GreenCon 2017 | U.S. Green Building Council
Please upgrade your browser. This site requires a newer version to work correctly. Read more


Healthy Buildings → Healthy Communities

Better buildings happen when we innovate, collaborate and learn together. GreenCon 2017 is the flagship green building conference and expo in central Pennsylvania.

Stacy Glass, Vice President of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute in California, will be our keynote speaker. GreenCon will also feature 15 breakout sessions, a walking tour of sustainability initiatives at Millersville University, and a diverse expo hall with at least 25 exhibitors. Breakfast, lunch, and a cocktail reception are also included with your registration fee.

The deadline to register for GreenCon is close of business on Friday, March 10.

GreenCon 2017 has been approved for 17 hours of GBCI CEU's, as well as 13.75 HSW credits and 4 LU credits from AIA.

8-9 a.m.
Registration & breakfast in Expo Hall
9-10:45 a.m.
Welcome & keynote presentation by Stacy Glass, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute
11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Breakout Session 1
Education tracks: Connected Communities Focus on the Future Green Savings Healthy Materials Insights on Infrastructure
Ramboland —  A Local, Living Laboratory for Regenerative Development Navigating LEED v4 Certification for Speculative Industrial Development Donating Used Materials From Green Project Site Prep Walking the Progressive Path: A Guide to Healthier Building Materials Reusing Rainfall: Finding Practical Opportunities and Lessons Learned
12-2 p.m.
Lunch served in Expo Hall
12:45-1:45 p.m.
Walking Tour of Millersville University Sustainability Initiatives
2-3 p.m.
Breakout Session 2
Education tracks: Connected Communities Focus on the Future Green Savings Healthy Materials Insights on Infrastructure
University of Scranton Community Garden, Planning, Partnerships, Students and Surprises Prospering through Green Building in a Changing Environment Act 129 Update: Beyond the Bulb Net Positive Materials: The Future of Sustainability Parksmart
3-3:30 p.m.
Afternoon coffee break
3:30-4:30 p.m.
Breakout Session 3
Education tracks: Connected Communities Focus on the Future Green Savings Healthy Materials Insights on Infrastructure
Living Community Challege Journey to Net Zero Energy: Case Study on Designing Millersville University's New Welcome Center Industrial Goes Back to School — Commissioing Two Industrial Buildings Converted to College Use Navigating the Material Health Landscape for Designing Healthy Buildings Building Green into Complete Streets
4:30-6 p.m.
Cocktail reception in Expo Hall
5-5:30 p.m.
Expo Hall Talk: Healthy Schools = Healthy Kids

Session descriptions

Ramboland — A Local Living Laboratory for Regenerative Development
Presenter: Max Zahniser / Location: McComsey 203

In this session, the presenter will share the story of a local project that has attracted the support of national and international experts, universities and organizations, and which promises to prove that social equity and green building are not at odds, but in fact very complimentary —  that our built-environment need not function as a hindrance to both Nature and all our citizens who rely on wheel-chairs or other a-typical physical situations; that community scale energy, water, and food systems allow for efficiencies and economies of scale that are necessary to achieve the level of independence and resilience we need as a society moving forward.

Although just a small project in the heart of a low-income neighborhood in downtown Lancaster, after several years a diverse and elite team has designed a project that will produce a four-fold surplus of clean energy and water from the sun and rain.

Occupying the core of its urban block, the project will share those surpluses with surrounding neighbors via a recovering and food-producing ecosystem that will span property lines - as well as an integrated energy and water smart-grid/micro-grid that will supplement city services for critical functions for neighbors. From the initial vision of Ron Rambo, the project’s namesake and its future occupant, through stories of shared visioning, goal setting, public-private collaboration, and community engagement, the lessons of this project are already many, and we’re just getting started.

Navigating LEED v4 Certification for Speculative Industrial Development
Presenters: Justin Fanslau and Brian Alessi / Location: McComsey 133

Learn how one of the largest Real Estate Investment Trusts in the country, Liberty Property Trust, took on the leadership role of seeking LEED certification for a 800,000-square-foot speculative industrial building using the LEED Version 4 for Core & Shell Development Rating System while piloting the new warehouse and distribution center adaption for this specific building type in the LEED Version 4 Beta Program.

Developed by one of the nation’s most progressive real estate developers in regards to sustainability, Liberty Property Trust delivered 10 Emery Street with the overarching goal of the project being used as a model for sustainable industrial development. The path to achieving this cutting edge sustainability commitment in the industrial market sector will be explored by a panel of team members including the building owner, energy modeler and overall sustainability leader of the project. Liberty Property Trust began the journey by taking the leadership position in 2013 of applying to be part of the exclusive LEED v4 Beta Program, one of only a handful of industrial projects around the world to take the bold step to pursue LEED certification under the new LEED version 4 for Core & Shell Development Rating System utilizing the industrial adaption.

Attendees will learn the strategies that aided in the project’s sustainability success ranging from site stormwater management to building materials and mechanical systems that all contributed to the pursuit of LEED Gold level certification (currently pending final award anticipated to be awarded Q1 of 2017). The presentation will highlight the areas of LEED v4 that presented challenges for the industrial building sector and areas that were significantly more rigorous than the previous LEED version 2009 Rating System. The panel will discuss how these challenges were overcome and innovative approaches to mitigating them. The audience will have the ability to interact with the panel following a brief presentation to frame the project’s path to LEED v4 certification with the goal of developing a stimulating dialogue between the panel and audience.

Donating Used Materials From Green Project Site Prep
Presenter: Patrick Smith / Location: McComsey 202

Site preparation for projects that employ LEED, passive, net zero, regenerative, resilient, and other green design concepts often include the partial or complete deconstruction of existing structures as a critical first step. Repurposing materials during site prep is consistent with and furthers green objectives. Partial deconstruction of buildings that are being gutted and renovated to update them to green standards provides opportunities for donating used building materials, diverting a significant amount of material away from landfills and into reuse.

Increasing amounts of used building material are flowing to both internationally recognized charities such as Habitat for Humanity and a number of smaller regional nonprofits that specialize in retailing used materials and providing deconstruction training. Some salvaged materials are also finding a second life as construction material in new projects.

Overall, an increasing number of building projects are benefiting from more options for expanding their recycling strategies, as well as improved access to salvaged and recycled construction materials. Securing tax savings by donating materials has the added benefit of shortening the projected time period for recouping investments in some green projects. As investment decisions are made and budgets are composed, these tax savings are considered in addition to the other benefits of green building.

Collaborating with donation experts allows green remodelers, designers, and construction firms as well as the property owners to obtain an early and reliable understanding of the potential value and specific content of a donation. Donation expertise can also be leveraged to help coordinate the disassembly/deconstruction, transportation, documentation and record-keeping for the inventory of donated materials.

Tax savings from well-documented donations are expanding the size and scope of projects and providing additional incentives to building owner to ‘go green’ by improving the returns on their investment.

Patrick Smith, founder and CEO of NoVaStar Appraisal, Inc., applies his unparalleled expertise to appraising and facilitating the donation of used building materials, as well as serving as a retained consultant. In this engaging presentation, Patrick will share best practices for working with appraisal firms to decrease the environmental impact of real estate projects as well as how to secure tax benefits from donations during green construction.

Walking the Progressive Path: A Guide to Healthier Building Materials
Presenter: John Boecker, Tim Conway / Location: McComsey 204

How can we design with intent for the future and create healthier outcomes for our population and our planet? This CEU will help the audience answer this question by explaining what this means, why this is important, and how we all can become a catalyst of positive change.

It will show how LEED v4 is driving this change and moving from the single attribute of recycled content measurement into the certifications like EPD, HPD, C2C, and Declare. I will explain what these certifications/declarations are and how they empower the design community to create massive market change. We will show market examples of how end use clients and design leaders (Google, Kaiser Permanente, HKS, Perkins & Will) have used these tools to deliver different project conversations with positive results.

To close we will cover the market tool called Mindful Materials which has become an industry tool that is helping the A&D community simplify the learning curve of LEED v4 and the shift to material health.

Reusing Rainfall: Finding Practical Opportunities and Lessons Learned
Presenters: Michele Adams and Marc Henderson / Location: McComsey 303

The mid-Atlantic is a water rich region, and so there is often little consideration of reusing rainwater to meet our water needs. But as the EPA notes “the use of water and the use of energy are intricately intertwined. The extraction, treatment, distribution, and use of water followed by the collection and treatment of wastewater require a lot of energy."

At the same time, we face increasing challenges to reduce the volumes of stormwater runoff and pollutants that are eroding our streams and waterways. Designing within our water budget and footprint sounds like the answer, but learning how to do this has many challenges. This presentation will focus on opportunities for water reuse and lessons learned through several case studies featuring different types of reuse projects.

We will begin by discussing water “budgets” that consider all aspects of water: rainfall, potable water, irrigation needs, cooling and wash water, and grey and black wastewater. We will touch on the current regulatory and policy issues that can challenge water reuse, as well as potential solutions, and we will discuss the opportunities for reducing stormwater runoff by capturing rainfall.

We will talk about developing simple estimates of water needs for a project, and opportunities appropriate to different types of projects. We will engage participants in several exercises related to identifying and quantifying these opportunities. We will also discuss practical design considerations and longterm maintenance and cost issues.

Projects to be discussed include:

  1. The award-winning KidZooU at the Philadelphia Zoo, which uses captured roof runoff from historic buildings to flush the toilets in two new restroom facilities.
  2. Stroud Water Research Center, which uses captured rainwater to support aquatic experiments and research, and includes a wetland wastewater treatment system to maintain their “water balance."
  3. Shoemaker Green at the University of Pennsylvania, a SITES Pilot Project that uses rainwater for lawn irrigation needs.
  4. Septa Frontier Bus Maintenance Facility, which will begin saving over 1 million gallons a year in 2017 by washing buses with captured rainwater.
  5. The design challenges of meeting the Living Building Water Petal at the Pendle Hill LBC demonstration project.

University of Scranton Community Garden, Planning, Partnerships, Students and Surprises
Presenter: Mark Murphy / Location: McComsey 203

Attendees will enjoy a conversation on the University of Scranton's journey to plan and establish a Community Garden. One of the Sustainability Office's goals is to raise awareness to sustainable practices and as a campus we already have programs for recycling, car share, bike share, energy saving, water saving, and more.

However for our campus to be a true leader in sustainability, we felt the miracle, the magic of growing food needed to be part of what we teach. The garden has been an opportunity for students, faculty, staff, neighbors, and the local community to teach and learn by doing and by example. We have involved local businesses, a hospital, Penn State Outreach Extension, Lackawanna County Sustainability Office, Leahy Center Clinic, University of Success program, and ARAMark in this project.

Six hundred pounds of food was produced by the garden and donated to an on campus medical clinic for uninsured people where the food was made available to the patients. Surprises of the project will be presented. Some of those surprises include growing six hundred pounds of food, the innocent excitement of our student workers, the joy, the challenges and more. As one of our students stated before we started the garden, "to be truly sustainable the university has to grow things." And we agree.

Prospering through Green Building in a Changing Environment
Presenter: Stuart Kaplow / Location: McComsey 204

This will be a fast paced and fun PechaKucha ‘style’ presentation format with slides auto advancing (and topics changing) every 30 seconds. Substantively, the new U.S. administration and other recent political changes portends huge business opportunities for green building.

As the executive and legislative branches look to arrest existing environmental and energy policies while driving up growth and lowering taxes, enabling voluntary green building is positioned to be part of the new agenda. That view is consistent with many who believe that a voluntary, non-mandatory approach to environmental protection is the best hope for stewardship of our planet. And that is the same belief that has led to the broad brand and wide market share acceptance of LEED.

Many believe that burdening business and land owners with yet more government mandates is wrong and is not efficacious. The lack of the International Green Construction Code to be enacted suggests a mandatory green building code that goes far beyond life safety is going too far. Mandatory green codes and energy standards touted by the current Administration when Congress would not enact hyperbolic responses to climate change at the risk of changing our way of life, will not be popular with new thought leaders in a Washington DC. Additionally, attempting to mandate that a private land owner must build a LEED or Green Globes certified structure misuses the voluntary rating systems.

The new order will look for environmental and energy policies that will be no cost to government and not burden business, including government policies that allow and incentivize sustainability and green building (including the resultant reduced electricity use, savings in potable water, less solid waste, eliminating toxics, and more). We will consider how LEED v4, IgCC, ASHRAE 189.1, Passive House, WELL, PEER, SITES, GRESB, and the rest of the alphabet soup of green building can be part of the solution. But not only is green building a solution for many of the environmental impacts arising from human activity, from an economic perspective it is clear that green building is profitable. There is nothing wrong with making a profit while saving the planet. Green building policies that promote innovation and create an environment rich for investment in real estate can save both mankind and our current way of life; and we all can get wealthy from building green.

Act 129 Update: Beyond the Bulb
Presenters: Jeannie Sikora and Bud Fogleman / Location: McComsey 202

Has your company recently completed a lighting upgrade and now you believe your building is energy efficient? Not so fast. Let’s think outside the bulb here to make sure you are not leaving a variety of other energy efficiency opportunities on the table. Pennsylvania’s Act 129 provides rebates for a variety of electric energy saving projects for all non-residential entities — commercial, industrial, hospitals, agriculture, schools and universities.

Incorporating Act 129 rebates into your capital project budgets helps to reduce initial capital outlays and improves your project ROI, while lowering your monthly energy costs, reducing carbon footprint, and improving productivity and working conditions for your employees. In this session you will gain a solid understanding of the Act 129 Program, project types eligible for rebates, rebate levels, and the process for submission and evaluation.

We will provide examples other than lighting that deliver energy efficiency opportunities and that are eligible for rebates through Act 129. There are a variety of avenues to participate in the program in an ongoing basis. PPL has expanded its offerings to include point of sale, discounts, available at distributors; for the often budget-constrained smaller commercial entity, the Direct Discount Program, provides even great rebates – up to 80 percent of the total project costs in some cases, depending on energy savings.

Lastly, we will share examples of new energy efficiency technologies gaining wide-spread adoption in many different building types. These technologies range from Smart LED systems to manufacturing process improvements. Yes, lighting is a great starting place for energy efficiency but it is not the only stop on the energy efficiency journey. Attend this session to learn about how to expand your company’s or client’s energy efficiency horizon.

Net Positive Materials: The Future of Sustainability
Presenters: Jon Strassner, Michael Pavelsky and Chloe Bendistis / Location: McComsey 133

Raising the bar in sustainable design requires collaboration among designers, manufacturers and end-users. This presentation will examine the latest advancements in sustainable materials, including regenerative design, material transparency, and biomimicry, using the Living Product Challenge as a guide.

Newly released in 2015, the Living Product Challenge is a complement to the Living Building Challenge. The intent of the program is to reimagine the design and construction of products to function as elegantly and efficiently as anything found in the natural world. One of the early adopters of the Living Product Challenge was Humanscale, the first manufacturer to achieve full certification for their Float Table and Smart Chair; the first of any industry.

Humanscale is the premier designer and manufacturer of ergonomic products that improve health and comfort at work. Their award-winning office solutions – including self-adjusting seating, sit/stand desks, monitor arms and task lighting – inspire movement and support the user in their every posture.

Humanscale developed a robust Corporate Social Responsibility program, using the Living Product Challenge as a tool to measure success. The challenge calls on manufacturers and suppliers to create products using processes powered only by renewable energy and within the water balance of the places they are made. To meet this goal, Humanscale retrofitted their existing manufacturing facility with a 775.5 kW photovoltaic array. Also, Humanscale is committed to leading the way in developing rich and thorough Health Product Declarations (HPDs) for every one of their products. Humanscale is working with suppliers at all levels and is participating in the ongoing development of the HPD standard. Lastly, the challenge draws on the ideas of biophilia and biomimicry.

Both the Float Table and Smart Chair were designed to encourage people to move as their body naturally requires, such as changing body posture throughout the day. Humanscale is committed to informing customers about the design and manufacture of their products, so they can make the best decisions possible. Attendees will learn how these advancements in sustainable materials can be applied to the Living Building Challenge and LEED BD+C v4.

Presenter: Cindy Malinchak / Location: McComsey 303

Transportation in the U.S. now emits more greenhouse gases than power plants. Parking is one of the largest land uses in cities. Parksmart defines and recognizes sustainable practices in parking structure management, programming, design and technology.

Industry-driven and field tested, Parksmart distinguishes the forward-thinking parking facilities shaping tomorrow’s sustainable mobility network. This presentation will introduce you to the basics of Parksmart, including the primary goals of the program, certification levels, fees, and process. It will be given by a Parksmart Advisor, who is well-versed in implementing strategies designed to reduce the energy and environmental footprint of parking facilities.

Living Community College
Presenter: Marcus Sheffer / Location: McComsey 133

he Living Building Challenge is a certification program, advocacy tool and philosophy defining the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment today. As a certification program, it addresses all buildings, at all scales and is an inclusive tool for transformative design.

Whether the project is a single building, a park, a college campus or even a complete neighborhood community, the Living Building Challenge provides a framework for design, construction and the symbiotic relationship between people and all aspects of the built environment. In the Living Community Challenge, the imperatives of the Living Building Challenge have been scaled and adapted to the community scale. This presentation will review the system as a whole, highlighting early adopters of this latest program from the International Living Future Institute.

Journey to Net Zero Energy: Case Study on Designing Millersville University's New Welcome Center
Presenters: Shannon Kaplan and Chris Steuer / Location: McComsey 204

Over the past few years focus has begun to shift to deeper green buildings. Net zero energy buildings emerged as part of this new focus as these are buildings that demonstrate annually that they meet their green goal. Yet getting to Zero is challenging, requiring focus and commitment from design through occupancy.

This session will look at what it means to design for net zero energy from both the design team and owner sides. The session will provide examples of strategies and touch decision points using the new Lombardo Welcome Center at Millersville University as a case study. This project is just starting construction adjacent to the conference location and is targeting net zero energy.

Industrial Goes Back to School — Commissioing Two Industrial Buildings Converted to College Use
Presenter: Edward Ritter / Location: McComsey 203

Current construction codes require compliance to the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC); building commissioning is not required. Both the 2012 and 2015 versions of the IECC will require building commissioning for most buildings over 15,000 square feet once either is adopted by the Commonwealth. It is not clear when an updated IECC will be adopted by the Commonwealth.

This presentation outlines the commissioning findings for the HVAC systems installed in two existing commercial and industrial buildings renovated to administrative and educational use by the Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences.

The following items were identified and corrected that improved indoor air quality, improved thermal comfort of occupants and reduced operating costs:

  • Repaired failed fire dampers that restricted air flow and increased fan horsepower while delivering insufficient air to support HVAC requirements;
  • Implemented hot water boiler reset schedules to eliminate overheating of the mechanical room and improve boiler efficiency;
  • Replaced failed variable speed DX air conditioning compressors under warranty;
  • Operated exhaust fans and rooftop outdoor air dampers properly to ventilate the facility;
  • Utilized economizer operation to reduce air conditioning costs;
  • Relocated zone temperature sensors from unoccupied storage rooms to entrance lobby to improve occupant comfort in this high-visibility area; and
  • Adjusted occupied zone temperature setpoints to align occupant comfort with operating costs.

The team concluded that the costs of commissioning were fully covered by the operating savings accrued. It was beneficial to the College to go beyond compliance to the current, but outdated, 2009 IECC.

Navigating the Material Health Landscape for Designing Healthy Buildings
Presenters: Kendra Martz and Howard Williams / Location: McComsey 202

This sessions will provide an overview of the foundations of sustainability and material health for the purpose of identifying contextual solutions and strategies essential for designing healthy buildings.

Participants will examine the diversity of environmental product labels, certifications, and declarations, by means of a gap analysis and harmonization study. Learn what makes different disclosure tools, levels, and types of certifications ideal.

With so many certifications on the market, it shouldn’t be a battle for the best label, but rather a battle for the best products. Participants will learn how different labels and declarations can help them design for healthy buildings.

Building Green into Complete Streets
Presenters: Karl Graybill and Douglas Smith / Location: McComsey 303

Although the primary purpose for reconstructing city streets is to extend the street’s functional life and reduce maintenance costs, the City of Lancaster has broadened its approach to provide more livable, sustainable neighborhoods for City residents.

For roadways identified for resurfacing or reconstruction from the City’s 10-year Pavement Management Plan (PMP), the Department of Public Works also looks for opportunities to integrate green infrastructure, traffic calming, and pedestrian and bicycling amenities. The City of Lancaster was laid out in 1730 and incorporated as a City in 1818. The City’s population is almost 60,000, mostly within a four square mile area primarily built in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The City has 27 miles of major roadways (arterials and collectors), over 71 miles of residential roadways, and over 3 miles of alleys encompassing over 16.5 million square feet of asphalt and concrete surface. Streets are relatively narrow with cartway widths rarely wider than 42 feet, parking is always at a premium so removing parking is a tough sell, and pedestrian and bicyclists are ever-present.

Lancaster also has a combined sewer system that occasionally dumps untreated wastewater into the Conestoga River during intense rainstorms, much of the runoff generated from impervious surfaces including buildings, streets, alleys, and parking lots. Roadways comprise approximately 25 percent of the total impervious area in the City based on GIS.

In 2011, the City prepared a Green Infrastructure Plan which serves as a road map for stormwater management and seeks to provide a more livable, sustainable and economically viable City. Green street development was highlighted as an important recommendation, and long term, the City seeks to implement 48 blocks of local and collector streets to manage 159 acres of impervious area to achieve the plan goals.

This presentation will show how Lancaster is addressing the antiquated nature of its infrastructure in a sustainable, cost effective way. This integrated approach involves public participation and technical analysis to improve the health, safety and welfare of community while also maintaining a vibrant urban environment.

Additionally, the presentation will cover several case studies of green streets projects in Lancaster City that integrate green infrastructure, traffic calming, and pedestrian improvements including: an intersection safety improvement project which resulted in a five mile per hour reduction in traffic speed; conversion of a one-way street to two-way traffic without the loss of any on-street parking; a new connector link that reestablishes vehicle access to a major east-west corridor; and a suburban street reconstruction that directly benefits a small stream.

Show your support for green building.

Sponsoring and exhibiting at GreenCon is the ideal way to gain exposure to our 200-300 attendees. If you're interested in becoming a sponsor or exhibitor, please review the sponsor & exhibitor prospectus and email Heidi Kunka by Friday, Feb. 24.

Keynote sponsor: Shaw Contract


Silver sponsor: Armstrong, Bachman's Roofing, Building, & Remodeling, Inc., Mohawk Group, NRG, SolarCity & Steven Winter Associates

armstrong bachman mohawk group org solar-city steven winter associates