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!



Retrofit for Resilience: Cities – Six Incredible Sessions You MUST Attend at NESEA BE13

Our cities need to be resilient and sustainable. Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy has shown NY how vulnerable we are to coastal flooding and major disasters. The time has come for us to have a conversation about what we can do to plan and build smarter and invest in technologies to make our cities more resilient.  Check these six sessions out happening at the NESEA Building Energy13 conference.

If you want to have an expanded conversation about how preservation, urban planning, renewable technologies and planning for natural disasters make cities more sustainable and resilient – you NEED to come to NESEA’s BE13 conference in Boston on March 5 – 7th.

This track was designed for urban planners, architects, green builders, preservationists, city lovers and everyone in between. Come and learn about what cities across the Northeast are doing to make their cities (large and small) more sustainable, community friendly and ultimately, more resilient.

Learn about NYC disaster planning, the balance between preservation and energy efficiency, LEED for Neighborhood Development, What smaller cities like Buffalo, NY and Northampton, Mass are up too and SO MUCH MORE.

I am being serious, you can’t learn this at CNU or ACI, the conversations just don’t come together like this. Robert Leaver and I designed this track to expand a conversation that is not happening in a “whole systems thinking” type of fashion. We understand that we need to think comprehensively about our buildings, now we must use that approach with our cities. This track is designed to start that thinking process and the conversation.  Come!!

Check it out here.

You can sign up for the conference here:

Lastly, there are a lot of opportunities for volunteers, discounts for emerging professionals and sponsorships available. If you are interested, email me at !

Bernice Radle at the NESEA BE12 Keynote
Bernice Radle at the NESEA BE12 Keynote

Pushing the Urbanism/City Agenda in the Building Science World at NESEA BE13

I wrote this blog post last week for the NESEA site. NESEA is allowing me to co chair a “Cities” track that talks about urbanism, cities and energy efficiency! Its really the next step from my keynote, which you can read here. I am really excited. This is a big deal for the building science world. Send your proposals in!

Retrofitting for Resilience: Cities
Resilience of Cities: Be Urban. Be Environmental. Be Smart. Be Resilient. Be Sustainable.

This year in preparation for BE 13 at NESEA we are opening the dialogue to discuss the ultimate form of sustainability. Sustaining ourselves through good planning, smart building and ultimately being resilient to whatever our climate throws our way.

At NESEA BE12, the keynote speakers discussed the occupy movement, insulation, solar parking lots and city planning initiatives. All of these things discussed happen in cities, therefore we bring you the newest NESEA track for Building Energy 13 – Retrofitting for Resilience: The City Edition. ultimate form of sustainability. Sustaining ourselves through good planning, smart building and ultimately being resilient to whatever our climate throws our way.

This new track can go anywhere because there is an enormous amount of material to cover and only 6 sessions. We wanted to take a moment to give your ideas as to where we would like to see this track go which is open but not limited to our ideas. We want YOUR ideas on retrofitting for resilience in our cities.

First thing, lets define resilience: the power or ability to return to the original form, position,etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity.

Now here are our ideas for sessions organized by themes — presented to spark thinking. Go beyond these ideas and tell us what you want to do! The proposals are due June 15, 2012.  You will find the complete RFP, describing the conference, and the response form at the NESEA website.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Bernice Radle:

Robert Leaver:

Ideas for sessions/discussions: 
Urban Planning

Promoting energy efficient housing, smart growth and urbanism is the ultimate sustainable/resilient environment which can only happen in cities!

  • Resilient community based planning initiatives?
  • Historic preservation
  • Urban planning initiatives – cities – form based codes, historic preservation, smart growth
  • Getting away from the car
  • European initiatives on resilience in cities?
  • Regionalism/urban planning
  • Landbanking ideas
  • Urban agriculture
  • Policy ideas on promoting resilience? What are cities doing? Federal government? Regional initiatives?
  • Urban metabolism (new work at Harvard)
  • Multiple urbanisms: new, landscape, ecological and sustainable with Margarita Iglesia at BSA this spring

Energy Efficiency

  • How can we retrofit our existing buildings and design new builds with greater efficiency? What is being done to our building codes? Mass Stretch Codes? IECC?

Weather/Climate Change/Technologies

  • In one session with a structural engineer, civil engineer and public health official…what ha
  • ppens to Boston in 3 scenarios: a category III hurricane hits; 20 inches of rain in one week; 25 day heat wave…How ready is it now?  What has to change to be ready?
  • Surging seas and cities
  • “Transportable technologies”  – what can we do in the NESEA region that will help other global regions with resilience and adaptation?
  • NYC is investing 1.5 billion to upgrade its infrastructure to be a green infrastructure — the basic idea is to rely more on nature as NYC did when the original grid was laid out
  • Case Studies/Results/General Initiatives
  • Individual habits, case studies, initiatives that promote resilience?
  • What are cost effective solutions that can help promote resilience?

NESEA Building Energy Conference – March 6-8 in Boston!

Hey Friends,

You should go to NESEA’s Building Energy conference. There are so many great reasons as to why including gaining innovative knowledge and ideas, networking, seeing new products and more. I am a part of the keynote experience as well as co chairing the multifamily track with the amazing Erica Brabon and the track is sponsored by Buffalo Energy!.  Additionally, Erica, Andy Padian and I are doing an all day session on Tuesday where we teach multifamily auditing! Conferences are important and NESEA is top notch.

NESEA website <– Go here to sign up.

Here are a couple of videos that NESEA has just put out on the conference. Both Mark and myself were interviewed. Check them out!

Part 1 (of 4) of my interview.

Part 1 of Mark’s interview.