New Gravity Housing Conference

star 7 AIA LU-HSWs and 7 PHIUS CPHC CEUs

Thu, 8/3/2017 - Fri, 8/4/2017 - 7:30am - 5:00pm

Temple University, Science Education and Research Center, 1925 North 12th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122

Event Summary

The reality of climate change will fundamentally alter the way buildings are designed, built, and operated in the coming decades. At the same time, the need for quality affordable housing that can withstand increasingly extreme and volatile weather continues to grow. Building healthy, safe, and accessible places to live that will both limit and adapt to climate impacts is a key challenge for the 21st century. This two-day conference will explore the tools, techniques, and practices that the building community is using to address this challenge. Key topics include lessons learned from the first 7 PHFA funded Passive House projects, resolving conflicts between funder-required energy benchmarking systems, optimizing pro formas for high performance affordable housing, and much more! Attendees will have access to hands on workshops, technical trainings, research-based lectures, building and neighborhood tours, and networking with industry leaders. This conference is informed by the PHFA Project, an effort to scale the adoption of high performance affordable housing across the country. The conference is worth 7 AIA LU-HSWs and 7 PHIUS CPHC CEUs.

Event Details


Temple University, Science Education and Research Center, 1925 North 12th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122

Date and Time:

7:30 am Thursday, August 3, 2017 – Friday, August 4, 2017 5 pm

Event Cost:

Green Building United Members ($50)
Non-Members ($100)
Student/Government/Non-Profit ($25)

Program and Schedule:


2017 new gravity temple university map

Food and Drinks

Light breakfast (muffins, danish, and fruit) along with coffee and tea will be available Thursday and Friday morning during registration. Coffee will be available at designated breaks on both days. There will be a happy hour on the vendor floor on Thursday from 4:30 - 6 pm. Each attendee will receive two drink tickets at registration, good for beer or wine. Boxed lunches* will be available on Thursday from 12:35 - 1:45 pm and Friday from 1 - 2:15 pm. Attendees can get lunch and bring it into the keynote room.


*All lunches contain gluten and dairy. Vegetarian options are available. Attendees with specific dietary are encouraged to come prepared.

Keynote Speakers

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Lois Arena, Senior Engineer/ Director, Steven Winter Associates

Arena is a Director of Passive House Services at Steven Winter Associates, Inc and possesses over 25 years experience in the building science field and has extensive experience with new and existing buildings. Lois holds both U.S. and international Passive House consultant certifications and is currently consulting on projects ranging from single family homes to High Rise Apartment Buildings. She has co-authored and presented training programs about energy efficient building practices to professionals in all sectors of the building industry and is regularly invited to present at national conferences and private firms on topics ranging from moisture control in buildings to road blocks to PH adoption. She received her M.S. in engineering from the University of Colorado’s Building Science Program.

Sebastian Moreno-Vacca, Architect/ Founding Partner, A2M and MMA Architects

He is an architect, founder of the architectural firm A2M and MMA. Since 2006, he has been teaching as the university faculty at ULB Architecture. He co-founded and edited the magazine "be.passive" for 5 years. During his presidency at the Platform Passive House (7 Years), he significantly contributed to the establishment of a mandatory passive standard in the Brussels Region since January 2015. Today he has an office in Brussels and recently in New York in joint venture with Julie Torres Moskovits as MMA architects. He also gives conferences and provides training worldwide.

sebastian moreno vacca
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Jonathan F.P. Rose, President, Jonathan Rose Companies, LLC

Rose’s business, public policy and not-for-profit work all focus on creating a more environmentally, socially, and economically responsible world. In 1989, Rose founded Jonathan Rose Companies, LLC, a multi-disciplinary real estate development, planning, consulting and investment firm, as a leading green urban solutions provider. Rose is a thought leader in affordable housing, smart growth and the cognitive and social sciences of environmental behaviors. Rose’s book on how to create resilient cities, The Well-Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations and Human Behavior Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life, was published by Harper Wave in 2016 and won the 2017 PROSE Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work by a Trade Publisher. Rose is a Trustee of Enterprise Community Partners and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He is an Honorary Member of the American Institute of Architects and Honorary Trustee of the American Museum of Natural History and Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Zack Semke, Principal/ CMO, Nicholson Kovalchick Architects

Semke is a member of Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Corps as well as a Chief Marketing Officer at NK Architects, a Seattle and Pittsburgh-based architecture firm dedicated to accelerating the clean energy transition through zero carbon building design. He studied human biology, with a focus on human ecology, at Stanford University (BA, 93). Since then he has worked as a policy advocate for progressive regional planning, a developer and leader of nonprofit community organizations, a taiko (Japanese drum) musician, and an evangelist for Passive House construction.

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