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Going Big with Climate Action: Multifamily, Commercial, and Institutional Buildings (In-Person)

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On September 22, 2021, the Boston City Council unanimously approved an amendment to the City of Boston’s Building Energy and Reporting Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO), known as BERDO 2.0. While BERDO has been in place in Boston since 2013, this amendment will require large existing buildings to move from energy reporting and disclosure, to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. BERDO 2.0 targets only 4% of buildings across the City of Boston, but will address over 60% of citywide emissions, and will be an essential component of achieving the City’s net zero goals

What will this shift towards carbon neutrality mean for day-to-day design and construction? What are the challenges and opportunities for deep retrofits, particularly for historic buildings? What steps can the design and construction industry take to meet current expectations and prepare for the standards and targets of the future?

On July 27th, please join the COTE and The BEC at The Boston Society of Architects to hear Dr. John Straube speaking on low-carbon design and retrofits for Boston’s larger buildings. An eminent building scientist and educator, Dr. Straube will touch on examples from other jurisdictions and discuss challenges and solutions for a range of complex projects—including real-world projects submitted by attendees.

For building owners, property managers, engineers, and beyond —submit specific details regarding your building in relation to meeting carbon targets. Please email each detail as a single-page PDF and include up to 3 questions with your submission*. A selection of submissions will be incorporated into the program by Dr. Straube to address specific real-world concerns.

* By submitting a project detail, you confirm that you have authority to give permission for use, and thereby grant permission for use by the Boston Society of Architects and other participants of this event.


Dr. John Straube, Ph.D., P.Eng., Principal and Senior Building Science Specialist, RDH Building Science

Dr. Straube is a principal at RDH Building Science, where he conducts forensic investigations, assists with the design of new high-performance buildings, and leads research projects in the areas of low-energy building design, building enclosure performance, hygrothermal analysis, and field performance monitoring. A prolific writer and researcher, Straube Is the author or co-author of over 100 published technical papers, the author of the book High Performance Enclosures, and the co-author, with Eric Burnett, of Building Science for Building Enclosures.


Robert Blount – New England Architectural Manager, ROCKWOOL North America

Learning Objectives

After completing the training, participants will be able to:

  • Describe some example municipal climate action plans and related legislation as they apply to new buildings and retrofit projects
  • Recognize unique challenges and opportunities for retrofits, in particular for buildings constructed before 1950
  • Discuss specific details in terms of performance criteria such as water control, airtightness, and thermal performance
  • Define and compare low-carbon vs. low-energy design strategies, for example in relation to material selection, as well as the role electrification plays in meeting carbon-reduction targets