BuildingEnergy Boston 2021 Conference Sessions

Under Construction-- updated details coming soon...

Please note: Curators are finalizing session details. Expect additional speakers and some changes to session titles and descriptions.
✱ Standards in Action (e.g., LBC, Net Zero, PH)
Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 8:00am to 9:00am
Session Title Speakers Areas of Focus
Light + Justice

This session is based on the simple premise: Everyone deserves quality light (and dark). We will explore how lighting intersects with social and environmental justice and the impact that it has on... Full Description

Achieving Performance Goals: Modular New vs. Retrofit Existing

Two very different projects – a town hall renovation and a multifamily building - share a common goal to create a passive-house-inspired high-performance building. One utilizes conventional construction... Full Description

High Performance Single Family Remodel: Whys & Woes

This session details the design and construction challenges inherent in a high performance remodel and addition to a modest single family residence in Arlington, Massachusetts, to be completed in winter... Full Description

Comparing the Operating Performance of High Performing Public Buildings to their Design

High performing buildings consume considerably less energy and water than conventional buildings. Through energy modeling and water use projections, design teams have been able to calculate the amount... Full Description

Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 9:30am to 11:00am
Session Title Speakers Areas of Focus
Boston's Building Emissions Performance Standard

Boston’s planned building emissions performance standard would set carbon emissions targets for existing large buildings that decrease over time. The targets align with the City’s 2030 goal of a 50%... Full Description

Health AND High Performance: Putting Public Health Research on the Built Environment into Action COVID-19 Style

What factors contribute to optimizing human health both indoors and outdoors within the built environment? Creating equitable and healthy communities is a product of multi-level interventions in policy,... Full Description

Best Practices, Comparing Two Adjacent Multifamily Passive Houses

Beach Green Dunes I and Beach Green Dunes II are two of the largest multifamily Passive Houses in the country. They are adjacent to each other in the Rockaways in NY (in the flood zone) and were completed... Full Description

Why Do Startups Innovate Better than Design Firms & What Can We Learn from Them?

Why are we still struggling with many of the same challenges as we did 20 years ago? Why is it so hard to get project teams to set goals on every project and learn from their work? Why is the relationship... Full Description

Design and Construction Process

Business Practice

Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 11:30am to 12:30pm
Session Title Speakers Areas of Focus
Electrifying Hard-to-Heat Buildings

While there are established and feasible means to electrify space heating of many low heat load buildings like residential buildings, offices, and retail stores, all electric solutions for high heat load... Full Description

Why Go Deep? Retrofit Lessons from Low-Income Multifamily Projects

POAH has six new construction projects in design to the PHIUS standard. We also have rehab projects that will never hit a Passive House standard but may be as deep as we can go. One, a 283-unit, two-tower... Full Description

Climate Justice, Social Justice

Design and Construction Process

Health, Comfort and IAQ

Tracking the Greenhouse Gas Impacts of Your Energy Efficiency Measures: New Tools & Lessons Learned for Designers and Contractors

This session will share insights from three research projects focused on greenhouse gas impacts of efficiency-related measures. How does the choice of insulation materials in new construction affect the... Full Description

Design and Construction Process

Mechanical Systems and Lighting

Materials and Embodied Carbon

Virtual Power Plants: The Future of Distributed Energy Storage

The virtual power plant - aggregated, behind-the-meter solar+storage systems dispatched in concert to meet grid needs - is a new model that has been pioneered in New England and is now being adopted by... Full Description

Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm
Session Title Speakers Areas of Focus
The Next Frontier: Material Transparency Across Disciplines

Material transparency is the foundation for making informed decisions about the products we specify, and their impact on embodied carbon, health and wellbeing. Large strides have been made in the disclosure... Full Description

Project Management from Afar

Mass Timber Construction in the Northeast

The climate benefits of using timber are becoming better understood by owners committed to sustainability goals, but the procurement and implementation process still present challenges. Hear from... Full Description

Design and Construction Process

Materials and Embodied Carbon

Health, Comfort and IAQ

Project Financing

Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Session Title Speakers Areas of Focus
Schools of Thought

This session focuses on sustainable concepts at Bristol County Agricultural High School developed from curriculum objectives. We will present our design process, including visioning sessions that led... Full Description

Whose Role Is It Anyway? Understanding the Requirement of Diversity in the New Green Frontier

To maximize energy solutions in low income and marginalized communities, methodologies of inclusion, true inclusion must change. This panel will provide an insight from women of color who are radically... Full Description

Multifamily Humidity Control Problems: Muggy Mayhem

Multifamily buildings with good insulation, great windows, and decent ventilation systems – what's not to like? Unfortunately, over the past five years, we have received calls from multifamily building... Full Description

Building Envelope, Building Science

Mechanical Systems and Lighting

Health, Comfort and IAQ

Friday, May 7, 2021 - 8:00am to 9:00am
Session Title Speakers Areas of Focus
Flow Chelsea Raises the Bar for Low-Energy Projects

In NYC, where buildings are responsible for two-thirds of total greenhouse gas emissions, developers and designers must consider environmental impact as well as the financial and aesthetic effects of their... Full Description

Climate Justice, Social Justice

Project Financing

Business Practice

Affordable Solutions for Whole-Home Heat Pump Retrofits

From 2018-2020, Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) installed 50+ whole-home air source heat pumps for low-income customers that previously heated with oil and propane through a pilot funded by... Full Description

Friday, May 7, 2021 - 9:30am to 11:00am
Session Title Speakers Areas of Focus
The Glue that Binds: Single Integrated Manufacturing Models and Off-Site Prefabrication for Accessible, Collaborative Passive House

The typical picture of prefabrication – a panel being positioned by crane – belies the tremendous amount of required planning and interdisciplinary coordination. Single Integrated Manufacturing Modeling (... Full Description

Environmental Justice through Healthier Materials
When it comes to toxic chemicals, there is an urgent need for market transformation. Occupants, tradespeople, and fence line communities are being contaminated by the chemical manufacturing industry,... Full Description

Climate Justice, Social Justice

Design and Construction Process

Materials and Embodied Carbon

Health, Comfort and IAQ

Policy

Integrating Sustainability into Practice

The year 2020 marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, a decade until major carbon emission goals, and the first year of the AIA Framework for Design Excellence. There is no better time to take stock of... Full Description

Concrete and Steel

Friday, May 7, 2021 - 11:30am to 12:30pm
Session Title Speakers Areas of Focus
NYSERDA's Carbon Neutral Buildings Roadmap: Policies and Supporting Research

By midcentury, all buildings in New York State are required to be carbon neutral. How we get there is the focus of NYSERDA’s upcoming Carbon Neutral Buildings Roadmap. This presentation will outline the... Full Description

Climate Justice, Social Justice

Design and Construction Process

Building Envelope, Building Science

Codes

Policy

Today's Acceptable Ventilation is Unacceptable

Current ventilation standards are based on an odor level that offends 20% of the general populace rather than based on health. One cannot smell healthy air. Today's sensors allow us to monitor and... Full Description

Hot Water

Modular vs. Stick-built: A Side-by-Side Comparison with Habitat for Humanity

Join Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity, Simple City Studio, and VEIC to discuss PV Habitat’s recent award-winning experiment in affordable net-zero housing. After completing two modular homes and one site... Full Description

Climate Justice, Social Justice

Design and Construction Process

Building Envelope, Building Science

Friday, May 7, 2021 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm
Session Title Speakers Areas of Focus
Leveraging Diversity to Meet the Climate Challenge

We cannot achieve the ambitious Green Building targets of reducing carbon emissions with the current workforce. We need to rapidly increase numbers of individuals in green building fields. Whether designers... Full Description

Proving Your Worth: Development, Analysis and Marketing of Connecticut Energy Loan M&V

Would you like to attract or deploy more funding for building energy improvements? Do gatekeepers scoff at your requests and ask for “more data”? What if your data could clearly show the value unlocked by... Full Description

Climate Justice, Social Justice

Project Financing

Business Practice

Sheridan Small Homes: Affordable Passive Houses for In-Fill Development

Sheridan Small Homes is a project that originated in the classroom at the Rhode Island School of Design. The two passive house prototype student designs were created as a solution to increase affordable... Full Description

Design and Construction Process

Building Envelope, Building Science

Standards in Action*

Project Financing

Historic Buildings & Climate Change Mitigation: Case Study of a Low-Carbon Renovation

Retrofitting vacant and underutilized historic buildings to PHIUS standards leverages an existing building’s embodied carbon, which combined with low carbon and carbon storing materials, can transform our... Full Description

Cities, Communities, Place

Design and Construction Process

Building Envelope, Building Science

Mechanical Systems and Lighting

Materials and Embodied Carbon

Standards in Action*

Friday, May 7, 2021 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Session Title Speakers Areas of Focus
Single Family Retrofit

The Proof is in the Project: Cost & Performance of Built Passive Multifamily

With many states incentivizing housing built to the Passive standard, everyone wants to know: are Passive-certified multifamily buildings really achieving better energy performance? The answer is yes. With... Full Description

Standards in Action*

Policy

Electrification + Affordable Housing: Why It Matters

To achieve our 2050 climate goals we must go all-electric. How do we get there? For new construction, all-electric solutions are increasingly viable. Barriers exist, including installation and operational... Full Description

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