The Built Environment Plus Community & You in 2021


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

2021 brought us all many more ups and downs, wins and losses. Governor Baker signed the Act Creating a Next Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy (Climate Bill) and we celebrated this community’s work at the BE+ 2021 Green Building Showcase. Boston and Cambridge announced building disclosure ordinances.  Boston also drafted a Net Zero Carbon Zoning Code and MA DOER worked on the Net Zero Stretch Code. We mourned the loss of many loved ones and colleagues and continued to feel the effects of global events at our doorsteps. With all that happened this past year, we continued our mission and found increased motivation to do the work needed ahead. 

In 2021, Massachusetts fell from first becoming the third state for LEED projects based on Certified GSF per capita. The Commonwealth showed continued financial investment in transitioning the built environment from fossil fuel based to electric systems and to renewable energy sources. We see increased continual awareness of Health & Wellness with the emergence of COVID-19 variants, and this community celebrated a big advocacy win with the passing of the climate bill.

LEED Certifications, WELL Certifications, and Living Building Challenge registrations were up this year. PHIUS+ Certifications remained steady. WELL brought us the most certified projects we have seen in the last three years. For LEED in 2021, though we saw an increase in total projects, it is still below where we were in 2019. Last year we saw an increase of projects achieving Platinum Certification, with percentages dropping in Silver and Certified and this year we see a reversal of that trend.

We continued with another full year of virtual events, and revived our topic area roundtables. Though total tickets sold were down, we have a much higher number of organization members and sponsors than in the last two years. As always, many of our events mirror what is needed in the community, and as such, we held the Zero Carbon Buildings Muni Summit, Dangers of PFAS Chemicals in the Built Environment, and launched the brand new BE+ Sustainability Scavenger Hunt. We also brought back yearly favorites, like Women in Green: What’s your Superpower? and the much desired and enjoyed BE+ Green Building Showcase! We plan to bring the Building Tech Forum and Design for People back in 2022.

Our educational efforts continued extra strong into 2021. With the change by the Commonwealth Corp of the Small Business Direct Access Program into the Express Grant Program, BE+ staff acted swiftly to recalibrate our operations to support this incredible opportunity to bring free training to the green building industry. Because of this, we held fewer training sessions and spent the second half of the year building infrastructure like our Workforce Training Grants page and online Training Catalogue. The efforts launched us off strong at the end of the year and into 2022. We also continued to support and build our Workforce Training General Grant support providing private training directly to offices as built into their multi-year curriculums. LEED focused training continued to be the most relevant to participants in public and private training, with WELL close behind with growing interest. Energy & Carbon, and Health & Wellness categories showed to be the most popular as well. 

By far the biggest success, and item of continual impact, is our Massachusetts is Ready for Net Zero report. We released two updates in 2021, and plan to continue collecting data and publishing results into the foreseeable future. Our community came together swiftly and strongly to provide project data to show the reality of building Net Zero and Net Zero Ready today in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The road to net zero energy has been charted, and actively with your help, we are constructing the roads to net zero carbon, net zero water, and net zero waste.

2021 was a strong year for the organization. We had higher revenue than any previous year and ended the year with a positive cash flow. As the organization continues to develop and mature, we recognize that sustainability without addressing diversity, equity and inclusion is not sustainability. BE+’s support of a diverse network of practitioners who are developing sustainable communities that meet the social, economic and environmental needs of current and future generations, is critical as we transition to a green economy that ensures long-lasting prosperity to all. 

It has been an honor serving as Executive Director this past year and look forward to the year ahead.

Meredith Elbaum AIA, LEED AP

Built Environment Plus Executive Director



People Hours of Interaction

Tickets Sold in Total

BE+ Members


BE+ Sponsors

Building Tours

BE+ Events

Unique Attendees


People Hours of Interaction

Tickets Sold in Total

BE+ Members


BE+ Sponsors

Building Tours

BE+ Events

Unique Attendees


People Hours of Interaction

Tickets Sold in Total

BE+ Members


BE+ Sponsors

Building Tours

BE+ Events

Unique Attendees


2021 LEED Certifications

2020 LEED Certifications

2019 LEED Certifications

2021 Well Certifications

2021 PHIUS+ Certifications

2021 LBC Registrations

2020 Well Certifications

2020 PHIUS+ Certifications

2020 LBC Registrations

2019 Well Certifications

2019 PHIUS+ Certifications

2019 LBC Registrations


BE+ Sustainability Scavenger Hunt

2021 BE+ Sustainability Scavenger Hunt

Competing Teams

This event encouraged participants to team up, get excited for some friendly competition, and explore sustainable practices in their own neighborhoods. The scavenger hunt was hosted digitally, allowing teams to join from anywhere around the globe and complete a series of photo, video, and text-based missions to gain points over a two-week period. In total, 18 teams ended the two weeks of fun and learning with over 455 mission submissions!

Zero Carbon Buildings Municipal Summit


This summit brought municipalities from across Massachusetts together to collaborate and discuss the actions needed to reduce carbon in buildings. Through presentations, breakout sessions, and a panel-led discussion, participants had the opportunity to hear from and share initiatives with other municipal leaders.

The summit highlighted ways building designers are reducing operational and embodied carbon today in Massachusetts, and it produced tangible strategies municipalities can implement in the short and long term.

Dangers of PFAS in the Built Environment


Led by distinguished speakers from the Green Science Policy Insitute, Integrated Eco Strategy, and Clean Water Action MA, interested parties were able to learn the basics of perfluorinated chemicals, how they function in building products, and their dangerous impacts on public health.

They began to identify PFAS in their own scopes of influence and developed strategies to eliminate them in their work. The session also illuminated the long-term efforts needed to identify safer alternatives for use in buildings.

2021 Green Building Showcase


The Built Environment Plus community works hard to advance sustainable and regenerative design, construction, and operation of the built environment. We gathered to celebrate industry success and innovation at BE+’s Green Building Showcase (GBS 2021).

Attendees included architects, engineers, contractors, developers, owners, facility managers, building users, lenders, suppliers – everyone who plays a role in designing, operating, and constructing the built environment. These participants joined us for a night of project boards, short presentations, discussions, and awards that all embraced the spirit of sustainable design.

Women in Green 2021: What’s your Superpower?


As a capstone event for our Women in Green series, BE+ hosts a large, annual celebration of powerful women reimagining and reshaping our world. This year, nearly 60 attendees came together to unleash their individual and collective superpowers to address the tough challenges we face together. Through small group discussions and a presentation from Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, this event created opportunities for women to thrive in this work and to raise each other up.

2021 Roundtables

Carbon & Energy

The monthly roundtable returned this year to serve as a venue where architects, designers, construction managers, and sustainability professionals  came together to discuss issues related to carbon and energy in buildings. We started with a co-session with IBIPSA on getting prepped for DOER Input, and then held roundtables on Boston’s Zero Net Carbon Building Zoning, and Carbon & Energy considerations with Schools. This roundtable continued into 2022. We were kickstarted by temporary co-chairs Jacob Knowles and Chris Schaffner, with support of board liaisons Rebecca Hatchadorian and Julie Janiski. We later welcomed the current co-chairs, Stephen Moore and Joelle Jahn.



Associated Events and Trainings

Zero Carbon Buildings – Municipal Summit
Buildings and Carbon | Green Building Training Program (June)
Breaking the Cost Barrier | Green Building Training Program
Buildings and Carbon | Green Building Training Program (March)
LEED GA Exam Preparation | Green Building Training Program (February)
LEED GA Exam Preparation | Green Building Training Program (May)

Health & Wellness

The Health and Wellness Roundtable continued in 2021 as a venue for architects, designers, construction managers, and sustainability professionals to discuss issues related to healthy buildings. This year the group discussed the Materials Universe, PFAS in the Built Environment, Big Wins and Challenges in Building Rating Certifications, and Bright Ideas in Lighting. The roundtable continued in 2022. Led by outgoing co-chairs Lisa Carey-Moore and Connie (Tzou) Wijaranakula, with support of board liaisons Jenn Taranto, Heather Henriksen, and Rebecca Schofield.



Associated Events and Trainings

Dangers of PFAS Chemicals in the Built Environment
WELL Heath-Safety Rating Intro: What’s the Buzz?
Intro to Healthy Materials | Green Building Training Program
WELL AP Exam Preparation | Green Building Training Program
Healthy Materials Advanced | Green Building Training Program

Women in Green

The Women in Green Roundtable continued quarterly in 2021 as a venue for architects, designers, construction managers, and sustainability professionals to collaborate as Women in the industry. The role focused roundtables this past year featured Sustainability Directors, Coordinators, & Managers, Building Performance Leaders, and Construction Leaders. The group was co-led by Allison Zuchman and Kristen Fritsch, with support of board liaison Jennifer Taranto.



Associated Events and Trainings

Women in Green 2021: What’s your Superpower?
Women in Green: “remember the ladies…”

Emerging Professionals

The BE+ Emerging Professionals (EP) is a community of ascending professionals cross the green building industry and allied fields helping drive sustainable and regenerative design, construction and operation of the built environment. The group provides professional support, development and advocacy tools through active networking, monthly programming and community events. The monthly roundtables typically start with introductions, transition into calendar and event planning updates, and then end with a featured member presentation with discussion. Led by Chair Kiersten Washle and Vice Chair Shyla Davis, with support of Johnathan Kongoletos and Caitlin Garvey.



Associated Events and Trainings

EPMA + EPNet Cross-Over Networking Event
BE+ Sustainability Scavenger Hunt
EPMA: 2021 Charles River Cleanup at the Esplanade
Emerging Professionals Book Club: The Drawdown Review
Emerging Professionals Summer Picnic
Emerging Professionals: Film Screening & Discussion
EPMA Deep Dive: Recycling
Leading From The Middle | Green Building Training Program

Living Future

Built Environment Plus’s Living Future Collaborative New England promotes the Living Building Challenge and other International Living Future Institute (ILFI) programs. The group promotes the transformation of communities throughout Boston and New England that are socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative. This year the Collaborative hosted many events and influenced training offerings, and leading into 2022 established a plan to kickstart bi-monthly roundtables. Co-led by Jim Newman and DiAnn Tufts.



Associated Events and Trainings

An Introduction to Zero Carbon Certification
Deep Dive into Net Zero Water and the Water/Energy Nexus
Dangers of PFAS Chemicals in the Built Environment
Pathways to Low Carbon Buildings in Somerville
Achieving Healthy Materials | ILFI Education Series



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. We hosted all of trainings and informative events virtually. While alot of our intruction hours were made pubic, the majority of our impact was in direct to office private trainings support through a general grant.


Since 2018, Built Environment Plus has directed $1.2M+ of Workforce Training Funds to the Massachusetts Green Building Community, which has provided FREE training for 800+ individuals.

Participating in the Express Program or existing General Program from the Commonwealth’s Workforce Training Fund Program (WTFP) is a smart move for you and the planet. Built Environment Plus is curating over 150+ important trainings to meet the needs of the local building industry for this moment.

This year we launched a webpage created to help introduce the two grants, to compare them, and to help everyone quickly see the amazing opportunity they provide. We also held multiple workshops to help walk people through it.



Net zero progress reports

In February 2021, the act to create a Next Generation Roadmap for MA Climate Policy was vetoed for the second time. There was worry that stringent net-zero regulation would stifle Massachusetts’s economy by inhibiting new infrastructure development. Built Environment Plus responded by sending out a request out to the Massachusetts building community for data on what is happening around net zero buildings. We wanted to take the Commonwealth’s pulse on how many net zero projects exist or are in development in Massachusetts, and on how the cost of these projects compares to standard construction. We also wanted to investigate what building types are achieving net zero and who is bringing these projects to reality.

The Building Community answered our call and within days we released this draft report on our findings. However, responses continued to flood in over the following weeks, and we were able to submit an updated, second draft of the report. From these findings, it was clear that Massachusetts was ready for net zero. The Net Zero and Net Zero Ready building stock exceeded 7 million square feet and was growing at an exponential rate in the Commonwealth. Furthermore, the vast majority of these projects were achieving net zero with little to no added cost. In our study, 85% of projects reported a less than 1% construction cost premium to achieve Net Zero Ready.

In the month following the release of these reports, the climate bill was signed into law, authorizing the Administration to implement a new, voluntary energy efficient building code for municipalities and allowing the Commonwealth to pursue ambitious emissions reduction goals while creating jobs and opportunities for economic development throughout Massachusetts. We heard from many that the reports helped support conversations that led to the bill’s success.

But we are not stopping there! Work related to the climate bill is just getting started. The amount of net zero construction is growing, so we are actively working to update the report. We are asking the Building Community to continue to inform us of all the net zero projects you are involved in so we can help track Massachusetts’ progress in achieving its climate goals.




Boston Properties

National Grid 
The Green Engineer 
Vicinity Energy 

Excel Dryer 
Hampshire College R.W. Kern Center 
John Hancock 
Lam Partners
Payette Associates
Shepley Bulfinch 
Superior Essex 
Turner Construction

Dimella Shaffer 
Dyer Brown 
Elkus Manfredi Architects
MP Boston 
Next Phase Studios 
ReEnergy Holdings 
Rubenstein Partners 
Steven Winter Associates, Inc.
Structure Tone 
Studio G Architects 
Thornton Tomasetti 

AHA Consulting Engineers 
Behr Sponsorship 
Cadmus Group 
Dream Collaborative 
EnviENERGY Studio
Gerding Edlen 
Gorman Richardson Lewis Architects
LAER Realty Partners 
LDa Architecture 
Linnean Solutions 
Margulies Perruzzi Architects 
Nitsch Engineering 
Paul Lukez Architecture 
Perkins Eastman 
Sladen Feinstein 
Superior Walls 




Jana Silsby, Chair

K-12 Education Client Leader / Principal, DLR Group


Jenn Taranto, Vice-Chair

Vice President of Sustainability, Global Services, STO Building Group


Barbra Batshalom, Chair Emeritus

Sustainable Performance Institute, Founder


Galen Nelson, Treasurer

Chief Program Officer, MassCEC


Kristen Fritsch, Secretary

Sustainability Coordinator, Elkus Manfredi Architects


Lindsey Machamer, EPMA Representative / Director

Project Engineer, Pare Corporation


Michael Chavez, Director

Architect, Project Development Manager, YouthBuild Boston


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

Sustainability Consultant / Associate, Arup


Heather Henriksen, Director

Chief Sustainability Officer, Harvard University


Julie Janiski, Director

Partner, BuroHappold Engineering


Brad Mahoney, Director

Senior Project Manager, MP Boston


Rebecca Schofield, Director

Developer, Pennrose


Jim Stanislaski, Director

Studio Director / Architect, Gensler



Madeleine Phillips 

Maria Masood

Christian Rudder

Elizabeth Newton

Melissa Stok

Erika Yao

Ryan Pagois



Meredith Elbaum, Executive Director

Eli Beckerman, Deputy Director

Ethan Vonderheide, Associate Director of Community Engagement

Ann McHugh, Operations Coordinator