The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) opens BuildingEnergy 14, the largest conference of its kind in the region, for a three-day run on March 4 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.Last year’s conference attracted 3,000 professionals in the sustainable building industry. They represented 32 states and eight countries, according to NESEA, and included architects, builders, developers, building managers, installers and “anyone else who’s working toward a sustainable built environment.”Organizers also expect 150 exhibitors at the BE14 trade show on Wednesday and Thursday, March 5 and 6.Fine Homebuilding magazine and Green Building Advisor will have a booth and demonstration stage at the conference.On Tuesday, March 4, BE14 presents full- and half-day workshops on such topics as multi-family construction, the Living Building Challenge, Passivhaus design and construction, and the science behind high-performance buildings. Speakers include a number of familiar names, among them: Joseph Lstiburek of the Building Science Corp., architect Bruce Coldham, Peter Yost of BuildingGreen, Thomas O’Leary of the Passive House Academy, Marc Rosenbaum and John Abrams of the South Mountain Co. and Andy Shaprio of Energy Balance, Inc.Wednesday and Thursday are devoted to what NSEA calls “tracks,” which are presentations on particular topics related to renewable energy and high-performance buildings. Tracks cover broad topics such as “Homes,” “Multifamily” and “Awesome Mechanical Systems,” and are divided into a number of morning and afternoon sessions with different speakers. Most tracks span two days.The keynote speaker for the opening session on March 5 is Amanda Sturgeon, vice president and Living Building Challenge program director, from Seattle, Washington.On one of the trade show demo stages, Fine Homebuilding associate editor Patrick McCombe and GBA senior edtior Martin Holladay will once again match wits with the audience in a round of “Stump the Energy Nerd.”A full listing of workshops and tracks is available at the BE14 website. Win free tickets to the conferenceBoth Fine Homebuilding and Green Building Advisor are giving away tickets to the conference — two tickets at GBA’s website and two at FHB’s website.To enter, leave a comment at the end of this post (FHB readers will find a similar post at the magazine’s web site). Winners will be chosen at random.In order to be in the running, you’ll have to leave a comment no later than February 20. Student design competition and zero-net energy building awardTwo other highlights of the event are NESEA’s first-ever design competition for university and college students and the annual zero net energy building award.The design competition seeks student proposals for developing four different properties in Holyoke, Mass., an early industrial city on the Connecticut River. The competition covers new construction and renovation for both residential and commercial projects. NESEA said it expected between 10 and 25 submissions in each of the four divisions.The net-zero award winner, which is announced at the conference, takes home a $10,000 cash prize. There were 13 submissions for last year’s competition, won by the Borsarge Family Education Center at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine.Admission fees depend on how much of the conference you plan on attending. NESEA has posted BE14 pricing at its website.
BuildingEnergy Conference in Boston This March