Alex Mirabile is a Marketing Coordinator at SWA responsible for a wide range of the company’s marketing efforts including social media management, event planning, writing for external publications, and podcast production.

Posts by Alex Mirabile

Developing Boston’s Tallest Passive House with Brad Mahoney

As we continue our discussions around high-performance buildings, we would be remiss if we did not discuss the laudable endeavor that is MP Boston’s Winthrop Square. Projected to be the fourth tallest building in Boston and the largest Passive House office space in the world, Winthrop Square is a pinnacle of high-performance design.

Although construction for this project has just begun, we were eager to hear about the plans for this immense undertaking. So, we sat down with MP Boston’s Director of Sustainable Development, Brad Mahoney. Brad shares some of the extraordinary energy conservation measures that will be included in the tower and highlights the many benefits that the project is anticipated to achieve, including advanced productivity, wellness, and social engagement.


Is It Too Late to Start On My Local Law 87 Compliance for 2019?

Before there was a Green New Deal in New York City, there was Local Law 87, which requires an energy audit and retro-commissioning report to be conducted and filed every 10 years. Yes, it still applies, and yes it will help you to understand the most cost-effective retrofits and upgrades to target for compliance with the city’s new energy efficiency requirements. Thanks for asking!

The question we get most this time of year from owners in NYC is, “My building is due for LL87 compliance this year, is it too late to start?!”

Image of Commercial BuildingsAs spring arrives, building owners often realize that time is quickly running out and this is the year that they must submit their building. Compliance with NYC’s LL87 (Local Law 87) can be overwhelming and hard to navigate but we are here to help.

Not sure if you have to file?  Check here.

LL87 requires that a building undergo an energy audit and retro-commissioning of major mechanical equipment. Keep in mind that it takes time to perform the inspections and testing. In fact, your best bet is to start in the year before your deadline, leaving yourself plenty of time for planning, budgeting, and implementing any corrections that may be required.


NYC’s Green New Deal? Diving into the Climate Mobilization Act with Marc Zuluaga

Considered one of the most ambitious and innovative legislative initiatives of any major U.S. city, New York City’s Climate Mobilization Act has significant implications for property owners. The most significant bill in the package, Introduction 1253, will hold owners accountable for their buildings’ energy performance by mandating buildings over 25,000 SF to reduce their emissions 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050, with incremental targets along the timeline.

In this episode, Kelly sits down with SWA’s CEO, Marc Zuluaga to learn more about what is being referred to as NYC’s Green New Deal – and what it means for NYC’s real estate market. Marc breaks down the details of the bill and shares some advice for building owners and managers.


Universal Design with Mary Jo Peterson

Universal Design recognizes that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to design and construction. By incorporating Universal Design features into the built environment, we can accommodate for the widest variety of people, regardless of their limitations.

But, while the buzz around Universal Design is growing, we still receive many questions surrounding what it means for a specific project and where it can be applied.

To help answer these questions, we’ve asked Universal Design expert and award-winning author, Mary Jo Peterson, to share her knowledge of the topic and provide some examples of what it might mean for a specific project.


High-Performance Schools with John Balfe from NEEP

Air quality, acoustics, and thermal comfort are just some of the critical elements to consider when assessing the indoor environmental quality of a building. But how are these characteristics measured in schools, and what programs do we have to ensure they are being prioritized?

Joining us for this episode is John Balfe from Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP). John discusses the key components to a high-performance school, as well as the programs and standards that are being implemented to help ensure the development of healthy academic environments.


Why is Kitchen Ventilation So Important? With Dr. Iain Walker from LBNL

When you fire on a stove-top burner, whether it is electric, gas, or convection, many byproducts are released. This increase in moisture, gas, and other particulates is not only detrimental to the health of a building, but dangerous for human health as well.

To advance our knowledge on this topic, we invited building scientist and ventilation expert, Dr. Iain Walker, from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). Dr. Walker discusses strategies for controlling byproducts associated with cooking by focusing on kitchen ventilation.


High-Performance Building Enclosures with Bill Zoeller

Critical to the make-up of a high-performance building, is a well-designed, carefully construction building enclosure. Thanks to advancements in building-science knowledge, building materials, and construction best practices, achieving a well-insulated, air-tight building envelope can be possible if executed correctly.

On this episode of Buildings and Beyond, we talk with SWA Senior VP and building enclosures expert, Bill Zoeller. Bill shares some strategies that professionals should consider when designing and constructing building enclosures and high-performance wall assemblies.


Electrifying Buildings with Richard Faesy

The electrification of buildings has become a growing trend in both residential and commercial sectors. Consumers that combine energy efficiency measures with newer heat-pump technologies can reduce both their utility bills and their carbon emissions. In fact, those with low loads can even achieve net zero when renewables are applied.

To discuss the goals of electrification we called upon Richard Faesy, Principal and Co-Founder of Energy Futures Group. Richard shares his experience with electrification projects around the Northeast. He talks about how programs and policies are taking advantage of new heat pump technologies and renewable energy to help meet climate goals.


The True Cost of Building Better Homes with Tim McDonald

Did you know that in the U.S., 48% of energy consumption and 45% of greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to buildings (EIA 2012)? As designers, developers, and maintenance professionals who work with buildings, we have a responsibility to reverse these negative effects to preserve our resources and protect the health of future generations. So, where do we begin?

To kick-off season 2 of the Buildings and Beyond podcast, we are joined by Tim McDonald, President and Co-Founder of Philadelphia-based development firm, Onion Flats. As an architect and developer, Tim has made it his mission to ensure that each new project is one step closer to net-positive performance. By incorporating new strategies in design and construction, Tim explains the top three things developers, designers, and builders should think about when creating quality, efficient, and affordable housing.


Season 2 is Almost Here!


Season 2 of Buildings and Beyond kicks-off on Tuesday, March 12! 

This season, we are interviewing industry professionals from various backgrounds as we continue our mission to find ways to improve the built environment. Join us as we explore topics related to energy efficiency, accessibility, and health in buildings.

Episodes will be released once a week, so be sure to keep up with the latest by subscribing today!