2015 Summit Program

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Conjoined with the North East Sustainable Energy Association’s BuildingEnergy 15 conference, the 2015 Net-Zero North American Leadership Summit builds on the highly successful inaugural 2013 Summit. (See videos below.) We are holding this year’s Summit in the State of Massachusetts as it is a prime example of how public, private, and non-profit organizations joined efforts to implement an unprecedented, statewide commitment to NZE.  Many of these activities were directly influenced by the 2013 Summit.

Jump to: Summit Schedule OverviewPeer Exchange SessionsSummit Panel SessionsNESEA + NZEC Schedule at-a-glance

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Summit Schedule Overview

Peer Exchange Sessions: Tuesday March 3rd

Following our 2013 Summit, we identified 6 focus areas for action and discussion: Product & Technology Innovations, Finance & Real Estate, Education & Tools, the Grid, Market Awareness & Behavior Change, Policy & Programs.  The Exchange sessions will be led by our Activation Teams, with presentations about best practices from leading North American organizations to stimulate conversation.  The second half of these sessions is dedicated to immersive discussion, collaboration, and networking, leading up to the Thursday workshop.

Summit Panel Sessions: Wednesday March 4th

2015 has a rock star line-up of speakers, sharing information and debating relevant issues related to zero energy.  The Speakers listed below were curated by NZEC and come from prominent organizations across North America.  Topics were chosen based on top of mind issues identified at the 2013 Summit.  As an added bonus, all Summit attendees can also choose to attend any of the dozens of fantastic panel sessions offered by NESEA on Wednesday March 4th.  Summit sessions can be found here on the NESEA website also.

Note that for all sessions, attendees can receive a number of continuing education credits – included are: AIA, USGBC, Mass Construction Supervisor’s Credits, and BPI.

Value, Cost, & Financing Trends

Do ZNE buildings deliver more value, improved performance, a better occupant experience? And if so, is there a cost premium for those benefits? Are there special financing vehicles for ZNE and other advanced projects? Our speakers will provide insights into the latest research findings, as well as their professional observations about the significance of emerging cost, valuation, and financing trends related to ZNE buildings.

Confirmed Speakers

David Carolan, CEO & Founder, Solid Green Systems View Presentation

Rick Gilles, Senior Partner, Barn Raisers View Presentation

Jason Stringer, Program Planning Consultant, WECC  View Presentaiton

Shaun O’Neill, SVP, Concord View Presentation

Caitriona CookeDirector, Retrofit & New Construction Consulting Services, CSG View Presentation

Fran BoucherSenior Energy Engineer, National Grid View Presentation

Educating the Industry

This session will cover a variety of education initiatives aimed at developing building professionals’ and trades’ capabilities in areas essential to achieving ZNE. Speakers will address program design, workforce sectors, topical focus areas, outreach strategies, funding sources, and other relevant issues, including a sneak peek at a forthcoming Integrated Design & Delivery Guide from the Commission for Environmental Cooperation.

Confirmed Speakers

Ann Edminster, Founder, Design AVEnues

John Morton, Program Mamager, SoCal Ediscon

Nadav Malin, President, Building Green, consultant for the Commission for Environmental Cooperation View Presentation

Marc Rosenbaum, Director of Engineering, EnergySmiths

Barbra Batshalom, Executive Director, Sustainable Performance Institute

Katrin KlingenbergExecutive Director, Passive House Institute US


How We Build

Leaders in the realm of low-carbon materials are drawing attention to the increasing significance of the front-end carbon loading and other impacts associated with the materials with which we build our supposedly ZNE buildings. Given the urgency of addressing climate change in the next two decades, these front-end impacts must be addressed. Our speakers will describe the emerging thinking about this important topic, along with the tools available to assist building professionals in making thoughtful material decisions.

View Presentation

Confirmed Speakers

Bruce King, Founder, Ecological Building Network

Peter YostVice President, Technical Services, Building Green, Inc.

Bill ReedPrincipal, Regenesis Group

Greg NorrisChief Scientist, Living Future Challenge, International Living Future Institute

Jack ArmstrongExecutive Director & Chief Operating Officer, Structural Insulated Panel Association (SIPA)

Residential Project Highlights

This session will showcase a range of ZNE residential projects, including new single-family homes, existing homes retrofitted to achieve ZNE, and multifamily buildings. The presenters will discuss the roles and relative importance of team, process, design, and technology in achieving their results. They will also present energy use data.

Confirmed Speakers

Sean Armstrong, Principal & Project Manager, Redwood Energy View Presentation

Karla DonnellySenior Sustainability Specialist, Steven Winter Assoc. View Presentation

Carter Scott, President, Transformations, Inc. View Presentation

Chris Williams, Vice President, Avalon Master Builders View Presentation

Peter AmerongenOwner, Habitat Studio View Presentation

Chris Laumer-Giddens, Founder, L-G Squared, Inc.

Barry StephensBusiness Development & Technology Director, Zehnder America

Sy SafiFounder, GCCM Construction Services, LLC

Better Than Zero

Net zero is so yesterday! Futurists are moving ahead to visions of net-positive buildings and communities. How far can we go? Where should we be focusing our efforts — on individual buildings, neighborhoods, or whole communities? Our speakers will offer several perspectives, ranging from hard quantitative analysis to aspirational program building.

Confirmed Speakers

Elan Scheinman, Vice Chair, Board of Directors and Senior Advisor, Sustainable Silicon Valley View Presentaton

John DalzellSr Architect for Sustainable Development, Boston Redevelopment Authority View Presentation

Jill KaehlerProject Leader, Behnisch Architekten View Presentation

Coliesha TurnerTeen Artist, Artists for Humanity

Fiona CousinsPrincipal, Arup View Presentation

Kathleen SmithTechnical Director, Living Building Challenge, International Living Future Institute

Non-Residential Project Highlights

This session will showcase a range of ZNE non-residential projects — office buildings, institutional buildings, retail, and others. The presenters will discuss the roles and relative importance of team, process, design, and technology in achieving their results. They will also present energy use data.

View Presentation

Confirmed Speakers

Dave Hewitt, Independent Consultant

Paul TorcelliniPrincipal Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Chip FoxManager, Residential Energy Efficiency Programs, San Diego Gas & Electric Company

Dan AronsArchitect/Principal, Architerra

John WealeEngineer Fellow, Integral Group

Dave RamsliePrincipal, Integral Group

Products & Design Innovations

This session will feature a cross-section of promising ZNE-supportive products and technologies that have been included in recent ZNE projects, both residential and non-residential. The dialogue will be focused on the role of technologies in advancing the state of the art of ZNE building design. How essential are the technologies? How far can we go with off- the-shelf technologies? How much farther will emerging technologies enable us to go?

View Presentation

Confirmed Speakers

Chris WilliamsVice President, Avalon Master Builder

Paul Savage, CEO, Nextek

Kohta UenoSenior Associate, Building Science Corp

Danny ParkerPrincipal Research Scientist, Florida Solar Energy Center

Gary JohnSenior Specification Sales Engineer, Panasonic

Utility Perspectives

The world of the grid is rapidly changing — with evolution of the grid as we know it, new roles and concerns for utilities, the emergence of microgrids, and new approaches to providing power to communities. We will hear a variety of perspectives on this increasingly complex realm, and begin to envision a more diverse and complex future for grid-connected projects.

Confirmed Speakers

Peter Turnbull, Principal, Commercial Buildings, PG&E View Presentation

Steve KihmChief Economist, Energy Center of Wisconsin View Presentation

Carlos NouelDirector, Alliance Vendor Strategy, National Grid View Presentation

District & Community-Scale Project Initiatives

This session will showcase a range of ZNE district- and community-scale projects, including residential and mixed uses. The presenters will discuss the roles and relative importance of team, process, design, and technology in achieving their results. They will also present energy use data. An additional focus of this session will be the ways in which project scale influenced the project’s development and its performance.

Confirmed Speakers

Gary JohnSr. Specification Sales Engineer, Panasonic

Travis SheehanEcoDistrict Energy Fellow, Boston Redevelopment Authority

Carter ScottPresident, Transformations, Inc.

Candice LuckDirectory of Strategy & Programs, buildABILITY

Kathleen SmithTechnical Director, Living Building Challenge, International Living Future Institute

Susanne Rasmussen, Director of Environmental and Transportation Planning, City of Cambridge, MA

Market Intel: Perceptions & Adoption

This session will pose the question, what do we know about the market for ZNE projects? Who is making the decision to pursue ZNE, what are the drivers or motivators behind that choice, and how do we influence more stakeholders (and which ones) to make that choice?

Confirmed Speakers

Richard Willingham, President & CEO, motumb2b

Susan Mazur-StommenPrincipal and Founder, INDICIA

Lloyd AlterManaging Editor, TreeHugger

Marian Goebes, Associate Technical Director, TRC Solutions

Dave HewittIndependent Consultant

Derek Jones, CES Measurement & Evaluation, Pacific Gas & Electric

Policy & Program Forum

The ZNE & energy efficiency community has a wealth of knowledge and tools that foster the design and construction of highly energy-efficient Buildings. How can government policies leverage this “toolkit” to encourage building highly efficient and ZNE buildings? How can we engage the efficiency community to encourage adoption? We will hear about a range of policy options, including programs, mandates or incentives for zero net energy, Passive House standards, deep energy reductions, solar energy, etc.

View Presentation

Confirmed Speakers

Peter Amerongen, Owner, Habitat Studio

Jennifer Amann, Buildings Program Director, ACEEE

Iram FarooqChief of Policy and Planning, City of Cambridge, MA

Cathy FogelSr. Regulatory Analyst, CA Public Utilities Commission

Alex PollardEnergy Efficiency Commercial Programs Manager, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources

Solar's Changing Economics

Is the rapidly declining cost of solar turning the loading order on its head? Our speakers will describe the latest developments in solar technology, and the effects of a variety of innovations on solar economics.

Confirmed Speakers

Matt BrostSr. Director of Sales, SunPower

Chris Calwell, Independent consultant

Martin LaMonica, independent journalist on energy and technology, martinlamonica.com

Malcolm BlissRegional Outreach Manager, Next Step Living

Sara Ross, Founder, CEO, Sungage Financial

Why ‘0’ in 3

Sam Rashkin, Chief Architect DOE Building Technologies Office

We are at the dawn of a major transition in housing. Over the next three years zero energy ready homes will be available throughout the nation. It has to happen because the business case for builders is too compelling not to. First, there is a growing innovation imperative that profoundly impacts the advantage of zero energy ready performance. It’s taken up to 25 years for new technologies to penetrate the housing industry. Builders can no longer afford to sit on the sidelines ignoring proven innovations. Second, the housing industry is confronting significantly greater performance risks, even with code minimum homes. The comprehensive performance measures included in zero energy ready homes helps mitigate that risk. Lastly, engaging the next generation of Gen-Y homes buyers is a huge challenge.  Everything we know about this population suggests they need a compelling reason to buy anything. Zero energy ready homes are perfectly positioned to get them out of their parents’ homes and rental apartments. Three great reasons for ‘0’ in 3; join the movement.

NESEA + NZEC Schedule at-a-glance