The Built Environment Plus Community & You in 2020


Our Mission & Vision

We drive sustainable and regenerative design, construction, and operation of the built environment!

We envision a thriving and diverse community, creating a built environment of net positive systems of water and energy, of financial and social equity, and of ecological and human health.

Executive Summary

We hope that in the future we will all see 2020 as a significant year because it accelerated positive change, and that we also reflect and respect deeply the price paid for it. With all that happened this past year, we continued our mission and found increased motivation to do the work needed ahead. Massachusetts fell one spot to become the second most energy efficient state, while also regaining the title for the number one state for LEED projects. The Commonwealth showed continued financial investment in transitioning the built environment from fossil fuel based to electric systems, and to renewable energy sources. Increased awareness of Health & Wellness came with COVID-19, and this community celebrated a big advocacy win with the passing of the toxic flame retardant ban.

While LEED Certifications, WELL Certifications, and Living Building Challenge registrations were down again this year, PHIUS+ Certifications remained steady. WELL brought us a bit of a shock with +19 Million Sq Ft in new registration added just this year, and appears to be a result of the Health & Safety Rating System. For LEED in 2020, though we saw a decrease in total projects, we see an increase of projects achieving Platinum Certification, with percentages dropping in Silver and Certified compared to last year. We are continuing to track that year over year more projects are hitting higher benchmarks! 

With the transition to remote work, our events transitioned also. As our events mirror what is needed in the community, we held three events in response to the pandemic: How Sustainable Are Covid-19 Mitigation Strategies for Buildings?, Boost Organization Resilience: People, Processes, Places Thriving in a Time of Crisis, and Managing Change in Crisis. These were together the highest attended events of the year. We also held virtually our rescheduled Women in Green event from 2019 and the Building Tech Forum. The Green Building Showcase was missed this year, and cannot wait for its return this Fall. 

Our educational efforts continued strong as well. Living Building Challenge was the rating system of most interest having the most tickets sold, though LEED took the top with most people hours per system. Our Workforce Training Grants and Green Building Training Program were incredibly valuable to everyone this year, especially when it came to funding our mission. Three Workforce Training Grants were funded and BE+ was awarded an additional $150,000 to provide training with the Commonwealth’s Small Business Direct Access Program.

Our Emerging Professionals of Massachusetts Committee, Zero Net Energy Coalition, and Health & Wellness Committee, continued to bring people together remotely and fostered leadership within and on behalf of this community.

It has been an honor serving as Executive Director this past year.

Meredith Elbaum AIA, LEED AP

Built Environment Plus Executive Director



#1 State for LEED Projects in 2020

Massachusetts Ranked the 2nd Most Energy-Efficient State by ACEEE

VICTORY! Massachusetts Flame Retardants Ban Signed Into Law

MassCEC’s clean energy programs and investments have awarded over $360M and attracted over $2B in private and federal capital

Baker-Polito Administration Releases Roadmap to Achieve Net Zero Emissions by 2050, and the 2030 Clean Energy & Climate Action Plan

National Grid and Eversource’s Massachusetts electric operations tied for first place on the ACEEE scorecard


Boston Ranked the 2nd Most Energy-Efficient City by ACEEE

Somerville City Council, Administration Pass City's First Zoning Overhaul in 30 Years

Brookline moved to ban oil and gas pipes in new buildings, Massachusetts’s Attorney General Maura Healey says they currently cannot under state law

Boston's Mayor Proposes New Renewable Energy Financing Mechanism

Baker-Polito Administration Awards $11.1 Million in Climate Change Funding to Cities and Towns

UMass Lowell, Stony Brook receive $7.4 million grant to research energy storage


Employees at the Akamai Global Headquarters in Cambridge were still able to experience the largest designed WELL building in the northeast before the Pandemic hit

Thornton Tomasetti, SGA, AHA Engineers, & Commodore Builders Achieve First Passive House Residence Hall Certification in Massachusetts, Largest in New England

Somerville Approves Clarendon Hill Affordable Housing Development LEED Platinum, 100% Electric

MassHousing Provides $36M Construction Loan for Boston Passive House Affordable Housing Project

$13M in Funds for Clean Energy Projects Across Massachusetts



People Hours of Interaction

Tickets Sold in Total

Chapter Members


Chapter Sponsors

Building Tours

Chapter Events

Unique Attendees


People Hours of Interaction

Tickets Sold in Total

Chapter Members


Chapter Sponsors

Building Tours

Chapter Events

Unique Attendees


People Hours of Interaction

Tickets Sold in Total

Chapter Members


Chapter Sponsors

Building Tours

Chapter Events

Unique Attendees


2020 LEED Certifications

2019 LEED Certifications

2018 LEED Certifications

2020 Well Certifications

2020 PHIUS+ Certifications

2020 LBC Registrations

2019 Well Certifications

2019 PHIUS+ Certifications

2019 LBC Registrations

2018 Well Certifications

2018 PHIUS+ Certifications

2018 LBC Registrations



Virtual Building Tech Forum 2020: Roadmap to 2050

This event was the first of a series of “Tech Forums,” each featuring a different theme and lineup of expert speakers. A new session will be scheduled every couple of months and will feature 10-15 speakers. Unlike prior Building Tech Forums, this new iteration featured an online web forum that hosted discussions and recordings of the sessions. This forum served as a place for folks to make connections and keep up-to-date with major innovations in the industry.

Governor Baker has increased the Commonwealth’s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050. In order to achieve this, Massachusetts is developing a roadmap to reduce emissions by 80 – 100%. At the same time, the BBRS is drafting a Net Zero Stretch Code. The City of Boston is developing performance standards for existing residential and commercial buildings, Brookline residents voted in favor of a natural gas ban, and the City of Somerville just passed carbon-neutral zoning. The landscape is changing quickly, the building Tech Forum provides the context for how we get there.

How we manage and consume energy, design, and build our cities, and understand our carbon footprint will change over the next thirty years.

At Building Tech Forum 2020: roadmap to ’50, through five-minute lightning presentations, experts spoke about innovations that are changing the way we design, construct and operate the built environment.

Tickets Sold


Superior Essex | “IoT (Internet of Things) and Building Technology”
Randy Butler, RCDD , LEED Green Associate, Client Advisor, Demand Creation Team

The Green Engineer, Inc. “Three Trends Changing the Way We Build”
Chris Schaffner, PE, LEED Fellow, WELL AP Founder and CEO, Owner presenting 

WSP Built Ecology |“Zero Carbon Building Assessment: Designing for Carbon Neutrality in Boston”
Joelle Jahn, NCIDQ, CPHC, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, Fitwel Ambassador, Senior Sustainability Consultant

BR+A |“Carbon Neutral and Cash Flow Positive Buildings”
Jacob Knowles, Associate Principal, Director of Sustainable Design

MassCEC |“Triple Decker Design Challenge”
Beverly Craig, Senior Program Manager, Low & Moderate Income Programs

“Clean Energy Lives Here”
Jacqueline Guyol, Program Administrator on the Clean Heating & Cooling team

DCAMM |“Stewarding the State’s Buildings – Climate Action and What DCAMM Needs from Designers”
Elizabeth Minnis, Deputy Commissioner, Planning

BuildingGreen |Products for a Changing Environment
Brent Ehrlich, Products and Materials Specialist

Sasaki |“Edge Assembly Square: Solar Mapping and Facade Design”
Tamar Warburg, Director of Sustainability

enVerid Systems |“COVID-19 and Beyond: Energy Efficient Building Design and Operation for Mitigating Risk of Infection”
Anurag Goel, Director of Application Engineering 

Excel Dryer |“XLERATOR® Hand Dryers: Helping Commercial Facilities Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions to Net Zero”
Paul Marquez, Head of Architectural Specifications 

Daikin |“Heat Pump Performance and Electrifying Efficiently”
Dan Smith, North America’s Commercial Sales Manager

How Sustainable Are COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies for Buildings?

Over eight weeks of early Tuesday morning conversations, industry experts presented an overview of a specific COVID-19 mitigation topic, through a sustainability lens. The conversations with attendees that followed addressed issues like what building owners are asking for, which solutions are proving most effective, and how these strategies measure up against various sustainability imperatives. In addition to the priority of human health through reduced viral transmission, we discussed the long-term impacts on health (like ozone and UV exposure), the environment (like GHG emissions from increased energy use), and the economy (capital as well as operational cost).

Optimally, building industry professionals in practice look holistically at all aspects of impact when making decisions. So to close the conversation series, we brought back all of our industry expert presenters for a final 90-minute discussion. Dr. Allen began the session with an introductory 15-minute presentation to set the stage for over an hour of discussion with the previous presenters and the building engineering and design community at large. Please join us as we debate the merits of various COVID-19 mitigation strategies, their sustainability impacts, and suggestions for moving forward addressing health and sustainability in the built environment. impacts, and suggestions for moving forward.

Tickets Sold

This Panel Featured..

Air Filtration: John Swift, Principal, Buro Happold Engineering

Fresh Air: Patrick Murphy, Director of Sustainable Design, Vanderweil Engineers

Humidity Control: Nora McCawley, Mechanical Engineer, Buro Happold Engineering

Pressurization: Paul Tsang, Director of Engineering, Jacobs

UV Light: Eric Edman, Senior Associate, BR+A Consulting Engineers

Air Monitoring: Kathleen Hetrick, Sr. Sustainability Engineer, Buro Happold Engineering

Antimicrobials: Monica Nakielski, Dir., Sustainability and Enviro. Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Cleaning Practices:  Tim Conway, Vice President Sustainability, Shaw Industries


Boost Org Resilience: People, Processes, Places Thriving in Times of Crisis

We are now seeing how critical organizational resilience is and how unprepared we are to deal with the human side of a crisis – from business continuity to psychological health. This webinar addressed the three pillars of resilience: People, processes, places, with a focus on the people and people-related processes. 

The webinar provided answers for the following questions:

  • What are the psychological principles that should guide engaging with employees throughout the process of dealing with crisis?
  • How can a “single point of failure” be avoided?
  • Which of our business processes are vulnerable to disruption?
  • How do we avoid burnout and employee turnover?


Tickets Sold

Presenter: Dr. Guy Sapirstein, Resilience Consulting

With a PhD in Clinical Psychology, Guy has been on the cutting edge of applied social science for the past 20 years. Following the events of September 11, 2001 he began collaborating on the development of models for enhancing resilience through individual, community and organizational preparedness and response.

Currently he splits his time between coaching clients on personal and organizational resilience, helping leaders implement strategies for resilience in their organizations, and providing resilience focused psychotherapy for individuals and couples.


Managing Change in Crisis

Managing change is a constant in business, but in these times, we are faced with more and faster changes with no way to predict what will happen from day to day.

Pervasive uncertainty kills productivity and morale.

Successful change management results from a combination of effective leadership, clear and targeted communication, team building, emotional intelligence and appropriate levels of transparency.

Leaders need to create for employees as much safety and predictability as they can, as well as some level of perceived control in their lives.

The practical tools and approaches shared in this webinar are useful all the time, and especially valuable during this pandemic and attendees left with immediately applicable strategies.

Tickets Sold

Presenter: Barbra Batshalom, Sustainable Performance Institute

Barbra has been a leader in the green building movement since 1998 when she left 12 years of traditional architecture practice to found The Green Roundtable (GRT) a nonprofit whose mission was making green building mainstream. GRT was the USGBC’s Affiliate in MA for 9 years and supported the growth of the LEED program. 

Sustainable Performance Institute (SPI), originally a program of GRT, focuses on high-level interventions to institutionalize sustainability at the organizational level in processes, systems and policies nationally, working with companies to implement change management strategies and achieve measurable improvements in performance and profitability across their portfolios. 

Tickets Sold


Our second annual Women in Green event was postponed in 2019 due to weather, and was rescheduled in early 2020. In response to COVID-19, we revised this panel for an online setting.

At Women in Green: Culture of Courage we shared examples of when we’ve been courageous and heard from a panel of women as they discuss their own journeys and the need to be fearless.

Carol Gladstone

Commissioner, DCAMM

Laura Keenan

Corporate Sustainability Officer / Vice President, Communications and Change Management, Fidelity

Kimberly Lewis

Senior Vice President, Market Transformation and Development, USGBC

Penni McLean-Connor

Chief Customer Officer and Senior VP of Customer Group, Eversource Energy and ACEEE Chair




Tickets Sold

Leading Through Adversity

At Women in Green: Leading Through Adversity we shared how each of us is adapting our leadership strategies during the pandemic and find inspiration through the example of some of our community members.

Women are driving the sustainability of the built environment. We are tasked with the most important mission of all: healing the earth. This event was for professionals to network and connect with leaders in the field, promote women’s leadership across the environmental and built environment industry, and to channel our efforts to build a better world where both genders have equal access.



From 1 Hour, 8 Hours, to Multi-day.

This year we have continued our work bringing education in the form of trainings and resources to our community of emerging professionals and our more established members. Rating system introductions and prep courses showed to be popular, but our greatest growth was with our engagement with Living Building Challenge. We continued two foundational programs this year: our Green Building Leadership Institute for emerging professionals, and our Workforce Training Grant Coalition to connect the current and emerging workforce to knowledge that empowers. We hosted the majority of trainings and events virtually.


This year was our best year yet in our efforts to bring critical knowledge and skills to the green building workforce. Three training grants were funded in 2020 and we were awarded an additional $150,000 to support our Green Building Training Program offerings.

703 Individuals have taken advantage of the program to date, with 193 instruction hours completed.

In this new year, our efforts are increasing, and we are so excited by the enthusiasm of offices in bringing training to a large group of employees, if not the entire company! Check out the links below to learn more and see how you can take advantage of this win-win-win opportunity for everyone.

“The Workforce Training Grant has supported Payette staff in learning new tools and skills that enables us to continue to push our designs in order to create better buildings.”
Andrea Love

Principal and Director of Building Science, Payette

“Utilizing the Green Building Training Program for a series of whole office engagements around design excellence was a great boon to Goody Clancy because direct costs were completely covered.  The workshops, led by Barbra Batshalom of the Sustainable Preservation Institute, were a major step forward in ensuring that all members of the firm, including marketing, accounting, and support, understand the values and goals of our sustainability/design excellence framework plan.”
Lori Ferriss

Director of Sustainability and Climate Action, Goody Clancy


In 2018 we launched the Green Building Leadership Institute (GBLI) and its program the Emerging Professionals Certificate Program (EPCP). This program is for emerging professionals and students looking to advance their sustainable building knowledge, leadership skills, community engagement and professional brand to the next level.

In 2019 we added Seven new participants, two male and five females. Our inaugural participants were still in session and they have up to 18 months to finish the program.

In 2020 we had our first graduate, Bethany Robertson! 11 others are expected to complete by the end of 2021. We added 2 new participants, and are actively crafting an updated version of this program! Look out for that annoucement this year.

Participants track progress through a point-based system with points accrued in 4 categories.

  • Accreditations/Certifications (20 Points)
  • Chapter Involvement and Community Involvement (30 Points)
  • Leadership Skill Development (20 Points)
  • Community Service (30 Points)



The Emerging Professionals of Massachusetts (EPMA) Committee is a community of ascending professionals across the green building industry and allied fields providing professional support, development and advocacy tools through active networking, monthly programming and community events.

The EPMA is proud to sponsor the BE+ Green Building Leadership Institute (GBLI), an 18 month program to advance leadership skills, build credibility and deepen network connections in the green building community.

Total Attendees - Breakdown Below

This years events


Committee Leadership

Co-Chairs – Lindsey Machamer & Jasmine Abdollahi

Treasurer/Secretary – Jasmine Abdollahi

Outreach Chair/Student Liaison – Andrew Breiter-Wu

Communications Manager – Alex Testa

Social Media Manager – Kavita Karmarkar

Events Manager – Nathan Kingery-Gallagher




Notes of the efforts this year…leading up to the climate bill… go to our Road to Net Zero page to see whats been happening since…

Buildings + Energy Roundtable: Defining Our Vision

In January 2020 we held a working session to develop consensus around what we believe are the core concepts that should be included in the Net Zero Stretch Code. This drafted proposal could become the standard that which other proposals are compared to.

We reviewed precedent net zero codes and standards, gathered input from municipal stakeholders, and outlined what we believe are the core elements that should be included in the Net Zero Stretch Code. This was not be a “code language” crafting event. We focused on big picture core concepts.

Energy Zero Code V1

In May 2020 we the Energy Zero Code V1 was submitted.

Energy Zero Code V2

In November 2020 the Energy Zero Code V2 was submitted

The MA E-Z Code offers an alternative compliance path for building energy efficiency and an update to the existing stretch code. The alternative compliance path is a prescriptive path, which may be selected for new buildings, instead of the performance (energy model) path. The prescriptive path has been named the “Energy Zero (E-Z)” path because it enhances building energy efficiency, is simpler to apply, and supports a more streamlined regulatory review for compliance.

In addition to offering a prescriptive compliance path, the MA E-Z Code addresses the electrification of buildings, a critical strategy for the Commonwealth to reach carbon neutrality. The MA E-Z Code modifies the IECC 2021 Zero Code Renewable Energy Appendix (ZCREA) to limit renewable energy sources to those that meet ‘additionality,’ ensuring that the renewable energy will have a net positive effect on Massachusetts greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The MA E-Z Code additionally addresses demand response, resilience, and several other topics that minimize a new building’s life cycle impact on GHG emissions. (This is an excerpt from the V2 submission).


Toxic Flame Retardants Legislation

Built Environment Plus’s Materials and Wellness Working Group encouraged our community to add their signature’s to a BE+ letter in support of An Act to Protect Children, Families, and Firefighters from Toxic Flame Retardants. The bill that we solicited support for in 2019 made its way back to Governor Baker. He vetoed it in the first session because he felt it would hurt MA businesses and people who wouldn’t be able to afford the products without flame retardants. As a letter that Meredith and Barbra sent to him attests, his logic is off. The working group felt it was important for us to act and to lend our voice to the chorus of other groups who have been working on this issue for the last decade to address human health concerns.

Over 100 Individuals signed our community letter that was sent to Governor Charlie Baker asking him to finally support this bill. This is in additional to an incredible amount of other responses through our community partners and the state’s own website. We are thrilled that Governor Charlie Baker then signed An Act to Protect Children, Families, and Firefighters from Toxic Flame Retardants into law, closing a major step this group has been working at for two years!

A big thank you to members Lisa Carey Moore and Lisa Goodwin Robbins for leading BE+, and to our many partners in this coordinated effort.



COVID-19 White Papers

Air Filtration

Conversation series with Julie Janiski and John Swift

  • New HVAC systems to support a certain level of efficiency and effectiveness in air filtration (HVAC vs MERV 13 + 15) 
  • Dependent on two main steps: trapping and killing the particles

Fresh Air

Conversation with Jacob Knowles and Patrick Murphy 

  • Outdoor air can drastically reduce virus transmission
  • LEED and WELL certifications implement increased ventilation and air quality

Humidity Control

Conversation with Patrick Murphy and Nora Mccawley 

  • Maintain a relative humidity level of 40-60%
  • Human immune system efficiency, Virus float time, & Virus survival time


Conversation with Betty Liu and Paul Tsang 

  • Controlling “dirty” air movement that contains particulate matter (PM) through pressurization can help contain aerosolized droplet PM contaminated with COVID-19.

UV Light

Conversationwith Joelle Jahn and Eric Edman

  • Three main light placements: air stream disinfection, upper-air and room disinfection, and HVAC coil & surface cleaning

Air Monitoring

Conversation with Jim stanislaski and Kathleen Hetrick  

  • Sensors installed around the building collect readings of different air and environmental conditions


Conversation with Monica Nakielski and Lisa Carey-Moore  

  • Pesticides and drugs/antiseptics

Cleaning Practices

Conversation with Heather Henriksen and Tim Conway  

  • Plan of Action, Chemicals, the Indoor Environment & Human Health, & Product Labels & Selection

Over the summer of 2020, industry experts presented an overview of a specific COVID-19 mitigation topic, through a sustainability lens. The conversations with attendees that followed addressed issues like what building owners are asking for, which solutions are proving most effective, and how these strategies measure up against various sustainability imperatives. In addition to the priority of human health through reduced viral transmission, we discussed the long-term impacts on health (like ozone and UV exposure), the environment (like GHG emissions from increased energy use), and the economy (capital as well as operational cost).

Specifically, we investigated the eight factors that were the latest and greatest (and not so great) methods of disease control through engineering, design, and building maintenance strategies and examined them by their effectiveness and considerations for building sustainability and human health.

These papers were written and designed by Built Environment Plus interns, Catrina Schick and Kaleigh Stirrat, and edited by Built Environment Plus staff and the Conversation Series expert panel.


The Exchange was creating in to continue the conversations that began at our Building Tech Forum series. There, you will find recordings of past and upcoming Tech Forum presentations, as well as speaker and contact information. You’ll have the opportunity to reach out to speakers about the important work they’re doing, as well as keep the conversation going long after each Building Tech Forum session is finished. Over time, we envision the BE+ Exchange becoming a vast resource and community space for those in our community who are interested in the innovations changing the way we design, build, and maintain our buildings. Please check it out!




Platinum Sponsors
Boston Properties

Silver Sponsors
Daikin North America
MP Boston
National Grid
The Green Engineer

Bronze Sponsors
EMD Serono
Excel Dryer
Fremarq Innovations Inc
Mass Clean Energy Center
Resource Waste Services
Shepley Bulfinch
Superior Essex
Turner Construction
WSP Built Ecology

Green Sponsors
AHA Consulting Engineers
Bergmeyer Associates
Bruner/Cott & Associates
BuroHappold Engineering
Elkus Manfredi Architects
Rubenstein Partners
Structure Tone
Thornton Tomasetti

Advocate Sponsors
Cadmus Group
DiMella Shaffer Associates
DREAM Collaborative
Dyer Brown
enVerid Systems
Gerding Edlen
Gorman Richardson Lewis Architects
HMFH Architects
LDa Architecture & Interiors
Linnean Solutions
Margulies Perruzzi Architects
Nitsch Engineering
Perkins Eastman
Sienna Construction
Sladen Feinstein
Superior Walls
The Team
ZeroEnergy Design



Olivia Henning

Haley Beeten

Catrina Schick

Kaleigh Stirrat

Amelia Murray-Cooper

Chinmai Deo




Barbra Batshalom, Chair

Sustainable Performance Institute, Founder


John Dalzell, Vice-Chair

Boston Redevelopment Authority, Senior Architect


Carrie Havey, Secretary

The Green Engineer, Project Manager


John “JC” Courtney, Treasurer

Business Development Manager, Data Analytics, Siemens


Lindsey Machamer, EPMA Rep, Director

Project Engineer, City of Austin


Jenn Taranto, At Large Member

Director of Sustainability, STO Building Group


Kimberly Cullinane, Director

Senior Energy Efficiency Consultant, Eversource


Michael Fiorillo, Director

Director of Sustainable Design, Boston Architectural College


Randa Ghattas, Director

Senior Sustainability Project Manager, MIT Department of Campus Construction


Rebecca Hatchadorian, Director

Associate, Arup


Heather Henriksen, Director

Chief Sustainability Officer, Harvard University


Julie Janiski, Director

BuroHappold Engineering


Brad Mahoney, Director

Senior Project Manager, MP Boston


Galen Nelson, Director

Cheif Program Officer, MassCEC


Jana Silsby, Director

Principal, DRL Group


Jim Stanislaski, Director

Studio Director / Architect , Gensler



Meredith Elbaum, Executive Director

Vernette Allen, Grant Operations Manager

Ethan Vonderheide, Associate Director of Community Engagement

Ann McHugh, Operations Coordinator


Left in 2020

Casey Williams, Marketing and Graphics Associate