Carbon Neutrality & Electrification Through Practical Design – Greenbuild 2020 Session Review


Our editorial, ” This session helped us think about what we could do for the Contemporary Arts Center in downtown Cincinnati. It’s a 86,500 sf building designed by Zaha Hadid in 2003 and constructed in 2006. About the only things we can do to improve the energy efficiency is to air seal the building as much as possible and also micro manage the conditions in each area of the building. I can see a day when we will celebrate the fact that we can open the windows! There are about 30 days a year when the temperature is between 50 and 70 degrees F and the humidity is between 40 and 60%. That’s what the artwork in the galleries require. Another thing we’ll be on the look out for are locations for solar panels nearby 6th and Walnut Streets. We’re shaded by the sky scraper to the south. We are donating our work on the project. Get in touch if you would like to help with the energy model, strategies to go zero-carbon, LEED documentation, or public relations communications.”

Session Objectives

– Discuss the integrated design approach and how enhanced energy modeling can help reduce first costs. What key decisions need to be made earlier in the design process? Which mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems are best suited to meet carbon neutral objectives?

– Identify specific technologies that can be tied together to deliver a carbon neutral building. Heat pump water heaters, condensing clothes dryers, solar PV with battery backup, high performance attics, and heat recovery technology are some of the advanced concepts we will simplify and demystify to show that any project can apply all or some of these technologies.

– What is the estimated cost premium to deliver a carbon neutral building and what would be the expected return on investment? Which technologies may lend to better ROI if one has limited budget?

– Which cities and countries are moving towards carbon neutral ordinances? How can you prepare your project now to address these realities?

– How will a carbon neutral building benefit a building pursuing LEED Certification? Which Prerequisites and Credits are beneficially impacted and how will a de-carbonized existing building be reflected in Dynamic Plaque?

– Where there is a challenge, there is an opportunity. We’ll address some of the hurdles towards designing to carbon neutral standards, and highlight how teams can navigate those roadblocks.

– Often operating costs of a building are not considered during design. Building operator knowledge and training, or lack thereof, can impact a building’s performance even when the building is built to LEED standards. How does LEED encourage enhanced performance after the building is built or after the building receives a system upgrade? Show how enhanced commissioning can deliver rapid ROI and ensure carbon neutral goals are met.


Understand how all-electrification will help achieve carbon neutrality and how envelope design and enhanced energy modeling can help meet carbon neutral goals and help control first costs.

Identify specific technologies that can be applied today, understand how those technologies function and how selected technologies deliver energy savings.

Demonstrate how carbon neutrality benefits the LEED rating system and how the LEED rating system can ensure functional performance into operations phase. Energy efficiency helps make LEED very achievable.

Be able to communicate to stakeholders the concepts and the benefits to carbon neutral buildings. Attendees will possess a road map for better project alignment.

CE HOUR(S): 1.5




Moe Fakih
VCA Green
– Certified over 10,000 housing units as a LEED Homes Rater and LEED Provider.
– Responsible for overseeing and managing a team of highly skilled Project Managers offering services that include Green Building Code, Building Commissioning, LEED, Energy Modeling, and HERS.
– Accomplished speaker and presenter. Hosts educational events to inform Architects/Developers on recent changes to Energy Codes and trends in sustainability.
– Utilizes General Contracting experience to help project teams navigate unforeseen challenges and potential scope creep.
– Perform return on investment-based enhanced energy modeling, which significantly reduces first costs and reduces potential delays in design. Once the building is built, Moe and his team perform energy assessment and warranty evaluations, which leads to favorable cost reductions.
– Provides guidance/training for building design and construction stakeholders who are navigating LEED Compliance, Green and Energy Codes through early entitlement phase through to operations and maintenance (Post C of O) phase.






Leigh Christy
Perkins and Will
Leigh Christy is a Principal in the Los Angeles studio of Perkins and Will, where she leads public/private-sector projects. By working at the interface of architecture and urban design, she helps ensure that her projects benefit users, communities, and ecosystems. Leigh sits on her firm’s Research Board, is a member of the Resiliency Task Force, and leads the Innovation Incubator program, which has supported more than 250 staff-generated research ideas through internal micro-grants. She has been an adjunct faculty member at Woodbury University, and continues to sit on multi-disciplinary design juries throughout California. Using both research/project work as a basis, Leigh frequently publishes articles and presents on issues dealing with social and environmental sustainability at all scales.
Her project-based research encouraged the City of Los Angeles to elevate minimum building requirements from LEED Certified to LEED Silver following a post-occupancy cost-benefit analysis on two precedent-setting LEED Gold certified police stations.












Sean Neman
California Solar Integrators, Inc. dba Cal Solar Inc.
Sean Neman is the founder & CEO of California Solar Integrators, Inc.(“Cal Solar Inc.”), a leader in Commercial Solar PV, Solar Thermal Water Heating, Energy Storage, and EV Charging design/build contracting. With offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Walnut Creek, Cal Solar Inc. works to implement these solutions on both New Construction & Existing properties throughout California with some of the largest non-profit, institutional, and private developers & builders. Cal Solar Inc.’s unique approach has been to vertically integrate the design/build process including in-house estimating, engineering, permitting, construction, and maintenance. Sean is also a Managing Member of Optimal Capital Consultants, LLC, a real-estate investment, development, and management company. Sean is a graduate of USC’s Marshal School of Business.





Wayne Alldredge
Associate Director
VCA Green
– Over 30 years of experience in building operations, engineering, maintenance, energy management, commissioning, and construction. Wayne is a Technical Adviser with the Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge. He’s also a senior board member of an educational non-profit training the workforce on sustainability in buildings.
– Develops successful strategic energy plans such as: a multi-million dollar energy project for a Fortune 500 technology firm; a long term energy management program for Universities; several ASHRAE Audits for multiple clients; and advanced water recovery projects, one of which saves approximately 40 million gallons of potable water annually.
– Works closely with ownership teams to provide due diligence code and best practices in energy design, evaluate energy functionality through construction and deliver continuous improvement into operations & maintenance.
– Leads Six Sigma/Kaizen events to help owners reduce both capital and O&M costs while building a culture of continuous improvement in owner’s staff.







Get $30 off your Aptera Pre-Order
Click this link and you’ll receive a promo code for $30 off an Aptera pre-order. The 2nd Generation Aptera launched Dec. 4, 2020 and is on track to be the first self charging electric vehicle. The two-person, three-wheeler is covered with solar panels which allow self-charging but  it also comes with a plug for charging. For every person I refer, I’ll earn a $1,000 credit towards an Aptera. After referring 26 people, I’ll score a free standard edition model. I’m a volunteer Aptera Ambassador, read more about this incredible solution to beautiful design and the ultimate in sustainability! Thanks for your referral, Chuck Lohre, Editor, Green Cincinnati Education Advocacy. #aptera #apteramotors