BuildingEnergy Boston Conference Sessions

Please note: Curators are finalizing details through mid-January. Expect additional speakers and some changes to session titles and descriptions.

Thursday, March 8
Session Title Time Session Speaker(s) Areas of Focus
Keynote: Fostering a Dynamic & Inclusive Sustainable Community 8:30 am to 10:00 am

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.)

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.

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Design & Construction process

Practice

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

Homeowners, builders, and architects are taking more interest in healthier places to live in and work. Research backs this up and points towards a need for wiser material and design choices.

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Single family

Building envelope

Design & Construction process

Health & Wellness

EnergyVision 2030: A Plan for Changes to our Energy System

This session will start with an overview of our EnergyVision 2030 report, which highlights the changes needed to for the Northeast to meet 2030 carbon emissions targets that would put it on the... 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.

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

Spec sheets can be dense with data, graphs, acronyms, and units of measure, all put there to describe just how that material or equipment will perform.

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Single family

Design & Construction process

Mechanical systems & lighting

The Magic (Electric) School Bus 10:30 am to 11:30 am

Renewables

Cities, Communities, Place

New Construction: Beyond Modeling to Real Data & Results

Over the past decade, energy modeling has been an important tool for pushing the design and construction industry toward high efficiency buildings.

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Design & Construction process

Multifamily

Practice

"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?

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?

Updating building energy codes has long been a goal for advocates of efficient building practices.

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.

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.

1:30 pm to 3:00 pm

Cities, Communities, Place

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

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

The $9 trillion-a-year global construction industry is responsible for nearly 60% of climate change emissions, a third of landfill waste, and a shocking array of negative health effects.

1:30 pm to 3:00 pm

Design & Construction process

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

Health & Wellness

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.

1:30 pm to 3:00 pm

Renewables

Energy Storage: The Next Frontier

Storage is happening everywhere: behind the meter, in front of the meter, and in autonomous microgrids.

3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Renewables

Policy & Codes

New or Renovated – High Performance in Higher Education

Do you want to hear how to drive energy efficiency in renovation projects and new buildings beyond expectations? Welcome.

3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Commercial & Institutional

Design & Construction process

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

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

3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Commercial & Institutional

Building envelope

Policy & Codes

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

This session offers an analysis of the business models of Architecture, Construction, and Development.

3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Design & Construction process

Practice

Friday, March 9
Session Title Time Session Speaker(s) Areas of Focus
Getting Smarter about Smart Buildings

If you have difficulty getting ideas to move ahead quickly in your organization, this session is for you.

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.

9:00 am to 10:00 am

Renewables

Policy & Codes

Smart Parking Design as a Climate Tool

Parking infrastructure, developed in conjunction with commercial and residential buildings, is a frequently neglected facet of property design.

9:00 am to 10:00 am

Cities, Communities, Place

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

Big Building Implications for Multifamily Passive House

Energy efficiency is critical to a dense urban environment as costs continue to rise.

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. The Trustees asked a simple series of questions in this context:

9:00 am to 10:00 am

Commercial & Institutional

Design & Construction process

Practice

Deploying Post-Disaster Renewables

Months after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, much is unsure about the future of electricity there.

9:00 am to 10:00 am

Renewables

Cities, Communities, Place

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

The energy crisis of indoor cannabis cultivation is about to be unleashed in the Northeast.

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

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 ene

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Commercial & Institutional

Mechanical systems & lighting

High Performance Solutions in Commercial and Institutional Construction 10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Commercial & Institutional

Building envelope

The Future City: An Integrated Ecosystem

This session features a series of facilitated conversations and a small-group exercise that will focus on the future city and what NESEA thinkers and practitioners can do now to create impact.

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.

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Building envelope

Design & Construction process

Multifamily

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.

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 210,000-square-foot student housing project required LEED v4 Silver, a worthwhile goal.

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Commercial & Institutional

Practice

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

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.

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.

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Single family

Building envelope

Practice

Choices, Choices: Cladding and Climate Change

Cladding materials used in construction are critical to carbon reduction goals and loom larger as operational energy use diminishes.

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.

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Building envelope

Multifamily

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

Ventilation is often overlooked or inadequately designed, in existing and new homes alike.

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Single family

Health & Wellness

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.

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Multifamily

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.

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.

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Single family

Design & Construction process

Mechanical systems & lighting

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.

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Single family

Commercial & Institutional

Health & Wellness

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.

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Renewables

Cities, Communities, Place

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.

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Single family

Commercial & Institutional

Policy & Codes

XLS