Beyond Earth Day

At SWA we do A LOT to improve the sustainability of the built environment. Sustainability is at the heart of what we do. Culturally, SWA is comprised of a group of people who are committed to upholding a lifestyle that is socially and environmentally responsible both at home and at the office.

In honor of Earth Day 2015 we surveyed the SWA team about their personal consumption habits to generate a baseline understanding from which we hope to improve upon each year. We hope through having a greater understanding of SWA lifestyles, we can continue to inspire and cultivate sustainable behaviors throughout our community.

(Right-click on the image and open in a new tab for easier viewing)

SWA Earth Day 2015

 

Click here to view in a PDF

What actions do you take to live a more sustainable life? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @_SWinter.

CT Zero Energy Challenge (Part 2) – An Alphabet Soup of Certifications

Earlier this week, we posted a video about the CT Zero Energy Challenge’s first-place winner, the Benker/Wegner Residence. Today we bring you the story of the third-place winner in this year’s challenge, the Taft School’s Residence. Aside from housing faculty members, the home is serving as a teaching aid for Taft students to study the design details of a high-performance home, and to understand the experience of living in one.

After installation of a 13kW photovoltaic (PV) system, the home achieved a HERS Index of -14! The SWA team is providing certification support for a slew of exciting green building programs including the stringent Passive House US™ Certification, LEED for Homes, Living Building Challenge™, and ENERGY STAR v3.1.

Check out the video featuring the project team members: Architect, Elizabeth DiSalvo from Trillium Architects; Builder, Chris Trolle from BPC Green Builders; and SWA’s Maureen Mahle.

Question? Comment? Submit it below; we would love to hear from you!

SWA 2014: “By the Numbers” Infographic

Green Building Infographic

What We’re Looking Forward to at Building Energy Boston ’15

Building Energy BostonBoston has been making national headlines a lot this winter, mainly due to the #snowpocalypse that they’ve been enduring.

Never fear, the first sign of spring is about to appear in Beantown! NESEA’s Building Energy Conference is just around the corner on March 3-5, bringing experts from around the country to share their knowledge about new trends and innovative solutions within the realm of building science and renewable energy.

Road? Where we're going, we don't need roads.

Boston digs out in time for Building Energy 2015

We’re sure it will rejuvenate and reinvigorate Bostonians and all Northeasterners alike. Note: Northeasterners like the people, not northeasters like the storm, just to be clear.

As with most of the Building Energy Conferences, there will be many speakers from SWA there to lead workshops and sessions about improving the efficiency of buildings and their systems (You can read more about that here). Today though, we want to talk about the other presenters and topics that we’re excited to see!

Here are a few of our recommendations that we can’t wait to check out:

  • We have been preaching about addressing building resiliency and energy efficiency, want to hear it from another trusted voice? Attend Alex Wilson’s session Putting Attention Where it is Needed Most – Building Resiliency In Multifamily Affordable Housing.  March 4, 11am – 12:30 pm
  • Codes are raising the bar, owners are seeing the benefits of building more efficient housing and more owners are addressing energy use at the time of capital upgrades and refi, all great news. The next wave we will see is the increase in multifamily Passive House construction and renovation using techniques where possible. Want to know how to incorporate passive house to your next project, you can talk to SWA’s Lois Arena, and you can also hear it from Katrin Klingenberg at her session The Building Science of multifamily Passive House. March 4, 4pm – 5:30 pm
  • Water makes up a sizable portion of utility bills, we recommend attending Reinventing the Water Grid Part 1: Science, Behavior and Dollars. Water reduction strategies and monitoring can save money and reduce operations and maintenance costs through leak detection. We will be attending this session to reinforce what we are recommending and to see if there are new applicable techniques or recommendations we can incorporate into our projects. March 5, 10:30am – 12pm

To attend Building Energy 2015 in Boston, register here. We look forward to seeing everyone there!

New Year, New Beginnings: SWA Welcomes the Staff of Everyday Green!

We are thrilled to welcome Everyday Green to the SWA team! While working on green building projects in the Mid-Atlantic region over the past decade, I’ve consistently been impressed by their reputation for quality work and expertise. This is going to be a fantastic partnership at a time when the high performance buildings market is really taking off in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania!

Allow us to introduce you to our new staff in the Mid-Atlantic Region:

Andrea Foss

Andrea FossDirector of Sustainability Services – Mid Atlantic Region
Andrea will be Director of Sustainability Services—Mid-Atlantic Region. Andrea founded Everyday Green in 2008. She gained her in-depth understanding of green building working at the USGBC supporting the development of the LEED for Homes, Commercial Interiors, Core and Shell and Existing Buildings rating systems.

Scott Pusey

Scott Pusey Senior Sustainability Consultant
Scott is trained and certified in advanced building science and building diagnostic testing. He is an expert troubleshooting energy efficiency problems and has extensive construction and site management experience.

Elliot Seibert

Elliot Seibert Senior Building Systems Engineer
Elliot is a mechanical engineer specializing in building science and energy efficiency. With ACCA training on mechanical systems design and performance, he specializes in assisting project teams with equipment selection and design.

Michael Feldman

Michael Feldman Sustainability Consultant
Michael is a civil engineer specializing in building science and performance. With a broad background in traditional and green building concepts, Michael specializes in on-site verification of energy efficient building practices.

Corrie Weikle

Corrie WeikleSustainability Consultant
Corrie is a sap for all things green and sustainable. She has a passion for guiding behavior change toward sustainable practices and has worked in both the non-profit and for profit industry developing resource conservation management (RCM) and environmental education programs.

Christopher Kramer

Christopher KramerSustainability Consultant
Chris is a HERS Rater and specializes in diagnostic testing and site inspections for new homes. Chris is also preparing to take his EIT certification exam.

Read more