Tell us a bit about yourself.
I like to say that I was born and raised in Newark, DE even though I moved here when I was 6 months old. I started my career running businesses on main street and then began developing commercial buildings. I’m Newark proud.
I own World Class Supply, a high performance supply company, dealing mostly in Passive House building materials and coatings. I’m also a fond woodworker and love to mountain bike!
What are some exciting projects you’ve worked on?
I’m really proud of my work with the City of Newark on getting their stretch code enacted. It was a long process, over a year of meetings, but it’s great to see it come to fruition and know that I had a role in advancing high performance buildings in my city.
Because I’m a woodworker, I like my coatings! At World Class Supply, we import a line of Saicos hardwax oil finish, which is taking us to the Mass Timber Conference this April because of its ILFI Declare label and versatility!
What sparked your interest in green building?
I’ve always been interested in sustainability. When I was doing commercial construction downtown, I was working on a project and I requested a double pane storefront door. They said, “We don’t do that, that’s a special order.” Now, it’s just standard. I’ve just kept going down that path deeper and deeper. Then 10 years ago, I took the “red pill” which opened my eyes to Passive House design, and everything just clicked.
Can you tell us more about Passive House?
The Passive House (PH) movement started in the U.S. during the oil embargo crisis in the 1970s. The movement lost steam after the oil crises passed but German and Swedish building scientists took the movement on and it evolved into what we have today.
If you build to a PH level you use 70% less energy. They’re all electric, have lots of insulation, triple pane windows, and air sealing. Once you get air sealing right the air quality is much better because we have Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs) for circulating air. To simplify it even further, you build this dumb, fat insulated wall and it just sits there for the life of the building. When you go to replace an HVAC system, all you have to replace is a little mini split, saving a significant amount of money. It just makes sense.
In the 10 years since discovering PH. I became a Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC), Certified Passive House Builder (CPHB) via the Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS) as well as Certified Passive House Tradesman (CPHT) from North American Passive House Network (NAPHN). My certifications gave me the knowledge to better consult architects on material selection.
What sustainability topics are you most excited about currently?
I’m really excited about natural building materials such as mass timber, cob, rammed earth and straw bale. When you add mass timber to the PH equation, you’re not only saving energy but also sequestering carbon.
Mass timber is like plywood on steroids. Whether it's 3-ply, 5-ply, or 7-ply, you can now build up to 18 stories with mass timber. The interior of these buildings are warm, biophilic, and calming. While this market is still small, it’s growing quickly. Four years ago there were only two manufacturers in the U.S. and now there are at least seven.
Why is being involved with Green Building United important to you?
Green Building United for me has always been about the community of like minded professionals. The work they do in advocating for change be it through legislative, educational, or social events is important to me. Helping get the message of high performance building methodology to the larger population would go a long way in helping solve climate change.