Opening Keynote

Repair and Prepare our Suburbs for the 21st Century

Presenter: Galina Tachieva

We have been building 20th century sprawl in the 21st century. It is time to shift direction. This presentation positions Sprawl Repair as a comprehensive and practical method to transform auto-dependent, single-use places into more complete, economically viable communities. It will show design, regulatory and implementation techniques derived from the “trenches” at all development scales: regional, community, block, building.

It will focus on strategies to create economic and social value out of stranded real-estate assets while we are witnessing the demise of the industry that produced sprawl: Malls and office parks are dying; golf courses are closing; McMansions are losing their appeal to Millennials.

The presentation will not only highlight why we should retrofit sprawl, but will also show a practical How, Who and When step-by-step path of action forward to a better burb. The solutions presented will inspire and equip anyone looking to reimagine suburban development.

Educational Session 1

Energy-efficient Building Envelope

Moderator: Nathan M. Gillette, AIA, CEM, LEED AP O+M

The session will consist of three speakers, presenting for 20 minutes each.

Phil Wilson, CxA+BE, BECxP, PEM: Airtightness pressure testing, infrared thermography and air leakage diagnostics are frequently used to determine whether new construction meets specific airtightness guidelines as set forth by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Navy, ASHRAE and other organizations. However, this valuable technology is horribly underutilized when it comes to identifying opportunities for saving energy and energy-related costs, reducing humidity and prolonging structure life by air sealing our existing commercial, industrial and institutional buildings. This interactive presentation will introduce participants to the diagnostic tools used, the substantial air-leakage reductions possible and the energy savings being realized as more organizations are finding out that neglecting their building enclosures just isn’t an option.

Meghan McDermott, BECxP, CxA+BE: The examples of envelope retrofit projects for different type of schools—private and public universities and community colleges—in this presentation each have different decision criteria for approving projects. Private universities typically have more access to funding and often can act as their own authority having jurisdiction over projects, whereas, public colleges and universities often must rely on energy-performance contracting to fund projects and may be constrained by the State Office of Construction approvals. Until recently envelope projects typically were not included in energy-performance contracting projects because the return on investment was not considered favorable. Furthermore, many of the enclosure projects were previously described as “weatherization”, which is considered a maintenance item, not a capital improvement project. Recently, as the importance of air leakage has become elevated, and the acceptance that air sealing a building is correcting an obsolete and flawed design approach that allows massive levels of air leakage, envelope repair projects are becoming included in university improvement efforts. McDermott will describe the envelope inspection, specification and repair efforts for three schools: Sewanee University, East Carolina University and Johnston Community College.

Francis Conlin, P.E.: Two affordable housing, high-rise apartment buildings will be discussed. Both suffered from significant rainwater and condensate intrusion into the envelope assemblies resulting in damaged insulation, damaged structural components, indoor air quality concerns, and continual maintenance required to cleanup and repair the reoccurring moisture damage. The 8-story, 100-unit apartment building enclosure had a thin brick exterior cladding, which had been retrofit over the original exterior insulation and finishing system cladding (EIFS). The primary motivation for the skin retrofit was that the original EIFS cladding leaked; however, the multiple rainscreen cladding retrofit continued to allow water to enter the wall assembly. The 14-story, 290-unit steel frame and brick clad building had similar problems with both condensate and rainwater running into the wall assembly causing damage to units below. Previous window and packaged terminal heat pump renovations were found to contribute to the water intrusion. This presentation describes how root cause for the moisture intrusion incidents was diagnosed and how different remediation approaches were taken for each building.

Educational Session 2

Retrofitting in Today's Market

Moderator: Christina Koch

The session will consist of two speakers, presenting for 30 minutes each.

D. Ryan Miller: Are your projects built to perform? Across the country, commercial retrofits continue to increase in complexity and technology to keep up with new construction trends, evolving code requirements, and requests for greater durability and usability from owners and investors. Building automation systems, connected energy management systems, smart appliances and advanced materials are just a few of the features offering lower operating costs for owners and higher productivity for employers, sometimes at the angst of the workers responsible for delivering on more and more promises. How can contractors keep up with these increasing demands while bringing benefits to their companies along the way? Leading contractors and trade groups across North Carolina have undertaken a variety of initiatives to address these and other challenges to the state’s construction industry. Ensuring the availability of skilled workers, providing the right education to building owners and occupants, removing regulatory barriers and improving the valuation of high-performance buildings are a few examples currently underway. Hear from the North Carolina Building Performance Association how leading contractors across the state are overcoming these challenges and learn what you can do to ensure that your projects, and your company, are built to perform.

Will Clark: CleanFund finances better buildings. Through assessment-based financing, CleanFund promotes energy efficiency and resiliency to extend the useful life of buildings. CleanFund utilizes a Commercial Property Assessed Capital Expenditure (C-PACE) instrument, a long-term, self-amortizing form of capital repaid through a special assessment. Capital can be used to upgrade existing buildings, increase seismic or hurricane resiliency, provide tenant improvements, or rehabilitate and reposition historic structures. Projects financed via C-PACE include hospitals and medical office buildings, offices, retail, apartments, hotels, shopping malls, sports arenas and even an ethanol refinery. As a special assessment, C-PACE is not dependent upon any single improvement for repayment. This means that C-PACE is ideal for multi-measure improvements that provide an ROI over many years, not just in the first 18 months. As long-term, self-amortizing capital, C-PACE has a predictable cost and is not due on sale. It can be utilized as reimbursement for completed work or as construction finance, payable as eligible improvements are installed. C-PACE is a tremendously flexible instrument that enables property owners to elect the improvements that meet their needs.

Afternoon Keynote

Resilient Existing Buildings Are a Key to Resilient Communities

Presenter: Ryan Colker

The vast majority of our building stock in 2030 already exists today. When these buildings were built, they met the needs of their owners, tenants and the surrounding community. However, performance requirements have changed—particularly around safety and security. The structures and communities in harms way have increased as hazard events become more frequent and more impactful. Our understanding of risks and the measures we can take to address them have drastically improved. We’ll explore efforts to advance community resilience through improvements to the existing building stock and how a resilience economy can help drive progress.

Educational Session 3

Resilient Buildings

Moderator: Marcin Pizera, Ph.D.

The session will consist of three speakers, presenting for 20 minutes each.

Cindy L. Davis, CBO: This presentation will discuss the growing number of blighted or abandoned buildings in the U.S. and the economic impacts to our communities. Davis will give examples of communities that are experiencing these impacts. Additionally she will discuss codes written specifically for existing buildings, including The Existing Building Code as published by the International Code Council. This portion of the discussion will include the principles of these codes, like reasonable options provided to the owners of existing buildings and their designers when making alterations or additions, as well as how these codes provide incentives to the owners to keep their buildings current with contemporary safety and construction methods and practices without requiring full compliance with the more restrictive and costly codes used for the construction of new buildings.

Chuck Miccolis: The roof is a commercial building’s first line of defense against severe weather, such as high winds, heavy rain and hail. It is the most important part of every building, residential or commercial—and also the most vulnerable. Physical property damage from natural and manmade exposures, as well as business downtime, can be greatly reduced if appropriate roof covers are selected, properly installed and maintained. Learn about the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety’s (IBHS’) extensive full-scale testing and research to provide design and maintenance guidance to increase roof resiliency.

Abby Coulter: The practice of building resiliency is more than adapting construction projects to address current environmental, social and economic stresses that come and go. Moreso, it’s about using currently available design principles, construction practices, environmentally friendly products and smart systems that encourage building occupants to thrive for generations to come. Building resiliency practices need to be at the forefront of day-to-day construction projects to protect our future communities and make effective use of available land and natural resources. To meet the needs of an ever-changing climate environment, particular consideration is needed on the use of natural resources. Buildings that can effectively weather storms, operate independently through utility outages, and self-diagnose and sometimes repair problems are here now. Attend this session to learn how to bring high-performance and forward-thinking resiliency measures into your company’s building standards and, as with traditional construction, sell the value of doing so to your clients and occupants. Increasing conversation around the ability for buildings to optimize human productivity, connect people and businesses together, become self-reliant through energy generation and diagnostics, and more will help create a resiliency movement to carry our built environment and the communities we work in to a more resilient future.