Building Tech Forum Sneak Peek #2

Building Tech Forum Sneak Peek #2

Presented by Joe O’Brien of View Inc.

View Dynamic Glass is a revolutionary building product that enhances the occupant experience of commercial buildings. View manufactures glass technology automatically tints through various shades, depending on the sun’s position and intensity. Tint 1 being the clearest state, Tint 4 being the darkest state. The glass works automatically to optimize natural light, but can also has an override feature that is controlled from a phone app or wall switch.

Occupants that sit and live behind View Dynamic Glass report reductions in headaches, drowsiness, and eyestrain, resulting in increased productivity. The technology is used in Office buildings, Hospitals, Airports, Higher Education, Multifamily, and other commercial buildings.

Presented by Malcom Sonnet of ReVision Energy

Fossil fuel independence is no longer a luxury for builders and homeowners with larger budgets. As Massachusetts continues to incentivize solar energy production, whether via community solar farms or a power plant on your roof, producing your own electricity is becoming more cost-effective each year. ReVision Energy is more than just a solar company, they are a “clean energy transition” company. ReVision can help not only reduce your electricity bill through solar, but also make your heating, cooling, hot water, transportation, and emergency power requirements energy efficient and renewable. In this presentation, the whole-home approach will be examined through the 15 years of experience and 7,000+ systems that ReVision has installed all throughout the Northeast, from projects like Dartmouth College’s 8 solar producing buildings to the many single family homes like the Hasselbeck’s in Rowley.

Presented by Beverly Craig of MassCEC

This presentation provides an overview of MassCEC programs as they relate to net positive buildings. We break down the Deployment and Innovation aspects of our mission to increase accessibility to clean energy and support the clean energy sector in Massachusetts. In this presentation, we will also touch on various rebate programs, including air source heat pumps, solar loan programs, solar hot water, and ground source heat pumps. Another program covered in this presentation will be MassCEC’s funding opportunities for clean energy startup companies.
Building Tech Forum Presentation Sneak Peek

Building Tech Forum Presentation Sneak Peek

Our Building Tech Forum is coming soon! In order to gear up, we will be publishing sneak peeks for presentations from our amazing group of sponsoring companies. Stay tuned for more, this week enjoy a peek from The Green Engineer, Zehnder America, and Auburndale Builders. To register for our Building Tech Forum, visit usgbcma.org/btf18. We hope to see you on May 24th!

 

Chris Schaffner, The Green Engineer Inc.

In our current political climate, businesses struggle to address sustainability. Some advocate for government regulation, while others believe the free market can be counted on to devise solutions. But there is a third way that has the possibility of advancing real change while growing the economy – the Benefit Corporation. A Benefit Corporation is a for-profit company that also has a mission and responsibility to the community beyond profit. In Massachusetts, the Benefit Corporation is a legal structure (like Inc or LLC). These businesses typically also certify as B Corps, a certification that is administered by B Lab, a global nonprofit organization. In this presentation, Chris Schaffner of The Green Engineer, Inc., a certified B Corp and Massachusetts Benefit Corporation, will present how B Corps might be one answer to sustainability goals in Massachusetts. He’ll highlight the B Corps community’s ongoing Inclusive Economy Challenge, which includes a specific response to climate change and its threat to underserved populations.

 

 

John Rockwell, Zehnder America

Net positive energy buildings often feature air tightness and advanced insulation. Because of this, these buildings may need advanced heat recovery and mechanical ventilation systems. The ventilation system within a net positive energy building may be one of the few points of air and heat exchange, making a system efficient enough to capture 80-90% of the heat recovery essential for cooling and heating. During this presentation, John Rockwell of Zehnder America will focus on the concepts and engineering of ultra-efficient mechanical ventilation systems and how they are a necessary part of any net positive energy building project.

 

 

 

Nick Falkoff, Auburndale Builders

In 2017, Auburndale Builders introduced an innovative education space, the Studio for High-Performance Design and Construction. As the green building industry continues to gain market share, there is a significant need for workforce training on the latest and greatest in building technology. To help serve this need, the Studio for High-Performance Design and Construction will be an open community learning space for green companies to host trainings. The space is retrofitted for Passive House, and also hosts an array of solar panels, making it an ideal space for teaching the standards and practices of green building technology. For more information, please visit www.studiohpdc.com.

 

More presenters are joining every day – become a sponsor

Public Listening Sessions from Mass Save

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has scheduled six listening sessions to provide the public with an opportunity to offer their comments on the design of energy efficiency programs and to provide input for the 2019-2021 Energy Efficiency Plan.

The times and locations for the meetings are listed below. Please mark your calendars!

Boston

– Great Hall at Codman Square Health Center
– 6 Norfolk Street, Boston (Dorchester), MA 02124
– Wednesday, February 28, 6pm-8pm

South Coast

– Bristol Community College
– 777 Elsbree Street, Room C111, Fall River, MA
– Thursday, March 8, 6-8pm

North Shore

– Marsh Hall, Salem State University, Petrowski Room (2nd Floor)
– 71 Loring Avenue, Salem, MA 01970
– Wednesday, March 14, 6-8pm

Cape Cod

– Mashpee Public Library
– 64 Steeple Street, Mashpee, MA 02649
– Monday, March 19, 6 -8pm

Central Mass

– Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
– 8 New Bond Street, Worcester, MA 01606
– Thursday, March 29, 6-8pm

Western Mass

– University of Massachusetts Center
– 1500 Main Street, Suite 260, Springfield, MA 01103
– Thursday, April 5, 6-8pm

A date for an additional session in Lowell is forthcoming and will most likely take place in April. We will update this page as soon as the information is available.

To learn more about DOER, please visit https://www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-department-of-energy-resources.

If you have questions about the listening sessions, please contact Matt Rusteika at [email protected] or by phone at 1-617-626-7340.

The Energy Intensive Industry of Healthcare

The Energy Intensive Industry of Healthcare

Written by Leandro Molina

As we officially roll into Spring, Monday March 19th was yet another collaborative meeting between the Emerging Professionals group of Massachusetts.

Nathan Kingery-Gallagher took the floor and gave us contradicting evidence of the negative impact of health care on the environment; wouldn’t you presume the two industries would somehow be synergistic in achieving human wellbeing? In actual fact, far from it.

Nathan’s background reflects a well rounded professional with ample experience in the life sciences sector and most recently an Environmental Management graduate.

After the presentation, members of the EPMA are aware changes must be made in order for Biomedical research to fit into the sustainability scene. It is now clear the lab culture makes it extremely difficult to shift paradigms with the aim of achieving sustainability within healthcare. It turns out the challenge lies that the industry is highly resource intensive requiring vast amounts of energy and materials paired with a lab culture resistant to changing behaviors needed to contribute to environmental welfare. Cold rooms and freezers are expected to reach
temps below -20Celcius to -240Celcius, and lab equipment has high energy demand. Put this into perspective, office spaces occupy 42% of total square footage in the Boston area, with an approximate 30% of total Greenhouse Gas (GHG) output. Hospitals occupy 11% of total square footage and contribute 25% of total GHG’s.

A shocking statistic revealed that hospitals in MA produce an estimated 82 Million tons of biohazardous waste per year, not including waste from lab, pharma or doctors offices. Research facilities do have environmental protection however rank low on the priority list.

The energy and material waste challenges are further exacerbated due to lab culture with minimal emphasis on sustainable practices. Some specific challenges revolve around the extent of time needed to operate equipment with already high energy intensity, limited space dedicated to recycling & hazardous waste stations and the researchers habit to always leave the equipment on for a more efficient workplace.

It’s quite clear changes must be made in the three pillars of energy, material waste diversion and culture shifts, the question is if these challenges are too much of a ‘challenge’. Since the Building Energy Recording and Disclosure Ordinance started collecting data, lab space in Boston has been able to reduce its GHG contribution by 10% on average; hospitals only 5%. The challenge of materials and energy consumption can be solved through structural and behavioral change.

Nathan has recently launched Wicked Green Research, a sustainability in life sciences group with a mission to empower biomedical research and healthcare communities of Massachusetts to define and achieve their sustainability goals. The consulting service will seek to remove barriers to sustainable improvement with primary focus on energy efficiency, waste management and culture shifting.

February EPMA Meeting

February EPMA Meeting

EPMA Member Haley gave us an inside look at how implementing LEED looks from the construction management side with her work on Boston College’s new stadium.

The facility is being built above a high-pressure water main which supplies water to Boston. The construction includes 212 pressure injected footings for the foundation, a storm trap system under the turf and 16 steel trusses roughly 200 feet tall. The steel erection lasted about 6 months and had a steep learning curve, the first truss erection taking significantly more time than the final erection. Water control is one of the most important factors because it is in a watershed area and the water main provides water to the city of Boston. There cannot be any heavy equipment running over the main and vibrations of construction must be monitored.

Embodied energy is a concern to Haley. The steel coming from Wisconsin and the precast panels coming from Toronto, the question of “how much energy and gas did we burn getting this stuff here?” is a legitimate one. A building’s embodied energy is typically very high.

A large part of ensuring that LEED standards are met on the construction site include making sure waste and recycling are properly managed and disposed of. This requires the CM to make sure the subs are doing things properly.

QAQC is important to ensure the building is airtight and the mechanical systems are able to create a comfortable environment for the end users. Passive house emphasizes the importance of a tight envelope. It is also important to supervise the construction to make sure the right materials are being installed correctly. EPD memos (that prove that a manufacturer’s goods are coming where they are said to) are a difficult document to obtain.

January 22nd EPMA Meeting

January 22nd EPMA Meeting

The Emerging Professionals Committee’s first meeting of 2018 set us up for a great year! We were joined by the new USGBC-MA Executive Director Meredith Elbaum, a representative from the Boston Area Sustainability Group, and decided our new USGBC-MA Board Liaison, EMPA Co-Chair Jenna Dancewicz.

Starting with an empty calendar, our membership and leadership team came together and brainstormed loads of new events to support young professionals and grow our community. Look forward to more building tours, skill shares, and the return of favorite events like the annual bike tour this year!

Coming up in the next few weeks are the USGBC Annual General Meeting on January 31st, and the Invite to Ignite event being put on by the Boston Area Sustainability Group on February 8th. Later in February please join us at the Emerging Professionals Winter Warmer, hosted by the Boston Society of Architects on February 22nd as well as the Mentor Close Out/Green Building Leadership Institute Kick Off on the 27th.

Our presentation this week was given by our Social Media Manager Julie Salvatoriello, founder and CEO of soil remediation company Equiterra. Julie shared her expertise on grassroots soil remediation topics and their application to brownfield sites. Brownfields are properties whose development may be impacted due to hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants. In cases where soil is contaminated, the standard procedure is to dig up and truck out several feet of dirt, an expensive and greenhouse-gas intensive procedure. We learned how three types of soil remediation could be applied to brownfields, bioremediation (microbial), phytoremediation (plant), and mycoremediation (fungi). By using natural processes in order to mediate nutrient load and draw pollutants out of the ground, these techniques can provide a non-invasive and attractive alternative to removing and replacing brownfield soil.

Equiterra was started as a resource for grassroots soil remediation products and education with a focus on mycoremediation. Turns out, fungi have some pretty impressive abilities to break down toxic materials. In addition to their usefulness as major decomposers, certain types of mushroom can remove a wide range of environmental and industrial pollutants, even DDT and petroleum! In order to empower individuals and local groups to perform their own soil remediation projects, Equiterra is developing products and educational materials that can be applied to urban brownfield sites.

Join us at the next USGBC EMPA Monthly Meeting on February 26th at 6:00 PM at 50 Milk Street.