of building envelopes, each of which needs increased attention to meet and exceed current Energy Code while providing comfort for building users and durability and... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Commercial & Institutional

Building envelope

Policy & Codes

EnergyVision 2030: A Plan for Changes to our Energy System

Acadia Center’s EnergyVision 2030 analysis explores how the Northeast can reduce carbon emissions to meet 2030 targets that put it on the path to meet 80% by 2050 mandates, which exist in most... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Renewables

Cities, Communities, Place

Policy & Codes

How Do We Get from Passive House to Truly Low-Carbon Buildings?

The PHIUS Passive House Primary Energy (PE) criteria is currently set at 6200 kWh/occupant/year. Recent multifamily Passive House projects have not met PE by passive measures alone but have... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Building envelope

Multifamily

Beyond energy (Water, Carbon, Materials, etc.)

Signal to Noise: What Engineers See and You Miss in Products Specs

A spec sheet can be baffling. We want to make smart choices but have trouble discerning what matters and what doesn’t. Two experienced engineers will walk us through reading spec sheet data. We’ll... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Single family

Design & Construction process

Mechanical systems & lighting

New Construction: Beyond Modeling to Real Data & Results

This session will compare energy-modeled results to actual utility consumption data from a set of multifamily buildings, discuss results of recent energy audits, and examine major design elements... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Design & Construction process

Multifamily

Practice

How Energy Efficiency Creates Opportunities & Financing in Multifamily Housing

More banks are beginning to incorporate green and high performance building into their mortgage underwriting process for multifamily properties. If leading lenders begin to encourage and provide... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Owners

Multifamily

Resiliency: Energy When You Need It

The floods and hurricanes of 2017 and the winter weather of 2018 all highlight the need for buildings and communities that can withstand natural (and human-made) disasters and continue to provide... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Renewables

Cities, Communities, Place

Beyond energy (Water, Carbon, Materials, etc.)

Be Passive(haus) Aggressive: Affordable Housing in Massachusetts

Come hear how new construction affordable housing projects are utilizing Passive House principles to get exemplary energy performance out of buildings.

12:15 pm to 1:15 pm

Net Zero Schools: Start with the HVAC

A study of HVAC systems in NYC schools sought energy-efficient alternatives for both retrofits and new construction.

12:15 pm to 1:15 pm

Utility Transformation: Creating a Lower-Cost, More Reliable, Carbon-Free Electricity Distribution System

We may be on the threshold of a dramatic re-think in electricity distribution. These reforms should create huge opportunities for innovation, distributed energy resources, and efficiency. Leaders... Full Description

1:30 pm to 3:00 pm

Renewables

"But I Don’t Care" (Being an Effective Communicator)

Overcoming resistance and gaining buy-in are challenges faced by everyone. The education of design professionals rarely includes the critical skills of communication and negotiation.

1:30 pm to 3:00 pm

Design & Construction process

Practice

The New Gravity: Climate Change and the Imperative of High-Performance Housing

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) and the 17 multi-family Passive House projects they’ve funded are transforming the affordable housing industry toward a Net-Zero-Energy standard by... Full Description

1:30 pm to 3:00 pm

Single family

Multifamily

Unvented Roofs without Spray Foam: The Latest Building America Research

The current building codes let you build moisture-safe unvented roofs using spray foam or rigid board foam. But what about just using cellulose or fiberglass instead? Our team has been studying... Full Description

1:30 pm to 3:00 pm

Single family

Building envelope

Multifamily

Should We Stop Trying to Update to the Latest Model Building Energy Code?

States across the Northeast expend significant time and effort in the pursuit of adopting the latest model energy codes from the IECC and ASHRAE. With the 2009 and 2012 model energy codes this... Full Description

1:30 pm to 3:00 pm

Single family

Building envelope

Policy & Codes

Multifamily

Where We Went Right & Where We Went Left: Measured vs. Modeled Energy Performance

Since 2013 the Passive House Institute US has seen a significant increase in the design, construction, and certification of multifamily passive buildings. Many first multifamily passive buildings... Full Description

1:30 pm to 3:00 pm

Multifamily

Practice

Help! I'm Drowning

This session will provide a unique opportunity for sea-level rise to be discussed at three various scales by experts approaching this timely issue in different ways. Shaun O’Rourke, Chief... Full Description

1:30 pm to 3:00 pm

Cities, Communities, Place

Beyond energy (Water, Carbon, Materials, etc.)

CANCELLED - Every Building a Living Building: Tapping into Biology to Grow the Next Generation of High-Performing Buildings

CANCELLED

1:30 pm to 3:00 pm

Design & Construction process

Beyond energy (Water, Carbon, Materials, etc.)

Health & Wellness

Comparing Three Certification Metrics That Drive Sustainability in Affordable Multifamily Housing

In building or retrofitting affordable multifamily housing, owners and developers committed to sustainability have several certification metrics to choose from, depending on their goals, budget,... Full Description

3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Owners

Multifamily

The Not-Quite-Edible House: Making Healthy Material Choices

This session outlines key strategies to help your team make informed decisions around building assemblies, products, and finishes. Whether you’re looking for simple, low-cost upgrades for a... Full Description

3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Single family

Building envelope

Design & Construction process

Health & Wellness

Stretch Codes: Why this policy offers the best hope for rapid transformation to meet state and local climate goals

This session will look how cities and states are using stretch codes to more rapidly transform local building stock to higher energy efficiency levels, sometimes even driving toward zero energy... Full Description

3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Policy & Codes

Building Inherent Value: Implementing the Passive House Building Standard

Two certified Passive House Consultants, an architect and a builder, will talk about the tremendous benefits of the Passive House building approach, and nostalgically lament what this means for... Full Description

3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Single family

Building envelope

Multifamily

Making the Invisible Visible: A Blueprint for Seeking Real Estate Value for Energy Efficiency

In the real estate market, decisions about home purchase, construction, and upgrades suffer from lack of data and knowledge about energy efficiency or, worse, don’t consider energy efficiency at... Full Description

3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Single family

Practice

Comparing the Business of Architecture to Construction to Development

What do People and Planet decisions cost, what are they worth, and how do they affect our employees, our neighborhoods, our planet? Declan Keefe, Strategic Director of Placetailor, an architecture... Full Description

3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Design & Construction process

Practice

Energy Storage: The Next Frontier

Storage is happening everywhere: behind the meter, in front of the meter, and in autonomous microgrids. Already, storage is addressing the variability in renewable sources of generation,... Full Description

3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Renewables

Policy & Codes

New or Renovated - High Performance in Education

Do you want to hear how to drive energy efficiency in renovation projects and new buildings beyond expectations? Welcome. Our exceptional panel members have learned from many educational projects... Full Description

3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Commercial & Institutional

Design & Construction process

Friday, March 9
Session Title Time Session Speaker(s) Areas of Focus
Deploying Post-Disaster Renewables

Months after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, much is unsure about the future of electricity there. We'll offer two perspectives on efforts to deploy renewables in the post-2017-... Full Description

9:00 am to 10:00 am

Renewables

Cities, Communities, Place

Getting Smarter about Smart Buildings

If you have difficulty getting ideas to move ahead quickly in your organization, this session is for you. We will share the journey to roll out a "smart building" controls system in the... Full Description

9:00 am to 10:00 am

Mechanical systems & lighting

Practice

Data-Driven Boiler System Design and Installation

New Ecology, Inc. (NEI) installed low-cost monitoring equipment in 103 multifamily buildings in Massachusetts to observe, track, and evaluate hydronic heating and domestic hot water (DHW)... Full Description

9:00 am to 10:00 am

Mechanical systems & lighting

Policy Updates: Net Metering and Fixed Charges in the Northeast

Fixed utility charges and net metering policy have a major impact on the economics of rooftop solar and energy efficiency. For a long time these issues were fairly static in the Northeast, but... Full Description

9:00 am to 10:00 am

Renewables

Policy & Codes

Smart Parking Design as a Climate Tool

Parking creates numerous environmental impacts, including excess energy consumption, urban heat island effect, stormwater runoff, traffic congestion, and pollution. This presentation will... Full Description

9:00 am to 10:00 am

Cities, Communities, Place

Beyond energy (Water, Carbon, Materials, etc.)

Big Building Implications for Multifamily Passive House

This session will focus on applying Passivhaus/Passive House standards to large buildings: recent research on the impacts of tall buildings, from architectural enclosure detailing, mechanical... Full Description

9:00 am to 10:00 am

Building envelope

Design & Construction process

Multifamily

Mechanical systems & lighting

Thermal & Energy Analysis for Architects: Why, When, & How

Incorporating quantitative tools throughout each stage of the design process empowers architects to evaluate and understand the complex environmental implications of their design decisions and to... Full Description

9:00 am to 10:00 am

Design & Construction process

Practice

Green Gauges: A Design Methodology at Williams College

Williams College has established the goal of 35% campus wide carbon reduction of 1990 carbon emissions by 2020. In this session we will present the development of a methodology (i.e., Green Gauges... Full Description

9:00 am to 10:00 am

Commercial & Institutional

Design & Construction process

Practice

Retrocommissioning with the Chiefs: Training Operators to Sustain the Process

At the core of every successful Retro-Commissioning (RCx) project is an effective collaboration between the commissioning agent and the building's operating staff to identify and implement... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Commercial & Institutional

Mechanical systems & lighting

CANCELLED Field Notes with Terry Brennan: High Performance Solutions in Commercial and Institutional Construction

We truly regret having to cancel this session. Terry Brennan is unable to attend.

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Commercial & Institutional

Building envelope

The Future City: An Integrated Ecosystem

The city is an important scale for holistic innovation that can play a major role in global decarbonization. Practitioners can learn to optimize this scale to integrate building-level, streetscape... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Cities, Communities, Place

Beyond energy (Water, Carbon, Materials, etc.)

Health & Wellness

Multi-Family, Tenant-in-Place, Passive Rehab: It's Possible!

Affordable housing offers a huge opportunity to refinance and rehab to the Passive House standard. The project team from Chris Benedict, R.A. and RiseBoro Community Partnership will show... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Building envelope

Design & Construction process

Multifamily

The Magic (Electric) School Bus

Massachusetts is at the forefront of transportation technology with a pilot project that put the nation’s first electric school buses on the road at the end of 2016. We’ll hear from the pilot... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Renewables

Cities, Communities, Place

Integrative Carbon Building: Embodied Carbon, Net Positive Carbon, and the New Carbon Architecture

Our current framework for net-zero buildings doesn’t account for embodied carbon – that is, carbon pollution created during material manufacturing and distribution. In this session, we will show... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Building envelope

Beyond energy (Water, Carbon, Materials, etc.)

Punching Above Your Weight Class: Exceeding Client Sustainability Requirements within a Tight Budget

This team’s contract with a university client for a new student housing project required LEED v4 Silver, a worthwhile goal. But the team wanted to punch up to meet more aggressive sustainability... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Commercial & Institutional

Practice

Crisis in Cannabis Cultivation: Latest Energy Developments in Data, Practice, and Policy

Growing marijuana indoors is extremely energy intensive, and this session highlights the latest efforts to reduce the industry's energy footprint. Attendees will hear from speakers with... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Commercial & Institutional

Mechanical systems & lighting

Meeting the Demands of Healthier Buildings: How to Navigate Building Product Certifications

A building or home cannot begin to be deemed healthy if its building blocks – both the material used for exterior construction and the elements used to build and decorate the interior – aren’t... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Single family

Commercial & Institutional

Health & Wellness

Robots, Vacuums, and Butterflies Build a Better Wall

Join us for a live tour of our newly operational computer aided manufacturing (CAM) facility in Keene, NH. Lunch and learn with us as we take a real-time walk through the 110,000 sf building that... Full Description

12:15 pm to 1:15 pm

A German Perspective on Building Energy

Germany enjoys a stellar reputation throughout the world for its high-quality technical products and practical expertise in energy efficiency. Germany is an international market-leader in energy... Full Description

12:15 pm to 1:15 pm

Cities as Climate Leaders: Net Zero & the Urgency of Now

With the effects of climate change at our shores, and the federal administration’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement, the time for local action is now. In order to avoid the most... Full Description

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Renewables

Cities, Communities, Place

The Great Indoors: Green Building and Health Outcomes

As the green building movement matures, a stronger focus is evolving on short-term and long-term occupant health impacts. The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health evaluated the health... Full Description

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Multifamily

Health & Wellness

Utility Benchmarking 101: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How It Can Benefit You

Utility benchmarking can be a powerful tool in a property manager's toolbox, enabling them to monitor water and energy usage, make smart decisions about repair and maintenance, and positively... Full Description

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Multifamily

Heat Pump Water Heaters for Multifamily

Looking for the best ways to use heat pump water heaters efficiently, reliably, and without compromising comfort? So are we. In multifamily buildings around the Northeast, the speakers have... Full Description

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Multifamily

Mechanical systems & lighting

KISS (Keep It Simple, Smartypants): A builder’s perspective on straightforward construction details for constructing a low-cost, high-performance home

Rhode Island’s first PHIUS certified passive house was built for $160/sq. ft. In this session, builder Steve DeMetrick of DeMetrick Housewrights will walk through the entire construction process,... Full Description

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Single family

Building envelope

Practice

Choices, Choices: Cladding and Climate Change

Architects, designers, builders and facility managers are often in the dark about environmental and especially climate change impacts as they look at exterior material choices for new construction... Full Description

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Building envelope

Design & Construction process

Air Tightness Requirements of the Passive House Standard

The Passive House (PH) building standard is the most stringent energy efficiency standard in the world. Several affordable housing authorities in the US currently or plan to include it as a... Full Description

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Building envelope

Multifamily

What Not to Spec: How to Avoid Toxins, Endocrine Disruptors, and Carcinogens in Your Next Building Project

The products you specify--and how you structure your specs--have enduring impact on your building's occupants, the community where the product is made, and the workers who install it. We’ll... Full Description

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Single family

Commercial & Institutional

Health & Wellness

Lightning Round: Questions and Answers to Fuel Your Work

This Lightning Round will pack as much information into one session as possible, with succinct, practical presentations on a variety of topics including B-corp; Iterative Daylighting Analysis... Full Description

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Design & Construction process

Practice

PACE Financing: Scaling Commercial and Residential Net-Zero Energy Retrofits

One of the biggest market barriers to net-zero energy retrofits is the incremental upfront cost. Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing overcomes this barrier, and it’s expanding with new... Full Description

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Single family

Commercial & Institutional

Policy & Codes

The Drawbacks of Breathing: Nighttime Carbon Dioxide Levels in New England Bedrooms

During the 2016-17 heating season, we tested the indoor air quality in the bedrooms of 22 Vermont homes spanning a wide range of size, age, airtightness, heating system type, and occupancy. Most... Full Description

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Single family

Health & Wellness

Getting Solar Ready with Permitting and Inspection Processes

This session is aimed towards building and electrical inspectors, energy managers, planners, and other municipal officials looking to explore best practices to make their permitting and inspection... Full Description

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Renewables

Policy & Codes

The Risky Business of Integrative Pre-Design

The status quo of traditional project delivery requires continual review and improvement. Although the value of the Integrative Design Process (IDP) has been established, it is not widely used or... Full Description

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Design & Construction process

Practice

Real Life Air Source Heat Pumps

Learn about cold climate heat pumps from an expert in HVAC and Building Science. This session will focus on the real world performance of Air Source Heat Pumps monitored from past projects,... Full Description

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Single family

Design & Construction process

Mechanical systems & lighting

XLS