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star Worth 5 Phius & 6 AIA CEUs

New Gravity Housing Conference 2022

Thu, 8/11/2022 - 12:30pm - 5:30pm


new gravity conference logo

At this year's 6th Annual 'Massive Passive' New Gravity Housing Conference, GBU is bringing together affordable multi-family housing experts and projects from across the Eastern US to demonstrate what is possible. Each case-based session will provide timely, useful, and directly applicable Passive House information for designers, developers, funders, owners, and builders.

Topics covered in this year's presentations include:

  • Data and performance of built projects
  • Lessons learned and how to avoid common mistakes
  • Incorporating equitable housing into underserved communities
  • Developing the workforce
  • Financing for multi-family projects
  • and much more!


Meet this year's speakers!

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  • Zack Semke, Director at Passive House Accelerator
  • Derrick L. Tillman, Founder & CEO at Bridging the Gap Development
  • Kelly McCartney Sanders, Director of Programs at Sustainable Energy Fund
  • Jon Jensen, LEED AP HOMES, Director of Sustainability at MaGrann Associates
  • Rishika Ghosh, Senior Associate at Philly Green Capital Corp.
  • Julia Taylor, AICP,  Chief Strategy Officer at Trenton Health Team
  • Peter DeCarlo, Associate Professor of Environmental Health and Engineering at Johns Hopkins
  • Beth Eckenrode, BE-IE, Co-Founder at AUROS Group
  • Bev Craig, Senior Program Manager at Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
  • Jayne Lino, Program Administrator at Massachusetts Clean Energy Center 
  • Laura Blau AIA CPHC CPHB, Principal at BluPath
  • Katelyn Meehan, Vice President, Relationship Manager at Wells Fargo
  • Matt Rusteika, Director of Market Transformation at Building Decarbonization Coalition
  • Lisa White, Associate Director at Phius
  • Tomas O'Leary, Co-Founder and Managing Director at MosArt Architecture, Landscape and Urban Design
  • Jane Allen, Policy Director at the Office of Senator Nikil Saval, Pennsylvania State Senate
  • Alon Abramson, Director of Residential Programs at Philadelphia Energy Authority
  • Uma Pattarkine, CFA, Global ESG Lead at CenterSquare Investment Management
  • Bronwyn Barry, Policy Lead at Passive House Network
  • Marilyn Howarth, Director of Community Engagement at the Penn Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology
  • Mary Hall, Manager of Customer Experience at PECO
  • Paul Thompson, Principal at BluPath
  • Angela Iraldi, Senior Project Manager at Re:Vision Architecture


Event Schedule

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Event Cost

Early Bird Pricing (Still on sale!)

  • GBU Members: $50
  • Non-members: $100
  • Government/Non-Profit: $75 (government or non-profit email required during registration)


Regular Pricing

  • GBU Members: $100
  • Non-members: $150
  • Government/Non-Profit: $125 (government or non-profit email required during registration)


Note that GBU Chapter Membership reduces your event ticket by $50 and offers many additional benefits, including free small educational events worth CEUs.

Session Descriptions

Health Roundtable

The quality of affordable housing is an essential social determinant of physical and mental health and well-being. The medical world is just beginning to measure and learn about the features that contribute to better, healthier, more durable environments that affect the health outcomes of occupants. Using the affordable housing lens, our panelists will overview the health risks practitioners have seen in housing stock and then deep dive into on-the-ground programs working to improve living conditions. Finally, we will explore the intersectionality of Passive House standard design and construction practices with the directives that this nascent medical research is revealing. This includes the benefits to both residents, hospitals, and taxpayers. This will be followed by a Roundtable discussion about how to address the community's health needs through improving construction quality, managing IAQ, and controlling moisture.

  • Attendees will learn about the health impacts of environmental toxins found in affordable housing.
  • Through on-the-ground case studies, attendees will learn about programs that are in place to remedy the health impacts of the built environment.
  • Attendees will learn how to control environmental toxins using Passive House construction techniques.
  • Attendees will come away with a set of actions that they can take in their communities to improve the IAQ and health outcomes of affordable housing residents.


Policy Roundtable

In this Roundtable discussion, we will explore what policies and incentives are needed to energize and truly transform the new construction and major renovation affordable, multi-family housing market. Join policymakers and practitioners in a lively conversation that explores what works and what does not in expanding the adoption of Passive House and other high-performance building pathways with the end goal of delivering projects that support the health of the occupants and the environment, have low operating costs, and are durable.

  • Attendees will learn about high-performance building policies and incentives that can be replicated in their own jurisdictions.
  • Attendees will understand why Passive House is a valuable tool in delivering affordable housing projects that are healthy, cost-effective, and long-lasting.
  • Attendees will be conversant with policies that do and do not work to expand the adoption of high-performance building pathways.
  • What data is needed to inform PH and other high-performing building policies


Scaling Up Passive House in Massachusetts

Three years ago, there was only one multifamily Passive House building certified in MA. Today, there are over 102 proposed buildings including more than 8000 rental units that are seriously considering certifying Passive. Over 45% of those units are affordable housing. How did this momentum build so fast? What are the policies, incentives, and players that have led to this transformation in the new construction affordable housing market? What kind of incremental costs is affordable housing seeing in the Massachusetts market to upgrade to passive certification? And are there educational resources Massachusetts has developed that your state can adapt and use? Learn strategies and lessons that could build momentum in your state.

  • Attendees will learn about strategies and lessons that can be applied in their home jurisdiction to incentivize Passive House multi-family development.
  • Attendees will understand the true cost differential between code-built and Passive House built construction in Massachusetts
  • Attendees will learn about educational resources that Massachusetts has developed that can be adapted for communication and education programs in their own jurisdiction.
  • Attendees will learn how to tell the story of costs/benefit to policymakers and the general public.


Financing Affordable Multi-Family

Although there are many financing options available in the marketplace to add to the capital stack for financing Multi-family Affordable Housing there is often confusion about how to identify and obtain this financing. Using a case study approach, the speakers will illustrate how projects have been successfully financed in the NYC metro area and then provide an overview of the financial instruments available including CPACE, GreenBank, and other loan opportunities for new construction and financing retrofits. The Roundtable that follows will delve into the challenges and opportunities in financing these projects and what is needed to increase the adoption of Passive House. While Passive House development is increasing independently, a push from the affordable subsidy agencies would spur the market.

  • Attendees will learn from case studies of actual built projects, that financing affordable multi-family passive house is feasible and will understand avenues to pursue in developing their own capital stack.
  • Attendees will understand financing options including available loans from the GreenBank and SEF and from retail banking as well as CPACE program expansions
  • Attendees will develop an understanding of the challenges to increasing the adoption of Passive House in the affordable multi-family marketplace and understand specific actions participants can take.
  • Attendees will learn about the types of information that funders require for funding Passive House projects.


Data-Driven Project Management & Monitoring

This session will provide an overview of why building measurement needs to start before the building is built and why continuous monitoring of building performance data is needed to accelerate the pace of PH adoption to meet the challenge of climate change. Building Owners and Developers need to see proof of expected performance from sustainability initiatives prior to investment. Establishing a metrics-based approach to performance goals via an Owner’s Project Requirements and creating open standards for data management are two of the most essential steps to showing building owners/developers that they got what they paid for.  

  • See live demonstration of trended data against simulated on a WELL and RESET Air certified project, proving owners achieved the performance for which they paid.
  • Review actual Owner’s Project Requirements for Passive House projects that set goals for building performance and data/controls management.
  • Learn the benefits of physics-based modeling and simulation to access an existing building’s theoretical optimum level of performance prior to setting performance goals.
  • Attendees will learn about the types of data that can be obtained, how it should be used to ensure building optimization, and the mechanisms available for gathering data.


Workforce Development Roundtable

This session will focus on the challenges and opportunities surrounding developing a strong construction workforce in general and expanding technical training around Passive House specifically. Attendees will learn about two very different existing, powerful programs that have proven to graduate and mentor construction professionals who are trained in high-performance construction techniques. The presentations and following roundtable discussion will focus on training needs, best actions to take to increase availability and quality of training, recruitment issues and what skills gaps exist and how they can be addressed in the marketplace.

  • See how successful workforce development programs work in practice
  • Understand the challenges and opportunities in developing and maintaining a high-performance building training program
  • Identify how to expand workforce training to build a pipeline of talented workers.
  • Understand the best ways to develop and use public-private partnerships to build robust technical training programs.


PHIUS Case Study Presentation

The equation is simple - after rent or mortgage expenses, energy consumption represents the next highest housing cost and, in general, low-income people pay a larger portion of their income on these costs. Reducing energy expenses is a critical element of housing affordability, helping to ensure the viability of households with few other choices. Is developing high-efficiency multi-family housing with low energy costs that is cost-effective? This case study session will answer that question with a resounding YES!! Join Katrin Klingenberg and Lisa White from PHIUS as they present the cost-benefit data behind built multi-family affordable projects from across the country and learn how you can apply Passive House to your next project.

The History Behind New Gravity

The New Gravity is the undeniable effects of climate change on our health, environment, and pocketbook. This conference focuses on how we are using Passive House principles to most effectively secure a more equitable and just future for everyone.

The goal is to inspire you to build just, verdant communities by increasing the availability of cost-effective affordable multifamily housing with the benefits of Passive House design - low carbon, energy efficiency, cost savings, and increased durability, health, and comfort.


Steering Committee

Laura Blau | Amy Cornelius | Angela Iraldi | Shannon Pendleton | Paul Thompson

Have sponsorship questions?  Contact Rich Freeh at or 215-399-5790.

Promo Partners

Register Below

Green Building United Legacy Partners

Green Building United Platinum Partners

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