Friday Session Descriptions

Friday, April 22
10am l 11:15amLunch2pm3:15pmClosing I Thursday l Opening Keynote
Living Building Challenge Knowledge Bar

10:00 - 11:00
LIVE: Fundamentals of Passive House

A review of 7 core fundamentals of building science that can be applied to any building in order to reduce heating and cooling loads 70-90%. From laboratory to field, this session includes a few local case studies where both cost and actual performance are measured.

Decarbonize Passive House

Decarbonizing is merging the revolution of Passive House and the evolution of low impact, healthy construction from the standpoint of the envelope system.  Using foam free Passive House construction methodologies and examples including the first International project to be certified in Colorado to assess a building's climate impact.

Andrew Michler, Baosol LLC
Cody Farmer, Mainstream Corporation
Lisa Farmer, Mainstream Corporation

WORK: Hybrid Photovoltaic-Emergency Power Systems

Photovoltaic systems are an established component of today’s high performance buildings, however, these systems are not integrated with emergency power systems. This session reviews a first-of-its-kind application of a hybrid photovoltaic-generator system in the rocky mountain region. This integration application has widespread potential to increase emergency power system reliability and reduce site fuel consumption. Representatives of PCD Engineering and the Colorado Army Air National Guard will review integration costs, savings, pitfalls, and solutions for this advanced technology as applied at the COANG Readiness Center in Windsor, Colorado.

Kenneth Caudle, PCD Engineering
Michael Jaurrieta, Colorado Army National Guard

WORK: Sustainability in Real Estate: Advancing Portfolios Using the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB)

GBCI’s recently acquired Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark is industry-driven organization committed to assessing the sustainability performance of real estate portfolios around the globe. While LEED is the measure of an asset’s performance, GRESB is the measure of a real estate company/portfolio’s performance. GRESB is a response to large investors who continue to call for more robust sustainability analytics, a desire founded in research that continues to tie sustainability to higher returns and performance.

This session will explore the requirements of GRESB reporting and the relevancy to those in property management, development, design, construction, and investment. We will discuss a case study of a large REIT’s experience completing the survey, their achievement of the prestigious Green Star designation from GRESB, and the impact this activity has had on their assets, company, and investors.

Stephanie Barr, Institute for the Built Environment
Josie Plaut, Institute for the Built Environment

LEARN: Fusion of Design, Culture and Performance
The session will honestly assess the real challenges and opportunities that exist when two firms collaborate to seek a balance of design and performance, while responding to a very unique school history, culture and pedagogy. After a huge undertaking that took over four years, the Aspen Community School (ACS) was successful in earning a $4.1M BEST Grant in 2013, as well as reaching key milestones in an intensive fundraising campaign. The efforts have made it possible for ACS to complete various campus renovations and construct a replacement Gymnasium and K-8 Classroom building, both seeking LEED for Schools Gold Certification.

Kari-elin Mock, Cuningham Group Architecture
Sukreet Singh, Cuningham Group Architecture
Skye Skinner, Compass...For Lifelong Discovery
Mike Piche, Studio B Architects

PLAY: RTD/Denver Transit Partners a Public-Private Partnership for a Greener Region
Denver epitomizes the evolution of the North American West post-industrial city. Through a highly participatory process, in 2004, the District voted to tax itself to fund a project that would have a lasting effect in the sustainability and the way people move in the region. This session will highlight the achievements in sustainability end environmental design that the Eagle P3 Project and FasTracks have accomplished to date and will preview the opening of the Colorado University A Line connecting Union Station and Denver International Airport. Some highlights include the Gold LEED Certified Union Station bus transfer facility, the Gold LEED Certified Commuter Rail Maintenance Facility, and the Central Park Station Park-n-Ride.

Laura Rinker, Denver Transit Partners
Ignacio Correa-Ortiz, Regional Transportation District

WATER: Beyond Net-Zero Water to ONE WATER: Denver Water's Integrated Path to a New Water Future
In Colorado, innovation around water use in buildings has been concerned with understanding a viable model for net-zero and navigating unique Colorado water laws and regulations. These two concerns were at the forefront of discussion for the design of the redeveloped Denver Water campus.

Denver Water leadership recognized the opportunity to set a new bar for water efficiency and reuse practices. Denver Water and the design team quickly encountered problematic limitations in the current definitions of net-zero water. Inspired by global integrated water management models and a new water management model from the U.S. Water Alliance, Denver Water moved past net-zero water and has developed an approach they call ONE WATER. Denver Water’s ONE WATER approach for their campus includes multiple strategies including rainwater harvesting and an eco-machine.

Patricia Wells, General Counsel for Denver Board of Water Comissioners
Tom Hootman, MKK Consulting Engineers
Tony James Thornton, RNL

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11:15 - 12:15

LIVE: Brick by Brick: How Affordable Housing Organizations are Implementing Sustainable Design and Construction in the U.S. and Abroad
This interactive panel session will introduce building and sustainability professionals to the state of affordable housing in Colorado as well as four unique perspectives on how to implement sustainable affordable housing developments locally and internationally. Audience members will learn about this critical issue from an established builder (Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver), developer (Fort Collins Housing Authority), two green building consultants (Institute for the Built Environment and Ambient Energy), and a Habitat for Humanity Global Village Team Leader. This moderated panel session will begin with a brief introduction to affordable sustainable housing issues and trends, illustrating these concepts with local and international examples. The panelists will then answer a set of scripted questions addressing their individual experience with affordable sustainable housing, their organization’s impact on the affordable housing crisis, the biggest challenges and opportunities they face in this fielz`d, and how individuals and organizations can get involved in affordable housing needs. The moderator will round out the discussion with a facilitated Q+A session, allowing audience members to ask questions through interactive polling technology.

Helene Gotthelf, Institute for the Built Environment
Clayton Bartczak, Ambient Energy
Kristin Fritz, Fort Collins Housing Authority
Colleen Mentz, Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver

WORK: Achieving Thermal Delight: Alliesthesia as a Design Approach
Most buildings exist to allow people to live, work or play while providing shelter and comfort for their occupants. Unfortunately, several articles and studies have recently been published nationally exposing the thermal displeasure most occupants experience in their buildings – including LEED buildings. This trend results in less productive people and wastes energy in the process.

Moving towards thermal delight in the built environment requires a more comprehensive approach than may be possible through mechanical systems alone. Creating a thermally delightful space requires an understanding of human physiology, cultures, systems and architecture. Teams must understand each of these disciplines to create spaces that work for the people that occupy them.  

Alliesthesia is a core principle of biophilic design, yet remains relatively unknown in the design world. The session will provide examples of how the concept of alliesthesia can be incorporated into a design to increase occupant comfort and productivity. Case studies will be provided, including examples of how advanced simulation methods can be utilized to predict thermal comfort and energy savings. 

Pete Jefferson, M.E. Group
Marcel Harmon
, M.E. Group

LEARN: From Waste to (mega)Watts: Siting Solar on Landfills and Brownfields
Solid waste and what to do with it continues to be a modern struggle, however as more and more of our landfills meet capacity and are capped, the conversation shifts to "what do we do next?" Enter solar energy! Many landfills that were capped over twenty years ago now find themselves surrounded by development, with communities scratching their heads about what to do with the underutilized, domed, grassy knolls. The age, settlement, and location of these sites make them prime for solar development. This session will explore siting non-rooftop photovoltaic solar energy systems, how to analyze landfill and brownfield sites for reuse as energy generating properties, and will delve into a few case studies.

Sarah R. Davis, Clarion Associates
Drew W. Sartell, juwi Inc.

PLAY: Sustainability in Practice: Pearl Street Restaurants Energy Use and Reduction
Restaurants are often considered a black box by energy engineers. Energy use is dependent on how the kitchen is run, and strategies to reduce energy without impacting operational flow are tough to control and largely unknown to engineers. On the other side of this conversation, restauranteurs are menu focused and concerned most with the bottom line, rarely prioritizing significant energy reduction measures. An energy assessment of three restaurant tenants on Pearl Street in Boulder attempted to bridge this gap. Adam Knoff from Unico Properties LLC will discuss the need for initiating this study, including the challenges with reducing restaurant energy use in a mixed-use development. Vern Smith from Ricca E2 will share the results of the ASHRAE Level 2 energy assessment as well as restaurant specific no cost/low-cost solutions. Megan Jorgensen from Snooze, one of the three restaurant tenants audited, will discuss how they plan to manage energy moving forward without compromising operations. Elizabeth Vasatka from the City of Boulder will discuss how energy efficiency measures are being promoted throughout the city to help bring down restaurant energy use.

Tarah Schroeder, Ricca Design Studios
Vernon Smith, Ricca E2
Megan Jorgensen, Snooze an A.M. Eatery
Adam Knoff, Unico Properties
Elizabeth Vasatka, City of Boulder

WATER: Inland Desalination - The Future of Water in the West
According to the United Nation’s “World Water Development Report,” more than 50 percent of the nations in the world will face water stress or water shortage by 2025, and 75 percent of the world’s population could face water scarcity by 2050 (United Nations, 2003).  In Colorado, the Colorado Water Plan anticipates a significant growth in population within the next 20 years that could be as high as 50% increase.  The population growth is increasing while reliable fresh water supplies are becoming limited, an alternative is desalination which has become a rapidly growing water supply technology in many locations.  Desalination offers a means of providing fresh water from abundant salt water sources.  Its use has historically been most prevalent in coastal areas, treating either seawater supplies directly or seawater influenced groundwaters, however, as desalination technologies have advanced and water supplies have become more stressed, inland locations have increasingly turned to desalination as well.  This session will discuss the technology of inland desalination along with the significant issues that arise, such as brine disposal.  These experts will provide a great background to this significant issue and potential solutions.

Dave Stewart, Stewart Environmental Consultants
Dr. Katie Guerra, USBR - Denver, CO
Dr. Bryan Coday, Carrollo Engineers

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Lunch Session: 12:15 - 1:45
Memories of the Ruined Landscape - Hybrid Architecture in the 21st Century

What will happen when archeologist of the future excavate our cities? Will they be able to tell the difference between a hospital, a prison, and a school? Will they think we valued the flow of our automobiles and infrastructure, or the flow of human interaction? When they see how our city grids arrogantly worked to de-nature the landscape, will they think we saw ourselves as part of the natural world or as prejudicially separate? Will our story be one of collaboration, evolution, and diversity, or of individual interests, isolation, and prejudicial separation?

Our values are buried within our foundations. Within this very real context, we realize that to question the built environment is but to question our own values. To this end, what do the underlying foundations of our cities and buildings tell us about ourselves today? Can we step back, even if just for a moment, and look at the story we are telling future generations? This presentation provocatively examines our built environment from the perspective of an archeologist 2,000 years in the future. As such, it argues for a broader purview of consideration in designing the environment of the 21st century.

Mark Harris, Markharris Architects

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2:00 - 3:00

LIVE: The WELLness Revolution Starts at Home
A WELLness revolution is underway in corporate offices around the nation. Building owners are providing circadian lighting in the workplace, but how effective is it if you start and end each day by the glow of a smart phone screen? There is an inviting staircase in the center of your apartment complex, but you never use it? You spend your day working at a sit-stand desks but your commute is an hour behind the wheel of a car? Your employer provides healthy cafeteria options, but you order take-out each night? The WELL certified workplace provides a healthy and nourishing environment for eight hours a day, but health and wellbeing starts and ends in the home. The WELL Building Standard Multi-Family Pilot Addenda provides the most comprehensive framework for applying design strategies and operational policies typically seen in office buildings to residential projects. Using recent projects by RNL Design and NAVA Real Estate as examples, and referencing the strategies in the WELL Building Standard and WELL Multi-Family Pilot, this session will define and clarify the WELL Building standard; explore opportunities and challenges to market penetration; and present ideas for motivating occupants on an individual and community scale in multi-family housing projects.

Rachel Bannon-Godfrey, RNL Design
Brian Levitt, NAVA Real Estate Development
Chad Riley, Green Building Certification Institute

WORK: Colorado Property Assessed Clean Energy 101: How CPACE Financing can Transform your Commercial, Industrial, and Non-Profit Projects
This session will provide attendees with an introduction to Colorado’s new Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (CPACE) financing program for commercial, industrial, multifamily, and nonprofit property owners. The CPACE program is an innovative financing program for assisting property owners in completing energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other clean energy building improvements. Session speakers will discuss the development of the CPACE program, program rules and eligibility criteria, key stakeholders, financing details, and how the USGBC Colorado community can benefit from the program. This session is targeted at property developers, architects, energy contractors, engineering firms, and others involved with energy saving projects for new and existing buildings. Participants in this panel include staff from Microgrid Energy, PACE Equity, Sustainable Real Estate Solutions, and the Colorado Energy Office.

Matt Elmore, Microgrid Energy
Paul Scharfenberger, Colorado Energy Office
Brian McCarter, Sustainabile Real Estate Solutions
Joel Poppert, PACE Equity LLC

LEARN: Diodes and the Death of Daylighting
It's time for a new approach to daylighting design. Current daylighting strategies, employed on virtually every green building, are leftover, inappropriate, concepts from a bygone era of high lighting power density. Standard daylighting practices frequently fail to deliver promised energy savings and are trouble prone. The true benefits of daylighting and views are far more related to their positive impact on human well being, health, and productivity. The rapid evolution of led lighting, coupled with ever more sophisticated lighting controls, has led to a situation in which the reputed energy saving claims of daylighting are groundless and misleading. Design solutions such as clerestories and skylights that made sense when electric lighting required 2.5 watts per square foot are out of step with electric lighting design that may achieve an efficacy of at 0.3 watts per square foot in the not too distant future.

Using sophisticated energy and daylight modelling, the presentation will expose the truth about the energy impacts of typical daylighting strategies. It will cover windows, clerestories, skylights, tubular daylight devices, and other daylighting devices. Extending the analysis further, the presentation will examine the potential return on investment for these same design approaches for variety of non-residential building types.

Paul Hutton, Cuningham Group Architecture Inc.
Sukreet Singh, Cuningham Group Architecture Inc.
Alan Doggett, Cuningham Group Architecture Inc. 

PLAY: Creating Living, Regnerative Environments
Leaders in green building and sustainable development are looking to push beyond current practices into the realm of regenerative design and living built environments. There is a shift away from a “less bad” approach toward a wholly positive, benefit creation approach, or regeneration. Understanding living systems and systems thinking is fundamental to cultivating design solutions where human habitation is a force for positive change. An open source framework has been created to guide project teams and communities toward regenerative solutions. LENSES (Living Environments in Natural, Social, and Economic Systems) is a process framework designed to guide and support projects seeking to affect positive change, including achieving LEED Platinum, Living Building Challenge, or other high performance goals.

This interactive workshop will: 1) Introduce regeneration and living environments through case studies, 2) Showcase LENSES and how to implement the framework into integrative design processes, 3) Provide hands-on experience in how to facilitate the process of inspiring teams toward regenerative thinking through guided breakout group activities, and 4) Lead participants in brainstorming regenerative design ideas for a Colorado-based project that aspires to become a living built environment—a place that is naturally, socially, and economically healthy and thriving.

Brian Dunbar, Institute for the Built Environment, CSU
Josie Plaut, CLEAR (Center for Living Environments and Regnerations)

WATER: Mythbusters: Data Centers and Sustainability
From finance and medical care to email and social media, the world relies on electronic data to operate at the instant gratification pace we’ve come to expect. As the dependence on electronic information continues to increase, the number of new data centers required to host software applications and store data comparably increases. But how much do you really know about the data centers all around the world supporting this infrastructure? Data centers are first and foremost required to be reliable, often 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This makes them one of the largest users of water and energy than any other building type. They easily waste these resources if they are not thoughtfully designed and managed. However, this does not have to be a necessary outcome of the continued increase in the number of data centers. This session will describe the fundamentals of data center energy and water consumption and delve deeper into the components that might be associated with a sustainable data center. It will discuss and debunk common myths associated with energy efficient design and data center management particularly in Colorado. Lastly, it will present an outlook for the data centers of tomorrow and beyond.

Brook Zion, Swanson Rink
Dan Heggem, Swanson Rink

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3:15 - 3:45

LIVE: Game of Homes
Games of Homes offers residential energy training in a whole new way through gamification. Gamification is the process of applying gaming designs and concepts to learning or training scenarios in order to make them more engaging and entertaining for the learner. Game of Homes takes real world situations and puts you into them to make the sort of decisions that you’ll have to make in the field in actual real homes. Scenario-based learning is the strategy used for this game, where the learner can choose from a variety of solutions for a problem that arises. This session will showcase Game of Homes and how this new learning strategy was developed by Energy Logic Academy.

Steve Byers, Energy Logic

WORK: Data-Driven Sustainability
AEC professionals are on the cusp of a complete change of mindset in how we carry out design work. We are moving toward a data driven process to inform our design practices. We are creating a framework for a new future, where we question how to best use our buildings and further push the envelope on sustainability metrics. This session will explore closing the design loop, the utilization of new technology to investigate ‘best practices’, the newest trend in energy storage, and provide relevant case studies highlighting results of data driven design.

Premnath Sundharam,  DLR Group
Lloyd Ramsey, DLR Group

LEARN: Greening Zoning and Land Use Codes through
Although typically implemented and certified at the neighborhood-scale, LEED Neighborhood Development (ND) principles can and should be integrated into zoning and land use codes to encourage environmentally conscious development at the community and regional level. Zoning and land use codes have guided development throughout the country since the early twentieth century. Development patterns have dramatically shifted as a result, from responding to an increased industrial sector to the introduction and proliferation of the automobile, the explosion of suburban sprawl, and now an emphasis on mixed-use developments, urban form, walk/bike-ability, affordable housing, and mass transit. This session will look at zoning and land use codes generally and will also provide some examples of recent codes being drafted or adopted which integrate the principles upheld by LEED ND. This session will focus on barriers and incentives within development codes that can inhibit or encourage green building and environmentally conscious development.

Sarah R. Davis, Clarion Associates

PLAY: SITES Certification - Lessons from the Trenches
In our industry, we’re all clamoring to be on the edge of innovative practice like the SITES v2 certification. However, that can pose a challenge for project teams when they’re unfamiliar with the processes and requirements that come with applying new standards. Join HITT Contracting’s Director of Sustainable Construction & Corporate Responsibility Katie Rothenberg as she provides a glimpse into the SITES certification process and shares what her organization learned as they tackled their first SITES project—a Silver certification for the US Botanic Garden’s Bartholdi Park. Situated on two acres adjacent to the US Capitol Building, the park is a highly visible showpiece for landscape design and best practices in sustainable planting and maintenance.

Katie Rothenberg, HITT Contracting

WATER: Colorado Greywater Control Regulation
As a result of House Bill 13-1044, Colorado took a step towards legalizing graywater for beneficial uses.  The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Water Quality Control Division worked with stakeholders and other State of Colorado agency representatives over a two year period to develop a draft Colorado’s first graywater regulation.  Regulation 86: Graywater Control Regulation (Regulation 86) was adopted by the Water Quality Control Commission on May 11, 2015.  Regulation 86 outlines requirements, prohibitions, and standards for graywater use for nondrinking purposes.Regulation 86 defines graywater, the allowed graywater sources, graywater uses, and graywater users.  This presentation will cover the background, stakeholder process to balance water conservation with public health protection, final regulation, coordination with other Colorado agencies, and an update of local implementation of graywater in Colorado.

Melanie Criswell, CDPHE WQCD
Bret Incenogle, CDPHE WQCD

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Closing Plenary: 3:50 - 4:22

The Resilience Imperative: You'll Never Look at a Building the Same Way Again

As part of the working group who developed the new Resilient Design and Emergency Planning LEED pilot credits, Walsh offers fresh insight and a call to action around resiliency in the built environment. How should sustainability and resiliency work together now? While there are some overlaps there are also dynamic conflicts. Walsh presents a perspective of seeing common sense opportunities int he midst of this resilience imperative that might just become the face of a new standard of care for design professionals, building owners, and asset managers.  

Valerie Walsh, Walsh Sustainability Group

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Living Building Challenge: Knowledge Bar

Join the Collaborative: 10:00-11:00 AM
Swing by and hear about how you can get involved with the Front Range Living Building Challenge Collaborative!

MATERIALS: 11:15-12:15 PM
From the Red List to Responsible Industry to Living Economy Sourcing, the Materials Petal can be one of the most challenging Petals to achieve in the Living Building Challenge. Join the panel to discuss the hurdles and opportunities, tips and tricks for success, our progress in creating a resource guide and barriers/solutions particular to Colorado Additional areas that will be deliberated may include the requirements of each imperative, sharing process approaches, tools, and resources, and brainstorming crucial communication and collaborations necessary to achieving the LBC Materials Petal.

ENERGY: 2:00-3:00 PM
Come join the Collaborative for a discussion on Net Zero Energy.  Learn about RMI’s integrative design process for their new Innovation Center, which is seeking the Living Building Challenge’s Energy Petal Recognition for net positive energy.  The discussion will additionally focus on the topic of resilience, and how some net zero strategies are synergistic with health, thermal comfort, and biophilia.  Other topics of focus include making NZE equivalent exciting for taller buildings, energy storage & grid integration, and Colorado’s policy landscape. 

WATER: 3:15-3:45 PM
Does the idea of net-zero water seem impossible in Colorado with our infamous water laws and meager rainfall? Come explore the feasibility of achieving the Living Building Challenge Water petal with local industry experts (spoiler alert – it *might* just be possible).


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