This article originally appeared on the Green Architecture and Building Report blog, and is reposted with permission.
The 2017 Beyond Energy Efficiency Conference hosted by Build It Green was an inspirational success, well attended by over 250 attendees including 43 speakers and 13 exhibitors. It took place at the Zero Net Energy Center in San Leandro, California, a training center for electrical apprentices from IBEW Local 595 and NECA, and the first existing commercial building in the US that meets the US Department of Energy’s Zero Net Energy requirements.
The morning was kicked off with welcoming remarks from Karin Burns, Build It Green’s Executive Director, Mayor Pauline Cutter of San Leandro, and a lighthearted yet substantial keynote by Commissioner Andrew McAllister of the California Energy Commission (CEC). While there were only two workshop time slots, there were fourteen sessions each with its own enticing topic that ranged from policy and building code updates, to health and indoor quality, low carbon homes, and marketing and selling. I attended the sessions Zero Energy, Step by Step and ZNE New Homes: Industry Standard vs. New Affordable Approaches, both of which could have been extended to whole-day sessions. The conference ended with a Builder Panel Roundtable that featured builders who are building Zero Net Energy homes ranging from affordable housing to single family production homes and high end single family homes.
Here are my take-aways from each session.
Speaker: Commissioner Andrew McAllister
Speakers: Katy Hollbacher, Jennifer Love, and Dan Johnson of Beyond Efficiency and Steve Buttitta of NorCal Green Building Consulting
The Workshop focused on an effective process for achieving ZNE projects.
Speakers: Rick Chitwood of Chitwood Energy Management and Ann Edminster of Design AVEnues LLC
Panelist: Amy Dryden, Director, Policy and Technical Innovation, Build It Green.
The 2017 Beyond Energy Efficiency Conference had a well rounded agenda that had provided something for everyone – architects, engineers, contractors, consultants, government agency representatives and concerned citizens. For me, a focus on sessions related to design and project management gave me a re-charge and allowed me to learn what others are doing. In between sessions, I enjoyed re-connecting with colleagues and learning about new green products at the Expo. At the end of the day, I was reminded of my critical role in contributing to good design and energy efficiencies in buildings and beyond, and continuing in fighting for our message. Thank you Build It Green and its staff for hosting this fantastic event.