NESEA BE14 – Accepting Session Proposals!!!

This conference is one of the largest building conferences in the country and I am happy to be a part of the planning committee every year. If you are a building nerd, engineer, urban planner, architect – and you have something to talk about – please consider putting in a proposal for NESEA BE14. I want a ton of Buffalo representation at next years conference!!!

We’re pleased to formally announce our request for proposals for Building Energy 2014 (BE14). Last year, we received over 200 proposals, so it goes without saying that we can’t wait to see this year’s submissions. We will be accepting proposals until June 21, 2013.

Things are a little different this year. We’re launching the new BuildingEnergy “Speaker Console” to help enhance the submission process. Like other RFP services you may have used, your proposal (or proposals) will be linked to your email address and a unique ID, so you can save your work and modify your proposals at a later date. 

Other handy features include:

Alternate Contact
Now you can designate another person to be our point of contact (apart from yourself and your co-presenter). This is also handy if you’re submitting a proposal on behalf of another person.

Unified Proposal Collection
Whether you’re interested doing a workshop, session, or being part of the live demonstration stages, you can manage all your proposals through the Speaker Console.

PLEASE NOTE: We are unable to accept proposals via email; only proposals submitted through the Speaker Console will be considered.


  1. Homes
  2. Multi-Family
  3. Commercial/Institutional
  4. Cities/Zero Net Energy Districts – please note, if you’re considering a proposal for this track, the Track Chair requests you read through these documents before submitting your proposal.
  5. High Performance Mechanicals
  6. What The Pros Want To Know
  7. Fundamentals
  8. Moving The Market/Energy Policy
  9. Renewables
  10. Materials

If these track titles feel broad to you, don’t worry, you’re not off mark. This set of track titles are intended to give each one focus while giving you room to make the case for why your proposal fits into a particular track.

Just letting you know ahead of time – this proposal form is pretty comprehensive. You might not have all the required information on hand the first time around, but don’t worry, that’s where the ability to save your work and return later comes in handy. Why are there more required fields on this form? Great question! We wanted to capture as much information as possible right up front with the idea that, if your proposal is accepted, we’ll be able to make your experience as a speaker that much smoother.

Great! Because of the numerous upgrades to the BE14 RFP process, we recommend reading through the modifiedProposal Process page before you start – it’s quick and easy, and there’s a link to the Speaker Console at the end. 

Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, go ahead and start your proposal via the Speaker Console.

Remember, the RFP period closes June 21, 2013.Image

NESEA BE13 – Conference Wrap Up & Great News To Share With You!

I wanted to do a quick wrap up of my NESEA Building Energy (Be13) experience.

First of all, I thought it would be tough to beat getting the entire NESEA building nerdy crowd to say the words “think urban, think sexy”  …. but this years conference beat it!

The overall conference was amazing. It was so much fun.. I am still recovering! There was a great vibe, a lot of newbies and attendance was at an all time high. Boston was windy and rainy but inside people were learning about buildings, cities, mechanicals and so much more. There was a lot of Buffalo representation – Chris Hawley from the City of Buffalo, Jerry Young from Young & Wright architects and Megan McNally was in attendance and/or presented. Go Buffalo!

If you are interested in NESEA – become a member! Not only do you get a discount on the conference but you do get to meet, drink and learn with the inventors/doers/shakers in the building science industry. <– See the website for details on membership, events and information.

I have really great news ! 

Matt Root and I have been selected as the co-vice chairs of the ENTIRE conference for BE2014! HOLY COW! With Marc Sternick, Matt Root and I – we make a fun, dynamic team. This means I will be helping to organize, market, find cash and move the conference forward for 2014 and 2015. NESEA is such a wonderful organization and I am happy to help dedicate my time towards making the NESEA conference in Boston even bigger and better!

The Retrofit for Resilience: Cities track that Robert Leaver and I co created had VERY high attendance! That is a BIG deal for us because this is a whole new subject and was a very risky endeavor. Building scientists don’t usually think about Cities..  but it was great to see so much interest in it! With great risk comes great reward…  Yay! I am looking forward to seeing how this track progresses over the next couple of years. Resiliency is a big topic these days!

Many thanks goes out to all of the NESEA planning staff, volunteers, NESEA employees, presenters and attendees for making this NESEA the best NESEA Building Energy conference I have ever experienced.

Glowing with excitement after being announced as the Co-Vice Chair for the NESEA BE14.
Glowing with excitement after being announced as the Co-Vice Chair for the NESEA BE14.
Presenting about cities, planning and resilience.
Chris Hawley dazzles the crowd with his presentation about zoning and Buffalo!



Interview with the Center for Energy & Environment on Historic Preservation & Energy Efficiency!

Hello Friends!

If you have a minute, check out this interview that was published by the Center for Energy and Environment. I am very happy & thankful that they wanted to interview me about the work I do in historic buildings and energy efficiency at Buffalo Energy. For me, I think it is exciting to see more love and promotion out there about Buffalo, NY!

You can read the article here. 

You can read about who MN CEE is here. 

These apartments on Bryant will soon be doing an energy retrofit through the NYSERDA MPP Program.
These apartments on Bryant will soon be doing an energy retrofit through the NYSERDA MPP Program.

WNY Solar & Green Building Tour – Saturday, October 13th!


This has been my baby for 2 years and I encourage everyone who likes buildings, sustainability and saving money to go and see at least ONE building/home. DO IT.

  • Have you ever had an interest in solar, geothermal or other neat renewable technologies?
  • Have you heard about houses being made from straw bale?
  • What about seeing how historic buildings can become more energy efficient?
On Saturday, October 13th, the 17th annual Solar & Green Building Tour of WNY is happening from 10am – 4pm. The event is brought to you by WNY Sustainable Energy Association. This is not a regular tour, this is an open house. We give you a list of all the sites and you can pick whatever interests you! The event is free, open to the public and no registration is required. All sites are open from 10am – 4pm unless noted otherwise.
The kickoff event starts at 9:30am on Saturday morning. We will be giving awards, prizes and other fun stuff at Hispanics United of Buffalo, 254 Virginia St. Then you are free to go wherever! A limited amount of weatherization kits and NFTA Metro Day passes will be available for people who attend the kickoff event.
Why is the Solar & Green Building Tour important?
The Solar and Green Building Tour is an event that educates, inspires and encourages people to think, act and be more “green” in their daily lives.
This tour is the only tour in the region that opens homes up for you to touch, feel and absorb these technologies. The homeowners are there – you can speak to them directly about their experiences, troubles and ask any questions you may have.
The event features a wide variety of green building concepts from solar, historic adaptive reuse buildings, geothermal, green roofs, LEED certified buildings, net zero houses and more. <— For all sites, details & info <— For a complete list of sites across New York State, searchable via ZIP CODE.

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Sign Your Green Building Up for the Green Building Tour of WNY!

I am co chairing the event again this year for WNYSEA. It’s a big deal. Sign up your green building today!

The WNY Sustainable Energy Association (WNYSEA) is preparing for the annual Solar & Green Building Open House  tour, which is slated for Saturday, October 13th, 2012. The organization is currently looking for homes and other buildings to be on the tour, so if you own a building that has some environmentally friendly, “green” features consider showing it off for the tour. By signing up to be a tour site, you have the ability to educate interested people about your green features. WNYSEA is looking for solar, geothermal, green building, energy efficiency, LEED, green roofs, passive solar, net zero, bale on bale construction and more. For more information and to sign up, click the link here.

About the tour: The self-guided tour is free and open to the public from 10am to 4pm on 10/13/12. Once all the buildings and sites have been identified, WNYSEA will compile a list of addresses and make the information available to the public. There is no sign up to attend the tour, you go at your own pace and see what you want to see. This way if there is a specific place or element you are most interested in, you can be sure to see it.

Green Building Open House is a tour across the Northeast that is promoted by the parent organization, the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NSEA) and happens for one day only. It’s all about education and getting the experience from accomplished building owners so that more people can integrate similar features in their own buildings.

Last year there were forty-five sites across Erie and Niagara Counties, which was the largest tour in New York State. For more information email or go to

Balancing Historic Preservation and Energy Efficiency in Affordable Housing Projects: New Hampshire Style!

A few of us from Buffalo Energy spent the week in New Hampshire basically doing final testing and final inspections of a major statewide energy efficiency renovation of their affordable housing apartment buildings. The program has been very successful so far with over 20 buildings participating!

Not only are there now several energy efficient buildings throughout NH, many of them are very historic!

This is where my two worlds really collide…energy efficiency and historic preservation. Combining these two topics is very hard to do and both of them end up bending a little ultimately to make the project work.
None of the projects used the historic tax credits (i tried but NH does not like gov. programs…) and unfortunately a few of them have new windows.. But in a place where you are lucky if the place is still standing, seeing a historic building stay alive for the next 50 years or so through reduced utility costs and building upgrades makes me happy because it is a form of preservation. Its maybe not hardcore preservation that we all dream of, but it’s still setting these buildings up for a positive, extended future in the affordable housing world.

The best part about affordable housing is they own their buildings for a long time and provide stability to an area and a building for years to come. Being energy efficient reduces the need to raise rents to pay for high utility costs which does ultimately keep the building affordable, occupied and alive.

An important note: Many of these historic buildings have very little interior details left (usually due to bad rehabs in the 80s..) so saving what exists such as the existing stair case, clapboard siding important to retain historic integrity and character, which we always push for.

We try to balance this preservation/energy efficiency issue all the time as best as we can. It can include this type of scenario: save the tin ceilings, wood windows and exterior details… add energy efficiency measures such as lighting, insulation and air sealing.. And you’ve pretty much mixed both together in a successful manner. Both topics give in a little to have a successful project in the end, which is good!

Anyhow, here are a couple photos of my week. I am probably going to get some bruises for posting this but who cares. We all can’t rehab buildings like the Lafayette hotel.. Right? We have done some incredible projects such as AC Lofts and 257 Lafayette which are historic tax credit rehabs and energy efficiency which are my favorite type of projects however we usually don’t get that lucky in affordable housing projects…

Lastly, this post primarily exists because I think a lot of people don’t know what I do for a living.. I make historic buildings energy efficient. It’s a daunting task but one that is well worth it.