The BE+ Exchange

At Built Environment Plus, we strive to deliver cutting-edge educational and community opportunities to communities of practitioners in building science, design, architecture, engineering, construction, and operations. The BE+ Exchange highlights the short yet impactful 5-minute presentations provided in our annual Building Tech Forum. The Exchange seeks to continue the conversations that began at our 2020 Building Tech Forum series.

Interested in participating in future Building Tech Forums or sponsoring a Tech Forum? Reach out to



As the various built environment sectors race to keep up with transforming markets, transforming priorities, and rapidly changing technologies, materials, and products, our annual Building Tech Forum is a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of transformation. Our 2022 Tech Forum featured the latest innovations in building technology pushing the envelope for a sustainable and regenerative built environment.

From indoor air quality to new approaches to building materials, these presentations uncover some powerful ways to advance a built environment of net positive systems of water and energy, of financial and social equity, and of ecological and human health.

Dave Hermantin

UrbanGeo: The most efficient building electrification solution is right underneath your feet

Dave Hermantin from Brightcore Energy introduces their specialized Ground Source Heat Pump and Borehole Thermal Energy Storage system called UrbanGeo.

Dave Hermantin, Vice President of Renewable Heating & Cooling, leads the geothermal team at Brightcore. He has years of experience designing open-loop, closed-loop, and standing column well geothermal systems. He has designed thousands of tons of geothermal capacity in NY, New England, and the U.S. He is also responsible for designing geothermal well systems on NYC landmark projects such as St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Cornell Bloomberg Roosevelt Island, and Beach Green Dunes.

Christopher Haringa

Abode Heat Pump Quote Comparison Tool

Christopher Haringa from Abode Energy Management discusses the adoption of heat pump technology for home heating.

Christopher Haringa is the Senior Program Manager for Abode’s air source heat pump consulting programs. With a strong background in building science, air-to-air heat pumps, and program implementation, and has worked in a variety of energy efficiency programs both in the US and abroad, Christopher brings deep technical knowledge and first-hand insights into heat pump adoption program successes and challenges. Christopher’s strives to implement impactful programs that move the heat pump industry forward by focusing on what matters for the utilities, contractors, and customers.

JS Rancourt

What’s Next with VRV Heat Pumps – In 5 pictures!

JS Rancourt from DXS New England discusses 5 unique and advanced applications of VRV in 5 different building types.

JS Rancourt is a Principal at DXS New England (manufacturer representatives for Daikin) focused exclusively on VRV/VRF and ASHP technology. JS is a mechanical engineering graduate from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, and in 2012 co-founded DXS Ontario, based in Toronto, Canada. JS has been applying ASHPs and VRV/VRF technology in cold climates for 8 years and spearheaded the largest VRV project in North America at the time with over 1,400 VRV units. JS moved to New England in 2016 and founded the local branch of DXS out of Peabody, MA. JS primarily works with consulting engineers and building owners and prides himself on educating the industry on topics such as ASHPs, VRF, refrigerants, and strategic electrification of HVAC.

Ben Goldberg

Reshaping HVAC Design: Designing for Improved Indoor Air Quality & Energy Efficiency

Ben Goldberg from enVerid Systems discusses trends that impact building HVAC Design today.

Applications Engineer at enVerid Systems providing support for integration of HLR (HVAC Load Reduction) Technology in buildings to achieve goals of indoor air quality and energy efficiency. Four years of professional experience as an HVAC Design Engineer working on mechanical system design for a diverse range of projects nationwide.

Audrey Schulman

Efficient and Equitable Electrification of Heat

Audrey Schulman from HEET discusses how the states gas utilities need to transition to a new non-emitting model.

Audrey Schulman, HEET Co-founder, and Co-Executive Director Schulman co-founded HEET, a nonprofit climate solutions incubator. A lover of maps, she created the first-in-the-nation statewide zoomable public map of utility-reported gas leaks. She co-led the study which helped municipalities coordinate with utilities to fix gas leaks faster and at less expense. She started the Large Volume Leak Study, which discovered a way for gas utilities to identify super-emitting gas leaks and repair them. Together with Zeyneb Magavi, she has developed HEET’s innovative GeoGrid solution to transition gas utilities from gas to NetGeo, a system of networked ground source heat pumps. There are several gas utilities now installing NetGeo in Massachusetts and New York. 

Nate Racicot

Improve the Built Environment with Indoor Air Quality Monitoring

Nate Racicot from Awair discusses IAQ parameters and the health and business implications of indoor pollutants.

Nate Racicot leads Awair’s East Coast Sales team based out of New York City. Nate joined Awair in early 2021 and worked alongside multiple internal stakeholders to land and expand Fortune 1000 accounts across North America.

Before joining Awair, Nate worked for a handful of early-stage enterprise technology startups, including BuildingConnected (acquired by Autodesk) and Progressly (acquired by Box). At BuildingConnected, he worked with Commercial General Contractors to automate the subcontractor prequalification process. At Progressly, Nate worked with Shell, Chevron, and Pfizer’s facilities teams to help them better collect key data points and feed them into preexisting systems.

Annette Frederick

You CAN Judge a Building by Its Cover

Annette Frederick from Fremarq Innovations discusses the current problems in the fenestration industry.

Currently, Annette is the Marketing Project Manager at FreMarq Innovations Inc. Her daily tasks range from social media management, event coordinating, website management, content creating, and much more. Her prior professional experiences are in B2B revenue generation and sales in the financial industry, manufacturing, account management, and business marketing. When not on the job, she loves spending time with her family and being outdoors.

Derek Stein

Multifunctional materials for managing moisture and heat in buildings

Derek Stein from Adept Materials introduces a new multifunctional material concept for building envelopes.

Dr. Derek Stein is the founder and CEO of Adept Materials. He invented the company’s core material technology at Brown University, where he is a Professor of Physics and of Engineering. Dr. Stein previously did postdoctoral work at the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. He holds a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Harvard University and a B.Sc. in Physics from McGill University. In 2014, Dr. Stein co-led a team of students that competed in the Solar Decathlon Europe; the team’s project was called “Techstyle Haus”.

Barry Stephens

The Future of Healthy Efficient Buildings

Barry Stephens from Ventacity Systems discusses energy efficiency, IAQ/Health, and Electrification/Decarbonization goals.

Barry Stephens is the Northeast Region Sales Manager for Ventacity Systems, Inc. He joined Ventacity, a startup manufacturer of very high-performance, Passive House certified HRVs and ERVs, as well as advanced control systems,  in March 2016. Prior to joining Ventacity he spent 15 years at Zehnder America, Inc as the National Sales & Marketing Manager, and later as Business Development & Technology Director. He led the introduction of Zehnder systems in North America and has been involved with projects across the continent. These include Solar Decathlon teams, NZE homes, Passive House projects, and other very high-performance buildings. 

Ari Greenberg

Heat Pumps for the People

Ari Greenberg from BR+A Consulting Engineers discusses innovative ways to take electrification to the next level.

Ari Greenberg is a Senior Associate at BR+A Consulting Engineers in Boston, MA. As an integrated member of both the HVAC design and sustainability consulting teams, he focuses on developing strategies that push the boundaries of building decarbonization and keeping those strategies on track throughout design and construction. His work focuses on efficiency and electrification for hard-to-heat and high-energy building typologies in the healthcare, research, commercial, and institutional sectors. Ari holds a B.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering with a Certificate in Sustainable Energy from Princeton University and is a registered Mechanical Engineer in Massachusetts.

Barbra BatShalom

BuildingEase: Making it easier to track, manage, procure building products

Barbra Batshalom from BuildingEase discusses an easier way to track, manage, and procure building products.

Barbra BatShalom is the founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit Sustainable Performance Institute, CEO of BuildingEase and past founder and president of the USGBC Affiliate in Massachusetts which she ran for 9 years. She’s an industry leader whose vision drives market transformation from public policy to professional practice. Her work focuses on the intersection of systems, processes and culture. She’s an educator, management consultant and change agent working with a wide range of governmental, institutional and private sector organizations to help them institutionalize sustainability and achieve measurable improvements in performance and profitability. 

Denise Rouleau

Priorities and the 2022 Revisions to Mass Save New Construction and Major Renovations Participation Pathways

Denise Rouleau from National Grid introduces Mass Save 3-year plan priorities.

Denise Rouleau manages National Grid’s Rhode Island and Massachusetts Commercial New Construction programs. Denise has over 25 years of experience in the energy efficiency/clean energy field in program strategy, evaluation, and implementation for federal, regional, state and utility organizations. Denise has played key roles in designing and deploying innovative programs and holds a Masters of Environmental Policy from Tufts University.

Chris Schaffner

Build New or Renovate? A Carbon Analysis

Chris Schaffner from The Green Engineer discusses how we have to reduce embodied carbon in addition to operational carbon when building.

Chris Schaffner, PE, LEED Fellow is the founder and CEO of The Green Engineer, Inc.  Chris has 34 years of experience in the design of building systems with a focus on energy efficiency and sustainability. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from M.I.T. and is a registered professional engineer in Massachusetts, California, and Vermont.

Over the past 34 years, Chris has been involved in a large number of projects incorporating energy efficiency and sustainability. These projects have been across many building types, ranging from high-rise office buildings to small-scale multi-family residential. Many of his projects include energy-intensive building types such as research laboratories and hospitals. His portfolio includes more than 220 projects that have achieved LEED Certification.


Governor Baker has increased the Commonwealth’s commitment to carbon neutral 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 will provide 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.

Kimberly Cullinane
Zero Net Energy in K-12 School Construction:  You Can Do It!

Kimberly Cullinae from Eversource reviews zero net energy construction in K-12 schools.

Randy Butler
IoT (Internet of Things) and Building Technology

Randy Butler from Superior Essex discusses smart buildings and why they are safer, more efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable.

Beverly Craig
Triple Decker Design Challenge

Beverly Craig explains MassCEC’s Triple Decker Design Challenge, a call for scalable models for decarbonizing triple decker buildings in Boston.

Brent Ehrlich
Products for a Changing Environment

Brent Ehrlich from BuildingGreen introduces five building products to reduce carbon and other environmental impacts.

Anurag Goel
COVID-19 and Beyond: Energy Efficient Building Design and Operation for Mitigating Risk of Infection

Anurag Goel from enVerid Systems discusses how HVAC systems can help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Jacqueline Goyul
“Clean Energy Lives Here” Campaign

Jacqueline Guyol introduces the Clean Energy Lives Here campaign targeted at raising awareness around building electrification.

Joelle Jahn
Zero Carbon Building Assessment: Designing for Carbon Neutrality in Boston

Joelle Jahn from WSP addresses the process for establishing zero carbon design by using the zero carbon building assessment.

Jacob Knowles
Carbon Neutral + Cashflow Positive

Jacob Knowles from BR+A introduces ways of achieving carbon neutrality and cash flow positive designs.

Paul Marquez
XLERATOR® Hand Dryers: Helping Commercial Facilities Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions to Net Zero

Paul Marquez reviews the perks of the Excel hand dryer from the perspectives of sustainability, hygiene, and cost.

Elizabeth Minnis
DCAMM Climate Action and What We Need From YOU

Elizabeth Minnis from DCAMM discusses four components needed to reach net zero in Massachusetts: expanding knowledge, budgeting carbon, thinking to the future, and accelerating progress.

Chris Schaffner
Three Trends Changing the Way We Build

Chris Schaffner from The Green Engineer, Inc. discusses technology that can be replaced to establish cleaner buildings.

Dan Smith
Heat Pump Performance and Electrifying Efficiently

Dan Smith from Daikin North America discusses air source heat pumps and introduces ways to apply them in a financially and environmentally responsible way.

Ted Touloukian
Embodied Carbon & Existing Buildings: SGI-USA New England Buddhist Center

Ted Touloukian from Touloukian Touloukian Inc. introduces their SGI-USA New England Buddhist Center in Brookline, MA.

Tamar Warburg
Edge Assembly Square:  Solar Mapping and Facade Design

Tamar Warburg from Sasaki introduces the design process behind the new and first US Edge building.


The Materials Carbon Action Network (materialsCAN) states that “embodied carbon will be responsible for almost half of total new construction emissions between now and 2050. Unlike operational carbon emissions, which can be reduced over time with building energy efficiency renovations and the use of renewable energy, embodied carbon emissions are locked in place as soon as a building is built. It is critical that we get a handle on embodied carbon now if we hope to phase out fossil fuel emissions by the year 2050.” Handling embodied carbon then is an important objective for innovative sustainable design – this Building Tech Forum will tackle exactly this issue. More pages coming soon!

Lisa Conway | Interface
Love Carbon

Interface shows how their latest product is removing more greenhouse gas emissions out of the atmosphere than were released during their raw material extraction and manufacture.

Annie Bevan | Superior Essex
Embodied Carbon Reduction in Products Behind the Walls
Morana Medved | Artik Art + Architecture/San Jose State University
Interior Design Education: Carbon as a Design Criterion
Expanding on educational offerings related to material selection for professionals, clients, and students to create a common knowledge base is key to embodied carbon reduction.
Nic Kaspereen | HPS
Interior Design Education: Carbon as a Design Criterion

Expanding on educational offerings related to material selection for professionals, clients, and students to create a common knowledge base is key to embodied carbon reduction.

Mark Englert | USG
Discover the Next Big Thing in Wallboard

USG’s latest product offers the same properties as traditional panels, but has significantly reduced weight and reduction in environmental impact.

Ryan Spies | Saint-Gobain
Steering a 350-Year-Old Ship
Addressing Embodied Carbon starts with how manufacturers can improve their operational efficiency. Saint-Gobain has embraced 3 unique levers that any manufacturer can follow.
Stacy Smedley | Building Transparency
Creating an Ecosystem for Embodied Carbon Accountability
In order for a community to thrive, a complex network of interconnected systems must be there to support it. Building Transparency’s EC3 tool is an example of a technology built to support and inform a thriving ecosystem.
Stephanie Carlisle | Carbon Leadership Forum
Decarbonization through collective action

Radical decarbonization is going to take more than just new products, tools, and data.

Jimmy Mitchell | Skanska
Skanska’s National EC3 Rollout

The Carbon Leadership Forum EC3 tool will be rolling out nationally soon – this latest technology will help bring organizations closer to reducing global carbon emissions.

Brent Trenga | Kingspan
Closing the Commitment Gap We Currently Face to Make Real Impact

Kingspan plans on expanding their global business while contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Kirsten Ritchie | Gensler
Materials Matter
Materials delivering decarbonized spaces and places.
Becca Sturgeon | Payette
Kaleidoscope: embodied carbon design tool & apples-to-apples façade systems selection
Brad Jacobson | EHDD
EPIC: An Early Phase Integrated Carbon Assessment tool
EHDD’s new “EPIC” tool fills a critical gap in prioritizing for speed and responsiveness in carbon assessment results.