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star Worth 8 AIA LU-HSWs (GBCI CE hours pending)

2020 Sustainability Symposium

Thu, 10/22/2020 - Fri, 10/23/2020


Join us for Green Building United's tenth annual Sustainability Symposium!

The Symposium will be two days of online educational sessions covering cutting edge green building and sustainability topics and industry best practices. Please join us to hear experts from across the region and beyond as they gather to discuss their current work, opportunities for social, environmental, and economic impact, and challenges ahead in the sustainability field.

Visit www.sustainability-symposium.heysummit.com to register!

Important Note: Please know that Green Building United rescheduled our Sustainability Symposium to the Fall of 2020 in response to the cornavirus outrbreak and CDC recommendations. We are committed to doing what is best for public health and safety.  


Pre-Conference Workshops: Thursday, 10/22/2020 | 1:00 - 4:30 pm

Full-day Symposium: Friday, 10/23/2020 |  8:00 am - 4:30 pm 

Registration & Ticket Information

Attendees can register a la carte for:

  • October 23rd Conference Day (includes access to sessions, the Expo floor, light breakfast, and lunch), 

  • October 23rd Tours,

  • October 23rd Happy Hour, and/or

  • October 22nd Workshop.


MEMBERS LOG IN FIRST TO RECEIVE DISCOUNTED PRICING (using main menu of our website or here)


Conference Day Registration (October 23rd)

Early Bird tickets are sold out! Regular pricing is currently open. 

Note that $100 Chapter Membership covers the difference between the non-member and member rates!

Conference Day Pricing

Members: $100 Regular 

Non-Members: $200 Regular


Workshop Registration (October 22nd)

Workshops will be happening simultaneously - only register for one. See October 22nd Workshops drop-down further below for workshop descriptions.  

Workshop Pricing

Members: $25

Non-Members: $50


Workshop 1: Scaling Energy Efficiency and Energy Reduction Incentives 

Workshop 2: Prioritizing Embodied Carbon in Practice         

Tour Registration (October 23rd)

Tour information coming soon!

Happy Hour Registration (October 23rd)

Symposium attendees are invited to register for our post-conference donation-based happy hour, happening Friday, May 1st from 4:30 - 6:30 in URBN's Acid Bath space. 

Session & Tour Descriptions (October 23rd)

Sessions are announced! 

Sessions are first come, first served on the day-of the Symposium. The schedule will be available early September and the program will be released in early October. 

Tour information coming soon!

See last year's scedule and program

Workshop Descriptions (October 22nd)

We are excited to announce a pre-conference afternoon of workshops, which will take place from 1:00 - 4:30 pm on Thursday, October 22nd. Attendees have the opportunity to register for one of two workshops (descriptions below) in addtion to the conference day. Bunding opportunities are available and seats are limited.

Please see the Registration & Ticket Information drop-down to register.

Workshop 1

Scaling Energy Efficiency and Energy Reduction Incentives:  The research, policy, practice triangle

According to the International Energy Agency’s 2019 Tracking Clean Energy Progress report, emissions from buildings have peaked above their 2013 levels. The contributing factors include climate change-related spikes in heating and cooling loads and the low uptake of Energy Reduction Interventions (ERI). Widespread use of less-efficient technologies, a lack of effective policies and insufficient investment in sustainable buildings compounds the problem. Achieving targets for high performance building for new construction and increasing deep energy efficiency of existing stocks will require the development of policies, tools, and strategies for decision- making to ensure that all stakeholders know what to do and are incentivized to act.

This workshop will explore what information is needed and what role researchers can play to bridge the policy-to-practice divide so that high performance buildings are taken from one-off pilots to scale and become the norm. 



Dr. Esther Obonyo, Penn State University

Erica Cochran, Carnegie Mellon University

Workshop 2

Prioritizing Embodied Carbon in Practice

The CDC has declared climate change the greatest threat to human health, and sources say we have about 12 years to peak carbon emissions to avoid the tipping point.  With 40% of global carbon emissions tied to buildings, the greatest source of carbon emissions tied to new projects is the carbon footprint of the building materials themselves - not operational carbon emissions.

This session will provide a brief overview of embodied carbon, and then it will move right into how embodied carbon can be reduced in materials, on projects, and throughout a building portfolio with lessons shared from both manufacturers' ability to reduce carbon footprint of products and also the building design point of view.  

Industry tools will be discussed and a call to action will be shared.



Gregory Plavcan, Gensler

Annie Bevan, Superior Essex

Dennis Wilson, CertainTeed

Scott Kelly, Re:Vision Architecture

Continuing Education Credits


Symposium attendees can earn up to 8 AIA LU-HSWs: 

  • The October 22nd Workshop Day is worth 3 AIA LU-HSWs.  
  • The October 23rd Conference Day is worth 5 AIA LU-HSWs.


Attendees will receive full AIA credit each day they attend, and only need to provide their AIA number once for each day while registering online or at the Symposium registration table. Staff will submit attendees for credit within two weeks after the conference. Email Leah Wirgau with questions. 



Symposium attendees can earn up to 8 GBCI CE hours: 

  • The October 22nd Workshop Day is pending approval for 3 GBCI CE hours. 
  • The October 23rd Conference Day is pending approval for 5 GBCI CE hours. Each session and tour will be worth 1 GBCI CE hour, with some being LEED-specific (which will be noted in the online and print program). Attendees must sign into each session or tour if they want to receive GBCI credit for it. 


Attendees should provide their GBCI number while registering online or at the Symposium for the workshop, each session, and/or each tour. Staff will submit attendees for credit within two weeks after the conference. Email Leah Wirgau with questions.

Event Day Details

Event Day Check In

Registration on the day of the Symposium opens at 8 AM.  We do encourage purchasing tickets in advance, as the event has sold out in prior years.

You will receive your name tag  and a print program the morning of the Symposium at registration. Your name tag is your ticket into panel sessions.

As in previous years, sessions are filled day-of on a first-come, first-served basis.  The smaller rooms tend to reach capacity first (107, 209, & 211), and we encourage you to arrive to those rooms earlier than the session start time to secure a seat.



The Expo is available throughout the day and we encourage attendees to stop by during the Registration/Breakfast hour, the morning break, and lunch.

Our sponsors help to make the Sustainability Symposium possible!


Breakfast & Lunch

Light breakfast, coffee, and tea will be available between 8 - 9 AM  in both Penn State at The Navy Yard Buildings, 661 and 7R, and throughout the morning hours.

Lunch will be provided to all registered participants. A variety of sandwiches w/ chips and fruit will be served.

Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options will be available for breakfast and lunch. Philadelphia Catering staff will be on site to help you with your meal selection and options for dietary needs.

Drinks and food can be taken into all classrooms.  Please feel free to enjoy breakfast and lunch in any classrooms, or anywhere there is indoor or outdoor seating.

Transportation & Parking

The Sustainability Symposium can be reached by various means of transportation.  See below for specific directions.

Public Transportation:

The Navy Yard Center City Express Shuttle or Broad Street Line Subway & The Navy Yard Loop Shuttle will take attendes right to Penn State at The Navy Yard.  For more information and schedules visit The Navy Yard's Shuttle webpage. Both shuttles stop at the corner of Kittly Hawk and 12th Street, where Penn State at The Navy Yard located.  It's recommended to take the 7:50, 8:10, or 8:30 Express Shuttles or to connect from the Broad Street Line to the Loop Shuttles.


For directions to The Navy Yard visit The Navy Yard's Direction webpage. Once at The Navy Yard Broad Street gate*, continue south on Broad Street until Kitty Hawk. Turn left on Kitty Hawk and then turn left on 12th Street. Penn State at The Navy Yard is at 4960 South 12th Street and registration is in both buildings on 12th Street.  

A map of the Navy Yard is also available.


There is plenty of free and available street parking in The Navy Yard and Green Building United recommends that drivers use street parking. Additionally, there is one parking lot available by PIDC for use by Symposium attendees about two and a half blocks from the Penn State buildings. The parking lot is slightly south of the intersection of Normandy Place and 13th Street, across from the PIDC building. The parking lot in front of Penn State at The Navy Yard is NOT available for use.

Penn State Buildings: 

Penn State at the Navy Yard has two buildings, 661 and 7R.  Building 661 is on the west side of 12th street between Kitty Hawk and Constitution, and Building 7R and League Island Park are on the east side of the street.  Building 661 includes the Expo, Room 107, Room 201 and Room 202.  Building 7R includes Room 103, Room 209, and Room 211.

*Please know that parts of The Navy Yard will be in preparations for the Broad Street run on Sunday, May 5th. This will not result in any road closures or parking issues around Penn State at The Navy Yard.


Interested in sponsoring and having an expo table at Green Building United's largest event of the year? Showcase your company's products and/or services to an audience of 600+ building industry and sustainability professionals! Please contact Margaret Salamon, Green Building United's Development Director, if interested.  

Steering Committee & Tour Committee

Steering Committee

Adam Cutler | Alex Grella | Angela Iraldi | Anne Larsson | Brad Molotsky  
Brendan McGrath | Dr. Dan J. Tisak | David Mauer | Ed Confair 
Elizabeth Larsson | Jeff Manns | Jim Bradley | Jodi Papaleo 
Kate Flint | Ken Levenson | Laura Hansplant | Laura Maiale 
Lisa Markley | Mark Sanderson | Mary Hall | Matt Thomas  
Michele Halsell Ed.D. | Nick Aster | Pat Coleman | Saleem Chapman
Shane Clark | Troy Hannigan 

Tour Committee

Ramune Bartuskaite | Nicole Carey | Bill Fisher | Yolandita Lopez | Madonna Miranda | Bridget Novielli | Zhan Shi | Lisa Shulock | Jen Tran

THank you to our SPONSORS

Green Building United Legacy Partners

Green Building United Platinum Partners

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