The BE+ Decarbonize Existing Building Alliance Community brings together architects, designers, construction managers, and sustainability professionals to discuss issues related to existing buildings.

Reach out to decarbonize@builtenvironmentplus.org with any inquiries, questions, or concerns.

    Objectives: Promote the transformation of communities throughout Boston and New England that are socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative.

    Increase awareness of energy disclosure ordinances including BERDO and BEUDO and enhance understanding of requirements. 

    Provide information and resources to reporting organizations that answer “how do we comply” questions through general and building-sector specific webinars.

    Convene regular roundtable discussions among practitioners, participants, manufacturers and other stakeholders.

    Engage disadvantaged/underserved communities.

    Share best practices and lessons learned.

    Provide resources to building owners to help understand decarbonization pathways and create carbon reduction roadmaps.

    Work with non-profit partners to provide information about/introductions to established practitioners. 

    What is the D.E.B. Alliance Community?

    Existing buildings are major contributors to climate change. In 2015, existing residential and commercial buildings generated 1,913.3 MMtCO2e, or 29 percent of total U.S. emissions.

    To help address this sector, Built Environment Plus (BE+) with Rethinking Power Management LLC (RPM) are spearheading a coalition of organizations with expertise in GHG reduction and who are committed to supporting decarbonization in existing buildings.

    Topics & Speakers

    February 7th, 2024 – Partial Electrification in Multifamily and Higher Ed

    There are a number of barriers to pursuing all-electric strategies in existing buildings projects. We want to hear from this group if and where you might be considering partial electrification as a stepping-stone to reach that goal. Some questions to think about within your own work:

    • How would you assess building systems for feasibility of going partially electric if an all-electric strategy is not feasible?
    • What approaches have or might you consider?
    • How does partial electrification fit into your toolkit of decarbonization planning?
    • What are the barriers you face in pursuing partial electrification?
    • How would a partial electric strategy make sense (or not) from a climate change mitigation perspective?

    Rand Lemley, Architect, D/R/E/A/M Collaborative and DEBA Co-Chair will be facilitating the discussion. Here’s the link to register.

    December 2023 – Carbon Offsets + RECs

    DEBA’s next roundtable will be 3:00-4:00 pm on December 6th. The discussion will focus on carbon offsets and the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard featuring 2 industry experts to help guide the session

    Bill Riordan, Senior VP Sales, Albireo Energy and Co-Chair of DEBA, will provide insights around purchasing Renewable Energy Credits to support BERDO compliance. While efficiency, conservation and renewable energy are the foremost tools in an owner’s toolbox, electrification strategies powered by the existing grid may need to avail themselves of this compliance pathway.

    Joe Uglietto, Uglietto, President of Diversified Energy Specialists, will provide insight into MA’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard which offers credits for heat pumps and other decarbonization technologies.
     
    After a few opening remarks, the floor will be open for questions and discussion. To join the conversation, please register through the BE+ website or click on this direct DEBA Link
    October 2023 - Advocacy

    DEBA’s next roundtable will be 3:00-4:00 pm on October 4th.

    The focus will be Advocacy, and how we can leverage this Community and its range of expertise to advance advocacy around the issue of decarbonizing existing buildings. Moderated by Rebecca Rahmlow, Senior Associate of Sustainability at Thornton Tomasetti, representing the BE+ Board of Directors’ Advocacy Committee.

    August 2023 – Planning Pathways to Net Zero Carbon Emissions

    DEBA’s next roundtable will be 3:00-4:00 pm on August 2.

    The focus will be Planning Pathways to Net Zero Carbon Emissions. More info to come!

    June 2023 – Mass Save DER programs with the existing building community

    DEBA’s next roundtable will be 3:00-4:00 pm on June 7.

    The focus will be Mass Save’s Deep Energy Retrofit programs. We’re pleased to welcome Kevin Lubinger, Program Manager at Eversource, and James Collins, Director, Climate Equity & Impact at ABCD,  to discuss C&I and LEAN DER programs, respectively. If you’d like to attend, please register below.

    Subject Matter Experts:
    Kevin Lubinger | Program Manager | Eversource
    James Collins | Director, Climate Equity & Impact | ABCD

    April 2023 - Emissions Reduction Mandates: BERDO & BEUDO

    At our April session, we’ll be focusing primarily on Boston’s BERDO ordinance and are excited to welcome Hannah Payne, Boston’s Director of Carbon Neutrality, to share information and answer questions. We’re also excited to welcome Seth Federspiel, Cambridge’s Climate Program Manager, to share updates and answer questions on their BEUDO ordinance. Bill Riordan, Senior VP at AlbireoEnergy, will be moderating the session.

    Subject Matter Experts:
    Hannah Payne | Director of Carbon Neutrality | City of Boston
    Seth Federspiel | Climate Program Manager | City of Cambridge

    February 2023 - Where to Start: Impacts of Increasing R Value on Building Performance

    Staying with the ‘Where to Start’ theme, we’ll be focusing on increasing envelope R values, specifically walls and windows.

    Rand Lemley | Architect with D/R/E/A/M Collaborative

    Andrew Steingiser | Associate & Project Architect at RDH Building Science

    Rebecca O’Hearn | Sustainability Consultant at Linnean Solutions

    2022

    December – Where to Start: Ventilation & Ventilation Controls

    October – Where to Start: Low and Moderate Cost Envelope Improvements

    August – Where to Start?

    June – Welcome + Kickoff Planning Session

    Community Stewards

    Rethinking Power Management
    Albireo Energy
    enviENERGY
    Gradient
    Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
    Gradient
    Vicinity Energy

    Community Leadership

    Ilene Mason

    Ilene Mason

    Chair

    Founder and CEO at Rethinking Power Management

    Rand Lemley

    Rand Lemley

    Co-Chair

    Architect at DREAM Collaborative

    William Riordan

    William Riordan

    Co-Chair

    Senior VP Sales at Albireo Energy

    Brad Mahoney

    Brad Mahoney

    Board Liaison

    Senior Project Manager at MP Boston

     Rebecca Rahmlow

    Rebecca Rahmlow

    Board Liaison

    Senior Associate and Sustainability Consultant at Thornton Tomasetti

    Resources