Meet BuildingEnergy Access: Cohort One

BuildingEnergy Access is a new NESEA initiative to support the work of WMBEs (women and minority-owned business enterprises) by connecting them with the resources of the NESEA community.

BuildingEnergy Access is an expansion of existing NESEA programs, supplemented with professional services from our program partner, HELM Construction Solutions. This program is designed to serve businesses led by people who have traditionally been underrepresented in the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) space, including people of underrepresented gender and racial identities. At its core, BuildingEnergy Access is a cohort experience. Each of the two participant cohorts will become a new group in NESEA’s signature BuildingEnergy Bottom Lines program, our business-development program based on peer mentoring around improving each businesses’s triple bottom lines (people, prosperity, planet).

Cohort Spotlight: Emerald House Studio

Each month, we'll meet a new member of the cohort. I recently had the opportunity to talk with Megan Rajner, owner of Emerald House Studio, to learn more about her background, company, and the beginning of the Access experience.

Florence MacGregor: So, first off, how many years have you been in business and what inspired you to start your business?

Megan Rajner: Well, I was happy to schedule this interview for this afternoon, because our LLC is officially 1-year-old today! Read more...



Meet BuildingEnergy Access, Cohort 1

Cohort 1, which launched in February 2024, is serving companies led by women and other underrepresented gender identities. The Cohort will run through summer 2026. We hope you will join us in welcoming these businesses into the NESEA community.

[RE] Architect | Ayer, MA

[RE]Architect is a Design|Build company based out of North Central Massachusetts. Our team of Architects+Builders specialize in helping clients determine the best Building Science approaches for their residential or commercial projects. We strive to find economical and environmentally friendly ways to create spaces whether they are new construction or remodels. Our team based approach allows us to be agile, flexible, and creative with solutions while our 3D scanning and modeling tech allows us to be effective and efficient at any stage of the project. We love finding unique and innovative ways to make your projects a reality! [RE] Architect is an NGLCC certified company.

Sectors: Commercial, Multifamily, Single Family
Service Area: Entire Northeast Region
Professional Specialties: Architecture/Design, Construction Management, Consulting, Design/Build, General Contractor, Net Zero, Project Management, Real Estate, Remodeling/Renovation

Athena Building Performance, Inc. | Worcester, MA

Athena Building Performance is a weatherization contractor specializing in the challenges and intricacies of existing residential buildings. We provide weatherization for various State programs including MassSave and the Weatherization Assistance Program. In addition to program work we provide insulation and air sealing work for private companies and individuals. We prefer a foam-free or foam-minimal approach. Contact us for a quote for your next project.

Sectors: Multifamily, Single Family
Service Area: Massachusetts
Professional Specialties: Weatherization services, insulation, air sealing, window and door replacements

Britta Design | Lexington, MA

We are an interior and architectural design firm that specializes in creating warm inviting homes that are energy efficient and sustainable. Materials, systems, finishes and furnishings are carefully curated to provide durable construction and lasting style. The form and flow of homes and what they contain matter for our well-being and soul. Our colleagues, trade partners and vendors, are people with whom we have long-term relationships built on trust and continued delivery of quality. Many are custom shops, artisans and craftspeople, who are innovative and creative, using materials efficiently and purposefully. We listen, we educate, and we serve. We love our work and our clients, most of whom return again and again.

Sectors: Residential
Service Area: Massachusetts
Professional Specialties: Interior Design

Co-Everything, LLC | Boston, MA

Using a collaborative design and workshop facilitation process, we’re here to bring projects to life that create the greatest positive impact on people and the planet. We gather feedback, test ideas, and rally behind a shared vision. Collectively, members of the CoEverything team have over 40 years of architecture and design experience, holding licenses in multiple states including Massachusetts and Rhode Island. We offer full architecture and interior design services, Social Purpose Real Estate Development, Passive House and Net Zero Energy and low carbon design, small scale design/build and community-driven design.

Sectors: Commercial, Multifamily
Service Area: Massachusetts, Rhode Island
Professional Specialties: Architecture/Design, Community Planning, Net Zero, Passive House, Real Estate

Emerald House Studio | Leominster, MA

We are a women-owned architecture + interiors firm in pursuit of providing sustainable building solutions to the custom residential and business-commercial sectors. We are passionate about fostering close relationships with our clients, and we take a psychological-architectural approach to providing designs that will fit, fill, and fuel their lives and project needs. Our team works closely with a family-owned builder-partner, Downing Construction, Inc. on many projects to offer an integrated design-build delivery method. We currently share a collaborative office space in Leominster, MA. You can read an interview with Emerald House Studio founder Megan Rajner here.

Sectors: Single Family
Service Area: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont
Professional Specialties: Construction Management, Remodeling/Renovation

Maple Street Architects | Northampton, MA

Our small, family-owned architecture firm focuses on serving our community with the efficiency and beauty of good design. We offer full architectural services, lightweight design consultation, and everything in between, tailored to the needs of your project. We also provide data analytics services, bringing insight and understanding to a massive pool of building energy data to provide engaging images to drive changes at an individual and policy level.

Sectors: Commercial, Single Family
Service Area: Massachusetts
Professional Specialties: Architecture/Design, Consulting

MVS Welding | Boston, MA

MVS Welding provides exceptional service for all of your miscellaneous ironwork needs. MVS Welding is focused on growing the business into an organization with expanded operations to provide excellent high-level services to all our construction clients, a goal that aligns with our mission to promote the professional and economic growth of our community. Read an interview with MVS Welding founder Maria Storms here.

Sectors: Commercial, Multifamily
Service Area: Massachusetts
Professional Specialties: Welding/Ironworks

Rebel Builders | Newton, MA

Rebel Builders is a queer, Latinx, woman-owned and operated design-build firm based in the Greater Boston Area. Our diverse team offers residential whole home remodeling and addition services to clients in the surrounding Newton, Brookline, and Boston communities. We practice strong collaboration between our construction team and design team at every stage of the design process.  We believe in fostering clear communication, transparency, and accountability with our clients and partners to ensure informed decision-making and project success. Our holistic, solutions-based approach guides clients through the entire project lifecycle, delivering innovative and modern solutions that reflect their unique lifestyles and vision.

Sectors: Single Family
Service Area: Massachusetts
Professional Specialties: Architecture/Design, Remodeling/Renovation

Rethinking Power Management (RPM), LLC | Boston, MA

Our mission is to make sustainable practices standard operating procedures for our clients. We do this by sitting on their side of the table, helping to integrate green business practices and sound engineering from project ideation through implementation. We have a large focus on decarbonizing existing buildings.

Sectors: Commercial, Institutional, Industrial, Multifamily
Service Area: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island
Professional Specialties: Certification/Commissioning, Consulting, Energy Auditing, Energy Monitoring, Engineering, Incentives

Riverstone Sustainability | Newburyport, MA

We are a consulting firm that helps organizations to measure, manage, and report their sustainability impacts. We partner with clients to instill sustainability throughout their core business objectives and operating practices. Our approach is designed to:

  • Identify the most important aspects of sustainability to manage
  • Measure impacts using industry best practices
  • Develop a management plan for continuous improvement
  • Report results on impacts, goals, and strategies.

Our clients include universities, municipalities, and private companies. We offer services ranging from sustainability planning to LEED/green buildings, ESG reports, climate action and waste reduction programs, and contract sustainability officer services.

Sectors: Commercial, Institutional, Industrial
Service Area: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont


Terra Design-Build | Dalton, MA

Terra Design-Build provides residential and light commercial design services for renovations, additions, adaptive reuse, new homes, building evaluations, and energy consultations. Our guiding principles are to use sustainable design principles, seek out earth-friendly material choices, and reduce fossil fuel use and carbon emissions. Owner/Architect Wendy Brown, AIA, has been involved in Berkshire County building since she started as a drafter for BETNR Construction at age 15 back in the 1980's. She's licensed in Massachusetts and Vermont. We prefer to have the Owner, Architect, and Contractor work as a team for collaborative results.

Sectors: Single Family
Service Area: Massachusetts, Vermont
Professional Specialties: Design/Build, Remodeling/Renovation

West Work | Boston, MA

Founded in 2020, West Work is a certified Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) committed to providing elegant design that is sustainable and resource-responsible. Led by Katie Faulkner, a talented team brings perspectives from various cultural and international backgrounds, with a shared commitment to environmentally respectful architecture, best facilitated by performance analysis and energy modelling embedded within the design process.

Sectors: Higher Education, Multifamily, Civic/Cultural
Service Area: New England
Professional Specialties: Architecture/Design, Affordable Housing, Decarbonization Retrofits, Energy Modeling
Professional Specialties: Certification/Commissioning, Community Planning, Consulting, Incentives, Public Policy, Research


Our Mission

NESEA advances sustainability practices in the built environment by cultivating a cross-disciplinary community where practitioners are encouraged to share, collaborate and learn.