2022 Session Details
The 2022 Better Buildings, Better Plants Summit features plenaries, sector meet-ups, interactive workshops, networking opportunities, and engaging and informative sessions based on feedback from our partners. View the full slate of sessions below. Session presentations can be viewed or downloaded here.
- Better Climate Challenge Partner Roundtable (Invitation only)
- DOE Industrial Software Tools Workshop
- Sustainable Corrections Infrastructure Partnership (SCIP) Accelerator Workshop (Invitation only)
- Decarbonizing Data Centers Workshop
- Low Carbon Pilot Workshop (Invitation only)
- Sustainable Corrections Infrastructure Partnership (SCIP) Accelerator Workshop (Invitation only)
For more details on our Workshops, click here.
Commercial Sector Meet-up
Join partners from the commercial real estate, hospitality, healthcare, higher education, retail, food service, and grocery sectors for an interactive meet-up. Discover best practices from partners across a variety of commercial spaces and recognize Better Buildings Goal Achievers. We will highlight sector resources, Better Buildings opportunities, and break into sub-sectors to discuss specific topics unique to those areas.
Design and Construction Allies Meet-up
The Design and Construction Allies Meet-up is an opportunity for architects, engineers, and contractors to connect with peers and share challenges and successes around the design and delivery of high levels of energy efficiency and decarbonization.
Industrial Sector Meet-up
The industrial sector meet-up is an opportunity for Better Plants partners and stakeholders to come together and discuss energy efficiency and decarbonization challenges and solutions. Program manager John O’Neill will provide an update on new tools and resources and highlight partner achievements. Come join us!
K-12 Schools Sector Meet-up
This meet-up is open to K-12 facilities professionals as well as supporting administrators, architects, engineers, and other building professionals. This forum is designed to help participants address the energy challenges of education buildings and leverage best practices to transform them into modern resilient campuses.
Local Government Sector Meet-up
The local government meet-up is an opportunity for local government partners and stakeholders to connect with peers and share challenges and successes around energy efficiency and decarbonization.
Multifamily Sector Meet-up
Connect with your multifamily housing peers at the Multifamily Meet-up! Explore the new frontier of electrification and other strategies to reduce carbon emissions, and engage in discussion on the multifamily affordable housing policies and programs needed to decarbonize. We’ll hear from HUD leadership on implementing its Climate Action Plan across HUD's portfolio of housing.
State Government Sector Meet-up
This meet-up provides an opportunity to network with state colleagues from across the nation. State representatives are invited to share and discuss strategies to advance energy and climate goals.
Workforce Accelerator Meet-up
As the Better Buildings Workforce Accelerator approaches the midway point of a three-year effort, this meet-up will focus on progress updates and discussing what is in store for the second half of the Accelerator’s activities. Partners will provide insight into their work increasing awareness of the clean energy workforce, supporting strong skills development among those that make clean energy deployment possible, and streamlining pathways for new people to enter the clean energy workforce. There will also be an opportunity to network and connect with your peers.
- Building Equitable Communities with Building Performance Standards
- Challenge the Champions: An Energy Management Face-Off
- Communicating with Your Building Occupants
- Cutting-Edge Retrofit Solutions in Multifamily Housing
- Decarbonization Finance 101
- The Good Fight: What's Next After Carbon Neutrality
- Healthy Buildings: The Health-Energy Nexus
- Let's Connect! Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings
- Leveraging Energy Data Management to Optimize Operations
- Staying Current with EV Charging and Fleet Electrification
Building Equitable Communities with Building Performance Standards
Speakers: Katie Bergfeld, District of Columbia; Chris Castro, City of Orlando, FL; Todd Nedwick, National Housing Trust
Hear from the experts working on the Building Performance Standards Coalition, a first-of-its-kind partnership between 33 state and local governments dedicated to delivering cleaner, healthier, and more affordable buildings. This session will showcase programs and strategies for engaging under-resourced communities and those who need help to comply with these standards. The audience will learn about enhanced technical and financial assistance for owners and managers of qualifying buildings to help meet climate goals, achieve energy savings, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Challenge the Champions: An Energy Management Face-Off
Speakers: Brandi Collignon, Coca-Cola Consolidated; Catherine Collison, Chemours; Steven Duong, Nissan North America; Lawrence Fabina, Cleveland Cliffs Inc.; Al Hildreth, General Motors; Sharon Nolen, Eastman Chemical Company; Susan Rochford, Legrand North America; Blair Sturm, Saint-Gobain Corporation
Survey says... join the studio audience of Challenge the Champions, a Family Feud-style game show that pits experienced veterans of energy management against upstart newcomers. You may even get to participate in the survey itself!
Communicating with Your Building Occupants
Speakers: Randy Gaines, Hilton; Monika Henn, Urban Land Institute (ULI); Sarah King, Kilroy Realty
Communication is key. Hear from Better Buildings partners as they share their successes in communicating the benefits of energy-efficient building operations to their occupants and other stakeholders. This session will explore best practices for engaging with tenants, franchisees, employees, community members, and other groups that use your buildings.
Cutting-Edge Retrofit Solutions in Multifamily Housing
Speakers: Martha Campbell, RMI; Christina McPike, WinnCompanies
Learn about cutting-edge retrofit projects that leverage off-site construction to achieve net zero energy retrofits in multifamily housing. Hear about demonstration projects that use an EnergieSprong-like approach, installing prefabricated facade panels on the building exterior and all-electric mechanical systems that integrate heating, cooling water heating, heat-recovery ventilation, and dehumidification.
Decarbonization Finance 101
Speakers: John Rhow, Redaptive; Christina Tsitso, Connecticut Green Bank
Get an introduction to Decarbonization Finance! In this session, learn how to use the new Carbon Financing Decision Tree, and get an overview of the various internal and external carbon financing mechanisms in the market. Better Buildings Challenge Financial Allies will also take a deep dive into the carbon financing mechanisms used by their firms. Topics will include energy-as-a-service, electrification finance, green bonds, and sustainability-focused lending.
The Good Fight: What's Next After Carbon Neutrality
Speakers: Ana Duffy, Hudson Pacific Properties; Katie Rothenberg, The Tower Companies
Some organizations have announced carbon neutrality, and many realize the work doesn’t stop there. Learn from organizations that continue to mitigate the impacts of climate change through strategically improving their mix of efficiency and renewable energy procurement with the goal of decreasing the use of carbon offsets. This challenge raises barriers unique to this status around setting new emissions targets and communicating progress.
Healthy Buildings: The Health-Energy Nexus
Speakers: Ryan McEnany, Pace University; Rex Miller, International Facility Management Association (IFMA); Jay Wilson, Jones Lang LaSalle
The connection between health and buildings is more important than ever. In this session, hear about innovations in indoor air quality, considerations when measuring your healthy buildings, and techniques in engaging tenants in a health-conscious world. Learn how peers successfully improve indoor air quality and communicate these improvements to occupants.
Let's Connect! Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings
Speakers: Darien Crimmin, WinnCompanies; Jordan Ivans, Kohl's
Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings (GEBs) can help building owners and operators reduce carbon emissions and utility costs while improving building resilience. GEBs can optimize interplay among energy efficiency, demand response, behind-the-meter generation, and energy storage to increase the flexibility of demand-side management. What are the financial benefits of GEBs? What strategies can you begin implementing today? Learn the answers to these questions and more.
Leveraging Energy Data Management to Optimize Operations
Speakers: Manuel Medina, Gränges Americas; Jason Grentus, JLG Industries; Lonnie Miller, Loews Hotels & Co.
This session will highlight some of the best opportunities for designing and improving an energy data management strategy in your buildings and plants. Speakers will present their experience with DOE’s 50001 Ready program and other energy data management best practices.
Staying Current with EV Charging and Fleet Electrification
Speakers: Fernando Berjano, City of El Paso, TX; Keith Brandis, Volvo Group North America; Laney Brown, AVANGRID; Steve Moelk, IKEA Retail U.S.
Get plugged in on EV charging and fleet electrification with this diverse panel representing manufacturers, cities, and adopters who will share insights from their experiences transitioning their fleets and how it aligns with carbon reduction goals. Fleet electrification involves multiple stakeholders, which can positively disrupt normal business operations. Learn what is working, what isn’t, and steps to start your gradual transition towards fleet electrification.
Join us for lunch, welcoming remarks from the Secretary of Energy, and a keynote from the White House National Climate Advisor. Following the opening addresses will be an Executive Panel: Leadership in Decarbonization in Energy Efficiency. Better Buildings and Better Plants leaders from the industrial, local government, multifamily, and commercial sectors will discuss the key issues, emerging trends, and challenges impacting their work and the market at large. For more details, click here.
- Best of the Betters: 2022 Better Project Winners
- Bonus Points: Adding Up the Non-Energy Benefits of Energy Efficiency
- Electrification in Existing Multifamily Buildings: Challenges and Solutions
- Energy Efficient-She
- Finding Your Perfect Heat Pump Match
- Low Carbon Pilot: Keys to Success
- The Next Big Thing: Controls and Analytics for Small Buildings
- PV and You: Making the Right Renewable Energy Decision
- Residential Efficiency Incentives Best Practices
- Risks and Metrics: How Investors Navigate Asset Risk in a Changing Climate
Best of the Betters: 2022 Better Project Winners
Come hear about the exciting, innovative, and impactful projects that Better Plants partners have implemented and get some new ideas for your own facility!
Bonus Points: Adding Up the Non-Energy Benefits of Energy Efficiency
Speakers: Catherine Cooremans, University of Lausanne (Switzerland); Dave Crum, Highwoods Properties; Andrew Hejnar, 3M
Learn more about the sometimes surprising ways energy efficiency can provide benefits to your organization beyond just energy/cost savings – and start learning how to quantify these benefits to help make the business case for energy efficiency. Efficiency can improve productivity, occupant comfort, risk reduction, performance, and more for your organization.
Electrification in Existing Multifamily Buildings: Challenges and Solutions
Speakers: Jordan Bonomo, New York City Housing Authority; Andrew Brooks, Association for Energy Affordability; Ravi Malhotra, ICAST
Multifamily housing owners face numerous technical challenges to electrifying space heating and domestic hot water (DHW) systems in older buildings. Hear from experts and multifamily partners who have tackled everything from heat pump size and space constraints to electrical panel upgrades in existing buildings, as well as code and permitting challenges with municipalities and utilities.
Speakers: Catherine Collison, Chemours; Tonya Gayle, Green City Force; Kimberly Pexton, JBG Smith; Arah Schuur, Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP)
Women leaders in the energy and sustainability industries share their perspectives on successfully accelerating energy efficiency and addressing climate change, as well as workplace diversity and the challenges and opportunities as a woman leading in the energy space.
Finding Your Perfect Heat Pump Match
Speakers: Steve Pantano, Rewiring America; David Sachs, Bright Power
Evaluating new electrified HVAC systems and don't know where to start? Electrification and heat pumps are key technology tools for a zero-carbon future, but heat pumps available on the market and considerations particular to your building are evolving rapidly. Hear from practitioners and subject matter experts on finding and installing the right heat pump for your building on your journey to electrification.
Low Carbon Pilot: Keys to Success
Speakers: Mike Dieterich, AstraZeneca; Julie Klump, Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH); Kalie Lazarou, 3M; Christina McPike, WinnCompanies; Gustavo Moraes, Electrolux; Jeremy Scharfenberg, Columbia Association
This session highlights the steps Low Carbon Pilot partners are taking to reduce carbon in their selected buildings, and the tools they are using, through a series of rapid-fire presentations. Low Carbon Pilot partners from across the commercial, industrial, and public sectors work one-on-one with DOE experts to pursue high-impact decarbonization over two years in two existing buildings.
The Next Big Thing: Controls and Analytics for Small Buildings
Speakers: Devin Messerschmidt, Sheetz; Tom Ryan, University of California - Davis; Thomas Yeh, NYSERDA
Do you manage smaller buildings with packaged HVAC units? Are you looking for ways to better control and manage your energy use? This session will cover emerging trends in controls and analytics for small buildings, highlighting the benefits and lessons learned from installing and operating wireless connected thermostats and small building control systems.
PV and You: Making the Right Renewable Energy Decision
Speakers: Ethan Heil, University of Virginia; Ian Lahiff, City of Orlando, FL; Henry Shields, MGM Resorts International; Edwin Willhite, Schneider Electric
So you want to decarbonize your portfolio? You've set your efficiency, renewable energy, and GHG targets, and now the rubber needs to hit the road. Come to this session to learn about successful renewable energy procurements. Whether it’s on-site PV or a virtual PPA, you'll find the right approach for your facility.
Residential Efficiency Incentives Best Practices
Speakers: Christian Placencia, D.C. Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU); David Smedick, RMI; Amber Wood, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)
What is the best way to incentivize homeowners to upgrade their homes with energy efficiency measures? Learn from examples such as Home Performance with ENERGY STAR®, programs established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and more to understand tiered incentives and homeowner reactions that might be counter-intuitive – like giveaways being seen as too good to be true.
Risks and Metrics: How Investors Navigate Asset Risk in a Changing Climate
Speakers: Giuliana Kunkel, MetLife Investment Management; Madeline O'Donnell, Principal Real Estate Investors; Molly Simpson, Fannie Mae
Implementing clean energy projects allows organizations to reduce the risk of financial or environmental impacts. Investors and secondary market actors are exploring the unique ways that risk can be measured and better understood. This session will feature perspectives on three axes of risk: physical risk, transition risk, and credit risk. Attendees will gain greater insight into the metrics that matter to investors today and what questions they're asking for initiatives moving forward.
- Best of the Betters: 2022 Better Practice Winners
- Building Bridges: Aligning Energy Projects with Equity and Environmental Justice
- Digging into Scope 3 Emissions: Supply Chain, Embodied Carbon, and Transportation (4:00 PM - 5:00 PM)
- Don't Throw Away Your Shot: Integrating the Circular Economy into Waste Management
- Getting to Net Zero: Lessons from NZE Buildings
- In It for the Long Haul: Long-Term Financing Solutions for Energy Savings
- Results from the Packaged CHP Accelerator
Best of the Betters: 2022 Better Practice Winners
Come hear about the exciting, innovative, and impactful practices that Better Plants partners have implemented and get some new ideas for your own organization!
Building Bridges: Aligning Energy Projects with Equity and Environmental Justice
Speakers: Amy Bond, T-Mobile; Sarah Vorpahl, State of Washington; Christopher Walker, GRID Alternatives
This session will discuss how Better Buildings partners put their organizational missions into practice by bridging energy projects with equity and environmental justice priorities. Learn how these leaders build relationships with their local communities, respond to their needs, increase access to quality services and resources, and create diverse and inclusive workplace environments.
Digging into Scope 3 Emissions: Supply Chain, Embodied Carbon, and Transportation (4:00 PM - 5:00 PM)
Speakers: Annabelle Bardenheier, Stanford University; Heather Goetsch, National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL); Al Hildreth, General Motors; Balaji Jayaseelan, Berlin Packaging
Moving beyond the management of operational emissions is a critical next step in lowering global greenhouse gases. Join this interactive discussion and peer exchange to share your priorities in Scope 3 emissions, learn how your peers are measuring and reducing these emissions, and how to take the most impactful next step.
Don't Throw Away Your Shot: Integrating the Circular Economy into Waste Management
Speakers: Jim Henry, Iron Mountain Data Centers; Brijesh Krishnan, Cummins Inc.; Jennifer Olsson, Sherwin-Williams; Megan Saunders, Lendlease
Join experts and partners in the Waste Reduction Network in an interactive session that connects the dots of the circular economy across sectors and industry. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn, problem-solve, and participate in the concept of circularity.
Getting to Net Zero: Lessons from NZE Buildings
Speakers: Carlos Gamarra, Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC); Larry Jones, Atelier Ten; Stanton Stafford, Integral Group
DOE and its national laboratories evaluated the systems and performance of three unique net zero energy buildings. Come to this session to learn about the most effective strategies they implemented to achieve this designation and how those strategies could work for your new and existing facilities.
In It for the Long Haul: Long-Term Financing Solutions for Energy Savings
Speakers: Christopher Benson, University of Utah; Nick Polier, Commonwealth of Virginia; Guy Van Syckle, Hannon Armstrong
Investments in traditional and specialized financing mechanisms can enhance organizations' ability to fund energy efficiency projects and overcome upfront costs. This session examines best practices and actionable pathways from industry experts and partners who have established long-term financing structures such as CPACE, Energy Savings Performance Contracts, Revolving Funds, and more, leading to substantial savings on energy costs.
Results from the Packaged CHP Accelerator
Speakers: Margaret Cefail, Maryland Energy Administration; Doug Edgar, White Harvest Energy; Richard Sweetser, Exergy Partners Corp.
Pre-engineered, standardized packaged combined heat and power (CHP) systems can provide efficient, reliable, low-carbon energy services to industrial facilities and commercial buildings while minimizing on-site engineering and design. This session will profile packaged CHP technologies, suppliers and markets, and report on the Better Buildings Packaged CHP Accelerator’s efforts to increase market uptake.
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DOE Leadership will recognize 2022 Goal Achievers and partner accomplishments, followed by a special conversation with DOE's National Labs titled Hearing from the Experts: Emerging Technologies and Things to Watch. For more details, click here.
- Green Lease Leaders: Catalyzing Progress Towards a Zero-Carbon Future
- Growing High-Quality Job Opportunities in the Green Buildings Workforce
- Industrial Decarbonization Round Robin
- Making It Look EaaS-y: The Continued Evolution of Energy-as-a-Service
- Making the Case for Energy and Climate Actions
- Multifamily Passive House 101: Key Pitfalls and Smart Strategies
- There Must Be Something in the Water: Lessons Learned from Water Savings Projects
Green Lease Leaders: Catalyzing Progress Towards a Zero-Carbon Future
Speakers: Audi Banny, Institute for Market Transformation (IMT); Sara Neff, Lendlease; Kimberly Pexton, JBG Smith
With the urgent need for climate action, many organizations are setting ambitious carbon targets, drawing in landlords and tenants to lead on climate. Commercial leases are a critical tool to reduce carbon emissions, meet building performance standards, and align corporate targets with measurable progress. Join us to recognize this year’s Green Lease Leaders as they share real-world experiences and best practices for utilizing the commercial lease to catalyze progress toward a zero-carbon future.
Growing High-Quality Job Opportunities in the Green Buildings Workforce
Speakers: Nick Guertin, Coalfield Development; Nicole Schwartz, North America's Building Trades Unions (NABTU); Ray Segars, Association of Energy Engineers (AEE)
Through the Better Buildings Workforce Accelerator, DOE has partnered with 40+ organizations and their members on supporting the green buildings workforce. In this session, leaders from these organizations will share information about their program models to set young people and underserved communities on track toward high-quality jobs. Speakers will discuss the importance of pre-apprenticeship programming and how to effectively connect the dots to careers in building construction, operations, and maintenance.
Industrial Decarbonization Round Robin
Speakers: Blaine Collison, Renewable Thermal Collaborative; James Critchfield, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Laura Jones, Cummins Inc.; George Moreno, EnerSys; Bridget Slavin, Valmont Industries; Sean Stephan, Occidental Chemical Corporation; Christopher Sullivan-Trainor, Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE)
Rotate through targeted focus groups on various decarbonization solutions to identify opportunities to reduce emissions at your facilities. Hear from experts on topics such as electrification, renewable energy, low-carbon fuels, and energy efficiency. Ask questions and connect with and learn from peers who are facing similar challenges.
Making It Look EaaS-y: The Continued Evolution of Energy-as-a-Service
Speakers: Kevin Clearie, Avantor; John Rhow, Redaptive; Glenn Schatz, BlocPower
Efficiency-as-a-Service has evolved into the more decarbonization-focused Energy-as-a-Service. This session will discuss the key components of the standardization of Energy-as-a-Service and how partners are accessing it in various sectors. Attendees will get an overview of key DOE resources and hear from multiple stakeholders in "As-a-Service" transactions, including Financial Allies and a project recipient. These speakers will explore how projects "get to yes" by overcoming common internal approval barriers.
Making the Case for Energy and Climate Actions
Speakers: Alan Eber, Gundersen Health System; Sandrine Schultz, Chicago Public Schools; Ryan Yetzer, Physicians Realty Trust
Learn how Better Buildings partners successfully engage internal stakeholders when implementing energy efficiency improvements. Partners have used a variety of strategies including highlighting cost savings and incentivizing change. Learn from pilot programs and data-driven analyses that helped drive action toward climate goals.
Multifamily Passive House 101: Key Pitfalls and Smart Strategies
Speakers: Julie Klump, Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH); Tim McDonald, Onion Flats Architecture; Sanyog Rathod, Sol Design Consulting
In this session, learn how to avoid pitfalls when working with teams new to Passive House development in affordable housing. Attendees will hear lessons learned from design, construction, and testing and get insight on how to balance cost and performance for tight budgets.
There Must Be Something in the Water: Lessons Learned from Water Savings Projects
Speakers: Ashwin Dhanasekar, Water Research Foundation; Patrick Maag, Boardman Foods; Sarah Manson, CBRE; Doug Pollock, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
The efficient use of water saves both money and energy while improving resilience and occupant wellness. In this interactive session, attendees will hear brief presentations on Water Savings Network partners’ successes and break out into a poster session, where they will directly discuss priorities, barriers, best practices, and technical guidance with presenters and their peers.
- Choose Your Own Solution: Can You Decarbonize This Industrial Facility?
- COVID Considerations: Best Practices from the Pandemic
- Decarbonizing the Public Sector: Options for Cities and States
- Pushing the Envelope: Lessons Learned from Advanced Envelope Projects
- Telling the World about Your Efficiency and Climate Goals
Choose Your Own Solution: Can You Decarbonize This Industrial Facility?
Step into the role of sustainability manager at the Auto-Man, Inc. facility in Anytown, USA. It's your job to work with your team and make sure the facility meets the company's new corporate carbon reduction goal – can you make the right choices along the way to make it happen?
COVID Considerations: Best Practices from the Pandemic
Speakers: Scott Hamilton, Hilton; Anisa Heming, USGBC Center for Green Schools; John Lord, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
The pandemic has drastically altered the world, and building operations are no exception. Come hear about lessons learned from partners related to pandemic-impacted building operations. Partners will discuss operational transformations such as efficient planning for indoor air quality and ventilation that are now best practices for the uncertain future.
Decarbonizing the Public Sector: Options for Cities and States
Speakers: Ryan Kingston, Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Crystal McDonald, D.C. Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU); David St. Jean, State of Maryland; Paul Torcellini, National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL)
This session will highlight key decarbonization strategies and portfolio-wide planning approaches implemented by state and local governments. Learn how the State of Maryland conducted large-scale emissions reduction planning across agencies and the strategies it used to engage team members on the state's energy and emissions reduction goals. The D.C. Sustainable Energy Utility will share its experience implementing programs that align with the District's GHG reduction goals. A representative from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will share findings from recent decarbonization studies completed by state universities. A building decarbonization expert from the National Renewable Energy Lab will also highlight decarbonization technologies relevant for state and local governments.
Pushing the Envelope: Lessons Learned from Advanced Envelope Projects
Speakers: Rick Dunn, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA); James Swingle, Parkway School District, MO
A building's envelope (windows, walls, roof) accounts for approximately 30% of the primary energy consumed in commercial buildings. DOE’s Building Envelope Campaign recognizes leaders who are pushing the envelope with their energy savings. Hear from campaign participants about their projects and best practices, and learn how you can apply these principles to lowering operating costs while making your buildings more efficient and comfortable.
Telling the World about Your Efficiency and Climate Goals
You’ve set an exciting and ambitious climate goal, and you want to tell the world about it. How do you make your story stand out? Hear from the Better Buildings communications team as they share best practices for communicating efficiency and decarbonization goals, and workshop some common but tricky scenarios. Join this session to build your comms chops and get your goals the recognition they deserve.