By Grey Lee
What a great gathering! We had a full house last night for our innaugural Building Tech Forum.
Over 100 people gathered in the event space at MassChallenge in Boston to connect building professionals with building tech innovators. Here we have building scientists Ale Menchaca and Andrea Love with Jim Newman, Sec. Beaton, and Grey Lee.
We heard from the Secretary of Energy & Environmental Affairs, Matt Beaton, about green builidng and energy policy in Massachusetts. It was his fifth speech on a very busy Earth Day – so we thank him sincerely for taking the time to come out to the Innovation District with us. We will certainly take him up on his offer that his office work with us to advance our mission of green buildings for everyone within a generation. The USGBC MA looks forward to supporting the Secretary's work to protect and improve the environment of Massachusetts for all citizens of the Commonwealth.
Kimberly Cullinane of Eversource highlighted the support that the energy utilities in the state are willing to provide to help support innovation in the design and the energy systems of new buidings. Kim noted that Eversource is committed to supporting the energy of the future – that they will be “the battery” for all of our distributed renewable generation that we're putting on buildings.
Thank you to the many folks from Eversource who attended, and their Champion-level sponsorship of the event. Thank you also to the companion Champion Sponsor, National Grid. Take a look at their awesome video about all the money they offer to design teams to incorporate energy savings in the early stages of their projects.
On hand to impart so wisdom earned from the field was Dan Teague from WegoWise – an energy management software company that started in Boston and is now international in scope. It was great to hear how a wonderful idea can catch on, expand into a growing business, and help people improve their buildings' energy performace – way to go Wegowise!
Jim Newman, of Linnean Solutions, and Chair of our Board, made the connection of how green building has always been part of the innovation economy, and how “we're gonna keep doing that!”
The dozens of guests enjoyed a seriously good spread of food & drink, and were able to interact with a dozen displaying firms selected to represent a cross-section of product and service types, all innovations that connect to the building sector. It was a serious building technology geek-schmooze-fest!
Our Building Tech Forum concluded with a lively panel answering the questions of: What innovation here has helped you to think newly about a problem you confront on one of your projects? And what can we do to help this building tech sector continue to innovate to help improve buildings? Thank you representatives from each of our Leadership Sponsors to Steven Burke of SMMA, Dan Teague of WegoWise, Abby Charest of Wentworth Institute of Technology, Chris Crowell of SemaConnect, Kim Cullinane of Eversource and Chris Schaffner of The Green Engineer.
Some of the answers were quite intriguing, such as “Become a B-Corporation” “Net Zero is not enough” and “Collaborate with your competition” – and we thank all who attended and were able to share their know-how.
Thank you to those who could attend, and especially our displaying sponsors:
We look forward to continuing this conversation about innovation in building technology, and certainly to producing another Building Tech Forum in the coming years. Thank you to MassChallenge for providing the space! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to write us and we can try to re-connect you with that conversation from the event.
Happy Earth Day, everyone, everyday!
PS: Thank you to the organizing team: Tiffany King (Commodore Builders), Ethan Lay-Sleeper (MIT), and Alana Spencer (Vanderweil). I'm not sure what we were making faces about but it was toward the end of the evening!