With our BuildingEnergy Boston 2019 theme of “Know-How” in mind, we are pleased to announce this year's keynote session, "Carbon Drawdown Now! Turning Buildings into Carbon Sinks." We also want to thank this year's keynote session sponsor, WinnCompanies, for helping to make this exciting content possible. We asked Winn's Vice President of Energy and Sustainability, Darien Crimmin, to share why they choose to support this event year after year:
WinnCompanies is headquartered in Boston. We own and manage a national portfolio of multifamily properties, including affordable housing, market rate apartments, and military family housing. Energy efficiency adds value for every single one of our properties for a variety of reasons. From a financial perspective, energy and water costs are one of the main operating expenses we can proactively control. We can reduce expenses and increase profitability by emphasizing efficiency through new technologies and energy conservation. We have also been a leader in promoting solar power to benefit affordable housing, through both roof mounted solar and off-site community solar resources.
In addition to the financial perspective, WinnCompanies has a corporate commitment to sustainability, embracing energy and sustainability as a key component of our corporate social responsibility. Sustainability has been a focus of ours for well over a decade, and we are constantly evaluating ways to expand our impact. We recently developed the largest community solar project in Washington DC, which provides $70,000 per year in electricity savings directly to income eligible residents living in the District.
I have been attending BuildingEnergy conferences for longer than I can remember, and I think we first sponsored the Boston conference in 2013, and have sponsored both BuildingEnergy Boston and BuildingEnergy NYC every year ever since.
NESEA is a unique organization, and the value it offers to me and my colleagues is real. It provides a forum to stay current with cutting edge of technology, policy, best practices, and a network of professionals who are all engaged. We are all problem solving together and trying to address the real time changes within the building energy sector. Given the size of our footprint, it is critically important that we keep up with changing construction practices, policy, energy efficiency standards, and innovation. Participating in the NESEA community is one of the best ways for us to do that.
I have had countless people introduce themselves to me at the conference. They are already familiar with WinnCompanies because of our sponsorship. Sponsorship has helped provide us with name recognition and branding as a thought leader - especially in the energy efficient multifamily affordable housing arena. We backup these claims through award winning projects that integrate sustainability best practices.
There is significant momentum pushing affordable housing to be more energy efficient. The greening of affordable housing is a national trend, and to the extent that we can stay a step ahead through our involvement with NESEA, that is beneficial. Our sponsorship shows that we value the content, the networking, and the shared space that NESEA provides as we continue to navigate the changing landscape of energy efficiency and resiliency in buildings.
Historically WinnCompanies has sponsored the trade show receptions at both the Boston and NYC conferences. This year, we decided to do something different. The keynote is always one of the highlights at the BuildingEnergy Boston Conference. You can feel the excitement in the room as people reconvene and reconnect. And the content of the keynote is always captivating and thought provoking.
This year’s keynote is no exception. The “moonshot” ideas inherent in carbon sequestration and drawdown deserve more attention. Drawdown strategies are not mainstream yet, but the concepts being germinated at BuildingEnergy Boston pave the way for how we will think about reducing atmospheric carbon, whether through building materials or other methods. See you at the conference!
NESEA advances sustainability practices in the built environment by cultivating a cross-disciplinary community where practitioners are encouraged to share, collaborate and learn.