BuildingEnergy Boston Conference Sessions

Click here to view an interactive PDF of conference session titles.

Click here to view a printable PDF of conference session descriptions (as of February 14).

Click here to view a PDF of Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

Wednesday, March 08, 2017
Session Title Time Session Speaker(s) Areas of Focus
Plenary, Part I - Beyond Energy: The Concealed Environmental Impact of Buildings and Residents

When it comes to environmental impacts of buildings, operational energy (and to some degree, carbon) attracts the most attention. This is likely because buildings currently account for one third... Full Description

8:30 am to 10:00 am

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

Next Generation Energy Efficiency

Utility of the Future… EM&V 2.0… Zero Energy… duck curve! Today’s energy challenges encompass topics far beyond the “bread and butter” of energy efficiency in buildings. After more than 25... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Renewables

Policy & Codes

Getting to Yes: Winning and Making Your Next Project Net Zero, LBC, or . . .

We know how to design and construct net-zero and living buildings that are healthy, responsible, beautiful, durable and financially prudent. So why aren’t clients demanding this? How can we... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Commercial & Institutional

Design & Construction process

Practice

Multifamily Passive Buildings: Evaluation of Measured 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

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Multifamily

Transforming Institutional Buildings for the Next 100 Years

Beloved institutional buildings: These storied landmarks of architectural significance have a unique relationship to students, faculty, alumni, and the general public. We will explore the complex... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Commercial & Institutional

Lightning Round! Day 1: Lessons from The Field

New this year, Lightning Rounds pack as much information into one session as possible. You’ll hear succinct, to-the-point, and practical presentations on a variety of topics, including: Chilled... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Owners

Commercial & Institutional

Building envelope

Mechanical systems & lighting

The Updated ILFI Net Zero Energy Certification, Reveal Label, and New Partnerships

The International Living Future Institute (ILFI) has radically reworked its Net Zero Energy Building certification to be significantly more straightforward and user friendly, at the same time as... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Cities, Communities, Place

Policy & Codes

Net Zero Water: Not a Dry Topic

Construction often negatively impacts the natural balance of water cycles. Even regions with historically abundant quantities of potable water are depleting aquifers, while record rainfall... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

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

Retrofitting Residential Properties

One-to-four unit homes present special challenges to energy-efficiency upgrades. Many of these homes were built from 1890—1960 and lack insulation, leak air, and waste energy and water. This panel... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Single family

Policy & Codes

Multifamily

The Cannabis Cultivation Conundrum

As an increasing number of states legalize cannabis for not only medical but also recreational use, the energy consumption of indoor cannabis cultivation can no longer be ignored. Its relatively... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Cities, Communities, Place

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

The "Anti-Greenwash" Guide to Community Electricity Aggregation

Can a community get more renewable electricity for all of its residents at a competitive price? Massachusetts communities have the option to choose an electricity supplier for their residents and... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Renewables

Cities, Communities, Place

Policy & Codes

Neighborhood Development: One Project at a Time

This session offers a basic "how to" about high performance housing development and a critical look at the impact that high performance infill housing development can have on an entire... Full Description

1:30 pm to 3:00 pm

Multifamily

Energy Codes and Zero Energy Buildings: Strategies for Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond

New building energy codes have arrived and others are on the horizon. This intensive session begins by introducing the newest codes in the region: specifically the amended IECC2015/ASHRAE 90.1-... Full Description

1:30 pm to 3:00 pm

Policy & Codes

Materials Transparency: Choosing Better Products for Your High Performing Building

High performance buildings products improve energy efficiency to create more sustainable buildings. However, the materials used to make these products can also create adverse effects, such as... Full Description

1:30 pm to 3:00 pm

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

Evolving Assemblies

We know. You want to geek out about clever construction details and cutting edge construction methods, and in the process perhaps learn some strategies that you can bring back and apply to your... Full Description

1:30 pm to 3:00 pm

Single family

Building envelope

Design & Construction process

Data-Driven Design and the Living Building Challenge

Super-insulated construction, simple yet efficient building systems, and modern solar generation have made net zero energy a realistic project goal for new construction even in cold climates.... Full Description

1:30 pm to 3:00 pm

Building envelope

Design & Construction process

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

Performance-Based Procurement: Infusing Your New Construction Contract with Energy Requirements

The obstacles to a high performing building are legend, but those barriers can now be surmounted. A new performance-based procurement process, developed and successfully executed at NREL, targeted... Full Description

1:30 pm to 3:00 pm

Owners

Commercial & Institutional

Design & Construction process

Building Partnerships to Increase Uptake of Residential Energy Efficiency Measures

Solarize campaigns are helping communities across New England transition to renewable energy, but whatever happened to “efficiency first”? The same collective approach can work for deploying other... Full Description

1:30 pm to 3:00 pm

Cities, Communities, Place

Getting Real About Renewables: Passive House and the Future of Energy

The growth of renewable energy is a hopeful and positive sign for society. It is not merely a fuel switch, however; it is a disruptive technology that is revolutionizing the fundamental economics... Full Description

1:30 pm to 3:00 pm

Renewables

Building envelope

Design & Construction process

Real World Data of Domestic Hot Water Consumption and Energy

What are the real-world loads and efficiencies of domestic hot water (DHW) systems in multifamily buildings? New Ecology, Inc. has tested many DHW systems using data loggers and Btu meters, and... Full Description

1:30 pm to 3:00 pm

Multifamily

Mechanical systems & lighting

Zero Energy and Affordability: Can These Words Go Together?

Experience, technology, new architectural approaches, and many other factors are advancing toward Zero Energy Buildings being more affordable, especially in a residential setting. In addition, tax... Full Description

3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Multifamily

Moisture Safe? The Writing is on the Wall

Our speakers are building enclosure consultants steeped in wall moisture solutions through data-rich research, computer simulations, lab testing, live performance monitoring – as well as a myriad... Full Description

3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Building envelope

The Appropriate Future Roles of Monopoly Electricity Utilities

In the face of an industry that often seems to have outgrown the business model, what is the role of a regulated monopoly in the 21st century electric grid? This session will explore changes... Full Description

3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Renewables

Systems and Stewardship: Placemaking as Practice

Systems Thinking invites us to observe and propose the "boundary conditions" that will ultimately define every project's design goals. By extending that conversation to include our responsibility... Full Description

3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Single family

Practice

Air (vital stuff): Strategies for Getting It Into (and out of) Multifamily Buildings

In an increasing market for multifamily, energy-efficient and high-performance building shells, efficient ventilation strategies become paramount in maintaining health and comfort without... Full Description

3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Multifamily

Mechanical systems & lighting

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

Lessons from Abroad: The Danish Way or the (Bicycle) Highway

This session will dive deep into Danish ideas and solutions we might consider importing to import to Boston and other US cities, despite our very different regulatory environment. Speakers will... Full Description

3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Cities, Communities, Place

State of the Art: High-Performance Natural Building for Cold Climates

The phrase “natural building” tends to evoke images of humble, rustic homes built out of mud and sticks by barefoot idealists in rural backwaters. The natural building movement has come of age,... Full Description

3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Single family

Building envelope

Design & Construction process

Carbon Counts! Calculating the Carbon of Commercial Construction

Beyond the energy used during building operations, the construction of buildings causes atmospheric emission of carbon dioxide and CO2 equivalent gases (CO2e). Some of these emissions are related... Full Description

3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

Commercial & Institutional

Buildings in the Age of Electric Vehicles

In 2013, eight states signed a memorandum of understanding that commits them to work toward getting 3.3 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on their roads by 2025. These states – six in the... Full Description

3:30 pm to 5:00 pm

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

Thursday, March 09, 2017
Session Title Time Session Speaker(s) Areas of Focus
Plenary, Part II: Methane Leaks, Public Policy, the Future of the Natural Gas Grid -- and the Implications for Your Projects

A discussion on the serious environmental, legal, and policy issues regarding distribution losses along the natural gas grid. Is methane really a useful bridge fuel, or is it a serious part of our... Full Description

8:30 am to 10:00 am

Policy & Codes

Harnessing Energy Storage to Meet New England's Energy Challenges

Energy storage systems can provide multiple benefits and related revenue streams to residential and commercial ratepayers but business, finance, and ownership models are still emerging. But while... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Renewables

The Future City

This facilitated conversation is on the future city and its impact on the practice of NESEA thinkers and practitioners.

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Cities, Communities, Place

Lightning Round! Day 2: The Many Uses of Data

New this year, Lightning Rounds pack as much information into one session as possible. You’ll hear succinct, to-the-point, and practical presentations on a variety of data-focused topics,... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Renewables

Commercial & Institutional

Multifamily

Mechanical systems & lighting

Practice

Using Whole Systems Thinking in High Performance Design: The New MacArthur Elementary School

In 2011, the Susquehanna River flooded Binghamton NY. The MacArthur Elementary School was inundated with contaminated flood waters and declared a total loss. This session will recount the... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Commercial & Institutional

Integrative Design Process (for real): Mapping Your Delivery Process

Most firms claim to practice integrative design, but that’s not reliably the case! With LEED’s new “IP” credit and increased demand for NZ buildings, it’s time to get real. Transforming the design... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Commercial & Institutional

Design & Construction process

Practice

Mind the Gaps: Post-Occupancy Discoveries from Design to Operation

Vanderweil has piloted post-occupancy review to determine how buildings are used and discovered that gaps in installation, operation, and maintenance, which can result in excess energy and... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Commercial & Institutional

Design & Construction process

Mechanical systems & lighting

HERS Raters: They Do Play Well With Others

HERS raters do more than “crank out a model and give you a number” – the right HERS rater can be a building science practitioner who helps project teams throughout design and development, filling... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Policy & Codes

Liquid Assets: Water Monitoring and Conservation in Multifamily Buildings

We all know we should be saving water in our multifamily buildings, but how? Most tenants pay their own electric bills so switching off lights makes economic sense, but since water is usually... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Owners

Multifamily

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

Three Vermont High-Performance Homes, Three Approaches

This session offers a thought-provoking comparison of the construction and performance of three high-performance homes completed in Vermont in 2015-2016: all two story, one with a basement, one... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Single family

Building envelope

Design & Construction process

WELL, LEEDv4, and the Quest for Material Health

This session offers a three-part consideration of healthy materials. Part 1 investigates why built environment professionals should and do care about this growing topic of concern, and explores... Full Description

10:30 am to 12:00 pm

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

All About Windows

Windows are arguably the most important architectural element in a home, impacting the appearance, comfort, energy use, ventilation, and overall enjoyment of our homes in a number of ways – some... Full Description

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Single family

Building envelope

New IAQ Metrics to Avoid Being Stupid, Sick, and Tired

Our poorly ventilated homes and buildings are making us stupid, sick, and tired—at a cost that is staggering. Improvement of today’s ventilation standards can increase human productivity with a... Full Description

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

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

Data Loggers for Advanced Diagnostics

Data loggers are tiny computers which record temperature, humidity, water flow rates, and other environmental parameters over a long timeframe. How can they be used to diagnose building issues?... Full Description

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Single family

Mechanical systems & lighting

For Good Measure: Monitoring Envelopes to Inform Masonry Building Renovation

Existing buildings have a unique story to tell, and we as designers and engineers must tune our design process to "hear" how our buildings actually perform. On-site monitoring of dynamic... Full Description

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Building envelope

Design & Construction process

The Key to the Castle: Who Has It and Do They Know Where the Lock is?

Improving the operational performance of buildings requires highly skilled and qualified workers, particularly as building technologies become more advanced. Yet many lack the skill-set they need... Full Description

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Owners

Commercial & Institutional

The Campus as Crucible for Catalyzing Change

College campuses are leading the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy at the community level. This session will combine design, technology, and policy with real-life case studies of... Full Description

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Renewables

Commercial & Institutional

Cities, Communities, Place

Greening Affordable Housing: Driving Energy Efficiency, Clean Energy, and Health in Our Communities

How do we make affordable housing both healthier for residents and more energy efficient? This panel will document successful healthy housing and energy efficiency strategies that LISC and its... Full Description

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Multifamily

Are You the Weakest Link? Resilient Design 101

Buildings are designed to be expendable. Codes focus on safe evacuation in an emergency, not on keeping buildings occupiable through a disaster. With climate change, displacement due to damage... Full Description

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Commercial & Institutional

Policy & Codes

Design & Construction process

Five Market Trends That Are Re-Shaping C&I Energy Management

Energy storage systems can provide multiple benefits and related revenue streams to residential and commercial ratepayers but business, finance, and ownership models are still emerging. Learn more... Full Description

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

Renewables

Commercial & Institutional

Permanently Passive: Building With AAC

Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) is a masonry product with a long history in much of the industrialized world, yet it has seen relatively limited use in the United States. The two presenters, Dan... Full Description

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Single family

Building envelope

Design & Construction process

Multifamily

The AIA 2030 Commitment: Building Energy Literacy

The AIA 2030 Commitment has impacted not only how we design, but also how firms practice. It has changed the way firms work by integrating performance information into the design process. This... Full Description

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Policy & Codes

Design & Construction process

Practice

The Systems View: How the Energy Blockchain Will Unlock the Next Industrial Revolution

Since the emergence of Bitcoin in 2008, awareness and conversations are expanding concerning the internet-like transformation of our economic, business, and legal systems. With an entirely new... Full Description

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Renewables

Cities, Communities, Place

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

Redundancy. Diversity. Connectivity: Optimizing Your Projects, Your Business, Your Work

An inspirational educational session illustrating the methodologies nature uses to optimize. Through storytelling, discussions with the audience, and use of prezi as background, we will learn... Full Description

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Commercial & Institutional

Design & Construction process

Practice

Spending Through the Roof: Tall Building Energy Wasted Through Passive Vents

Recent research revealed that an estimated $11M in energy cost is wasted annually due to open vents at the tops of tall buildings. The vents are code-mandated but are left open, allowing tall... Full Description

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Building envelope

Multifamily

Mechanical systems & lighting

Using the Building Permitting Process to Accelerate Clean Energy

Traditional clean-energy and energy-efficiency incentive programs wait for people to apply. But what if building permitting, which funnels construction in every city and town, were connected to... Full Description

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Policy & Codes

NESEA's Strategic Plan: Board Listening Session

The NESEA Board of Directors has just approved a five-year strategic plan to ensure that NESEA remains relevant and resilient during trying times.

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Installing “Energy Smarts” for Your Multifamily Project: Providing Holistic Behavioral Energy Management

Your building is only as efficient as the operators and inhabitants. Even the most sophisticated and efficient building systems can be undermined by poor training and behavioral biases. New... Full Description

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Multifamily

Building Local, Buying Local: Advantages and Challenges of Sourcing Materials from New England Forests

New England’s 33 million acres of forest present an opportunity to reduce the embodied energy of building materials through shorter shipping distances and have the added benefit of directly... Full Description

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm

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

Reception and Closing Forum - Be Careful What You Ask For: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Rapid Energy Efficiency Adoption

In just a few years we have seen energy-efficient construction taken more seriously and among a larger circle of practitioners than ever before.

4:00 pm to 5:30 pm