Vermont’s Architecture & Construction Expo

Leading by Example


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Center for Communication and Creative Media at Champlain College

Conference Hotel Block: Sheraton Hotel Burlington
Block Name: "ACX 17 Conference" - (802) 865-6600


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A Collaboration Between:


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8:00 – 9:00

Registration (Breakfast): Champlain Room & Lobby

9:00 – 9:45

Keynote: Auditorium

9:45 – 10:30

Exposition Open (Coffee Break): Champlain Room & Lobby

10:30 – 12:00

Session 1: Auditorium

12:00 – 1:30

Exposition Open (Lunch): EATS / Terrace, Champlain Room & Lobby

1:30 – 2:30

Session 2: Auditorium

2:30 – 3:30

Exposition Open (Snack): Champlain Room & Lobby

3:30 – 5:00

Session 3: Auditorium

5:00 – 7:00

Cocktail Reception: Terrace (Weather Dependent)


Barbara Conrey

Barbara D. Conrey, AIA, Montpelier, VT is an award-winning architect and professor at Vermont Technical College (VTC) where she taught sustainable design for 18 years. She recently led student teams to develop a plan to repurpose downtown parking lots to Net Zero buildings, which was presented to city officials.
Barbara is past president of the New England and Vermont chapters of the American Institute of Architects, and served on the Architectural Licensing Board for the State of Vermont. Presently, Barbara, serves on the Montpelier Planning Commission and on the Energy Advisory Committee. She is contributing her architectural sustainable design knowledge, experience and professional network to advance the Sustainable Montpelier 2030 Design Competition.

Chris West

Chris is an energy geek, like many at this conference. Building Energy has been one of his passions for the past fifteen years. Chris spent the 2000’s living in the Netherlands where he got a BS in Mechanical Engineering. Upon returning to the US Chris and his family settled down in northwestern Vermont. In 2010 Chris took the Certified Passive House Consultant training just before the split between PHI and PHIUS. He joined forces with local Weatherization expert Jim Bradley of Caleb Contracting and started doing energy audits on some of the country’s oldest and most neglected housing stock in one of the harshest climates the lower 48 can offer (climate zone 6 – cold and humid). Today Chris is involved with multiple Passive House projects, including the first Multifamily Passive House in Vermont, as well as designing durable weatherization and DER’s for homeowners throughout northern Vermont. Chris is co-founder of PHAUS Vermont and the Northern Vermont Building Science Group, which was inspired by southern Vermont’s SEON.

Daniel Jones

Dan has a long history of community engagement and communications work as well as his work as a climate change and sustainability activist. His most recent project was the Sustainable Montpelier Design Competition. That, in turn, grew out of his work as chair of the Montpelier Energy Committee where he helped steward the City’s commitment to be Net Zero in fossil fuel use by 2030. He has previously helped support the Vermont group Gross National Happiness USA and to help found Vermonter’s for a New Economy.


Prior to his energy work in Montpelier, Jones had extensive experience in various areas of media development and social change. His work on communications policy in the 1980s help create the support structure for the Community Access Cable movement and the institution of broadband networks in the cities. He has also been a producer of special interest videos on New England culture and health care topics. His current commitment is to taking the vision created in the Sustainable Montpelier Design Competition and turning them into development facts on the ground.

Debra Sachs

Debra Sachs, Co-Executive Director, MS in Natural Resource Planning. Deb has managed non-profits and consulted on numerous planning and sustainability projects for governments, NGO’s and businesses for more than 25 years. In the mid 90’s, Deb pioneered climate action planning, and has provided science-based technical assistance since. In 2010, Deb co-founded Community Climate Action, Inc., a 501c3 whose focus was on education, outreach and public engagement to mitigate the threat of global climate change. Today she continues to share experiences as co-founder of Vermont Energy & Climate Action Network. To help meet today’s need to accelerate net zero strategies, Community Climate Action was renamed to Net Zero Vermont in 2016. Deb also oversees a small consulting firm, EcoStrategies, providing clients with technical assistance in sustainability practices, transportation efficiency and renewable energy development. Deb serves on the boards of Community Resilience Organizations and Vermont Rail Action Network.

Mayor Miro Weinberger

Miro Weinberger has served the City of Burlington as mayor since March 2012 and, during his two terms as Mayor, has focused on enhancing quality of life for residents, fiscal stewardship of the City’s assets, innovation and economic development, addressing the City’s housing shortage, and 21st century policing. Under Mayor Weinberger’s leadership, the City has improved its financial status and has continued to be a hub for education, innovation, and the arts.


Highlights of his administration include the upgrade of the City’s credit rating by Moody’s Investors Service, which returned Burlington to an A credit rating, re-envisioning the City’s waterfront and making significant improvements to the Burlington Bike Path and other public infrastructure, passing multiple measures to increase downtown housing opportunities, and building the City’s senior management team with dynamic and effective leaders. The Mayor also announced a settlement agreement in the Burlington Telecom litigation in February 2014, putting the City on a path to resolving the financial troubles related to the municipally-owned telecommunications company which have plagued the City since 2009. Mayor Weinberger was reelected for a second three-year term with over 68% of the vote in March 2015.


Miro and his wife, Stacy Sherwat Weinberger, live in Burlington and are the proud parents of two daughters, Li Lin Bess Weinberger and Ada Champlain Weinberger.

Megan Nedzinski, AIA

Megan is a senior project manager at Maclay Architects. Megan considers emerging research, applied technology and the surrounding natural environment to deliver high performing projects. Her interests to analyze and communicate relative benefits of comparative design strategies are the focus of her work. Prior to joining MA, Megan’s passion for building science and analytics drove her West Virginia firm to elevate the mission of sustainability in a coal focused economy. Also during that time Megan taught courses at West Virginia University on Sustainable Construction and Forest Resource conservation. Megan is an Architect, LEED Accredited Professional and Certified Passive House Consultant. Megan also actively contributes to educational, organizational and community efforts through various roles and capacities, including currently as the President-elect of AIA-VT, Yestermorrow, Passive House Vermont and others.

Sam Beall

Sam graduated with a Masters of Architecture from the University of Virginia in 2009. He was selected as a 2008 Nix Fellow for researching Corbusier’s work in Marseille and Provence. Prior to his fellowship, Sam worked as a designer with Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects, Butler Armsden Architects, and Andrew Mann Architecture and volunteered with the Institute of Aging in San Francisco.

Ted Sheridan, AIA, ASA, LEED AP

Ted Sheridan AIA, ASA, CPHD, LEED AP, is a partner at Ryall Porter Sheridan Architects in New York. He earned his Bachelor of Environmental Studies and his Professional Architecture Degree at the University of Waterloo, in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Before entering the field of architecture, Mr. Sheridan worked in the sciences for the Atomic Energy Commission of Canada at the Deep River Nuclear Research Facility in Deep River, Ontario and Canadian Industries Limited in Toronto. Mr. Sheridan’s areas of expertise include high-performance, low energy building design and the science of architectural and musical acoustics. An instrument maker, and musician he has instructed courses on architectural acoustics and the physics of musical instruments at the Parsons School of Design in New York and has lectured on the subject at the University of Virginia, Ryerson University, the University of Toronto and New York University.

William Ryall, FAIA, LEED AP, PHIUS

William Ryall FAIA, LEED, PHIUS, attended Cornell University for his undergraduate architectural studies and received a Master of Architecture Degree from the University of Virginia, where he presently serves on the architecture school’s Advisory Board. The Board works to promote both the institution’s Minority Enrollment and Environmental Initiatives. Mr. Ryall has participated in numerous architectural juries and has taught Integrated Building Systems at the Rhode Island School of Design. Mr Ryall is Certified as a Passive House Consultant through the Passive House Institute US.


Keynote by Mayor Miro Weinberger



1 “Passive House Beyond Single Family – Meeting the 2030 Challenge”

Presenter: Ryall Porter Sheridan & Eco Houses of Vermont – William Ryall, Ted Sheridan, Sam Beall & Chris West

Along with the 2030 Challenge, numerous other ambitious Low-Energy/ Sustainable Design benchmark programs are cropping up in the United States. Vermont’s 90/2050 plan and New York’s 80×50, to name two, depend heavily on radical reductions in energy use by buildings. In all cases, these reductions will only be realized through a widespread adoption of the International Passive House Standard, or a similar performance based design methodology. This presentation will show, with actual project case studies, how Passive House design strategies and detailing can be applied to both commercial and residential projects to achieve reductions at the levels needed to meet these benchmark programs.

The 2030 Challenge seeks to bring our energy use in new construction down to zero by 2030. One possible path to meet this goal is very low load buildings like the Passive House Standard. In this session Sam and Chris will share information about past performance of recently completed Multifamily Housing Developments followed by a deep dive into the particulars of Elm Place. The project is a 25,000 square foot, 30 unit senior living facility under construction in Milton with 175 kBTU/hr heat load at -20F! Cathedral Square, under the guidance of Duncan Wisniewski Architects and Chris West of Eco Houses of Vermont, pioneered this project as the first certified PH in Vermont.


2 “Setting the Example: Turning Data Into Information and Information Into Insight for Enhanced Energy Performance”

Presenter: Maclay Architects – Megan Nedzinski

Businesswoman Carly Fiorina, is credited with coining the phrase “turn data into information and information into insight.” In our age of “big data” it’s easy to become overwhelmed or lost in the decimals with little insight on how to proceed. So how do we understand the energy data and realize actual progress on projects? How do we effectively communicate this progress in order to continue raising the bar across the field? Many companies and organizations work to do this through net-zero energy, Passive House, the 2030 Challenge, etc. The presenter will explain common energy metrics and provide an overview of key energy standards, sharing their similarities and subtle, but critical, differences. Key questions addressed are: “what’s an EUI?“; and “what’s our project energy target?”; and “how is our portfolio performing?” Participants will explore tools like Excel and the 2030 Challenge Direct Data Exchange (DDX) to effectively track energy data, set appropriate benchmarks and more fully understand and apply the appropriate targets and metrics to help move projects, and entire firm portfolios, towards achieving greater performance goals. Case studies will demonstrate how these tools lead to deeper project support, achievement of higher performance targets and even increased donor and fundraising support.


3 “How Montpelier Engaged the Community to Imagine a Net Zero Future”

Presenter: Net Zero Vermont – Dan Jones, Debra Sachs & Barbara Conrey

1. Project Goals

Illustrate a vision of a Net Zero future for the people of Montpelier.

Create a design competition using a systems approach.

Empowering the public as key players in sustainable development.

Produce implementable tools for Net Zero future city development.

Create a replicable model for other small communities.

2. Outline the Process

3. Outline the Public Engagement


Underwriter Sponsor

Curtis Lumber


Reception Sponsor

Crown Point Cabinetry


Keynote Sponsor

Charron Inc.


Gold Plus Sponsors

Efficiency Vermont
Huber Engineered Woods
Parksite/ Tyvek

Gold Sponsors

Benjamin Moore
Diamond Kote
EcoShield Windows
Engineering Ventures
GCP Applied Technologies
Loewen Window Center
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Acme Glass
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Seacoast Building Solutions
Shannon Corporation
Sika Sarnafill
Vermont Insulated Concrete Forms
Vermont Passive House
Vermont Verde Antique
Willco Sales + Service
Windows and Doors by Brownell
Yestermorrow Design Build School
York Flashings
Zehnder America