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Northeast Embodied Carbon Summit: Schedule

NECS24 Schedule

This summit will cover the great strides that have been made to address embodied carbon emissions through advocacy, research, education, outreach, and implementation - nationally and regionally. There have been advances on many fronts including policy, concrete, biogenic materials, adaptive reuse and more case studies. The goal of this summit is to come together, learn from each other, provide resources to the broader AEC community and advance our collective efforts.

Day 1: Thursday, June 20

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Registration & Breakfast
Location: First Floor, The Beehive

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM
Welcome Remarks by Andrea Love, FAIA, LEED Fellow, BSA 2023 President; and Principal/Director of Building Science at Payette.
Location: First Floor, Morris Auditorium

9:15 AM - 10:45 AM
Session 1 — The State of Embodied Carbon: Market Shifts & Policies
Panel discussion covering policies and initiatives at the federal, state, regional, and local level, as well as effective ways to communicate across stakeholders. Moderated by Andrea Love, FAIA, LEED Fellow, BSA 2023 President; Principal/Director of Building Science at Payette.
Location: First Floor, Morris Auditorium

10:45 AM - 11:15 AM
Coffee break
Location: First Floor, The Beehive

11:15 AM - 11:30 AM
Interlude Presentation by Stephanie Carlisle, Senior Researcher at Carbon Leadership Forum and Lecturer at University of Pennsylvania School of Design.
Location: First Floor, Morris Auditorium

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Session 2 — Practice & Progress
This interdisciplinary panel will focus on how AEC practitioners are achieving meaningful embodied carbon reduction in their work and advancing life cycle assessment (LCA) for the industry as a whole. Moderated by Frances Yang, Structures and Sustainability Specialist at Arup.
Location: First Floor, Morris Auditorium

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Lunch break
Location: First Floor, The Beehive

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Session 3 — Pushing Forward
The panel will provide insight on obstacles and opportunities on the path to alignment between industry and institutional embodied carbon reduction goals.
Location: First Floor, Morris Auditorium

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Keynote Remarks by Billie Faircloth, FAIA.
Location: First Floor, Morris Auditorium

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Networking break
Location: First Floor, The Beehive

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Reception & Cocktails
Hor d'oeuvres & drinks at the BSA Space presented by BE+ and MassCEC, including a celebration of the Embodied Carbon Challenge winners.
Location: BSA, 290 Congress Street

Day 2: Friday, June 21

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Registration & Breakfast
Location: First Floor, The Beehive

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Session 1 Workshops
Locations on Fourth Floor, room assignments TBD
Three 90-minute workshops to choose from, a combination of presentations, discussions, charrettes, and practice exercises:

1. Massachusetts Municipal Embodied Carbon Policy
This workshop is open to all attendees present, including the MA Municipal Cohort on Embodied Carbon Policy, a collective of over 30 municipal officials, spanning from Amherst to Nantucket. Its focus is on fostering collaboration within three priority subgroups: Zoning/Permitting, State Coordination, and Reuse. Attendees will have the invaluable opportunity to convene in person, delving into best practices, vital resources, and the essential steps required for effective implementation. Moreover, municipal officials will be able to forge connections and interact with esteemed partners from the AEC industry. The workshop's facilitators, Rebecca Esau, Miranda D’Oleo, and Michelle Lambert will guide the discussions, ensuring a conducive environment for knowledge exchange and networking. By harnessing the collective expertise and experiences of the municipal officials and industry professionals, this workshop aims to equip the municipal officials and industry experts with the tools and insights necessary to drive impactful policy decisions regarding embodied carbon.

2. Structural Systems: Winning the Embodied Carbon Game
Discover the potential of architects and engineers to mitigate embodied carbon in structural systems through this interactive workshop. Gain insights into the sources of embodied carbon in structural materials and explore effective reduction strategies in procurement and design. Engage in a dynamic game where participants make critical decisions to achieve low-carbon outcomes in a hypothetical building project. Reviewing game results and real-world databases, participants will grasp the impact of their design choices, realizing their significant role in shaping a sustainable built environment.

3. Re-use and Circularity: Existing buildings, Reuse, Interiors
With nearly 40% of solid waste by volume being generated by building construction and demolition, there is a significant opportunity to reduce embodied carbon emissions in the built environment by reusing existing buildings and materials. The Boston / New England market is making progress towards incorporating circular practices, but to achieve the level of decarbonization needed to meet our goals, more rapid adoption of these practices at scale will be required. Bringing together a cross-section of built environment stakeholders, this workshop will present the current state of circularity and reuse in the region and help illuminate simple steps that all built environment practitioners can incorporate to promote circularity through facilitated discussions and problem solving. By dispelling perceived barriers, working through common problems, and connecting participants to existing resources, this workshop will advance local and regional circularity efforts and leave all attendees with knowledge and tools to take their own first steps, or accelerate the work they are already doing.

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Coffee Break
Location: First Floor, The Beehive

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Session 2 Workshops

Locations on Fourth Floor, room assignments TBD
Three 90-minute workshops to choose from, a combination of presentations, discussions, charrettes, and practice exercises:

1. Embodied Carbon Reduction Challenge: Lessons Learned & Case Studies
From May 2023 through April 2024, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Council and Built Environments Plus ran an Embodied Carbon Reduction Challenge - a competition to see which project could best impress with their Whole Building Lifecycle Assessment. All project teams were offered a free license to Tally or OneClick, three training sessions about embodied carbon and WBLCA, and the opportunity to win one of 13 prizes. Entrants were judged based upon Replicability and Cost Effectiveness, Reduction in Embodied Carbon, and Innovativeness. The entries are currently being judged, and the winners will be announced at the NECS Reception - but what about the lessons learned? Join this workshop to hear about trends the judges saw across all the submissions, including what methods worked, typical challenges, and which innovations were most impressive.

2. Mass Timber Workshop
This workshop will feature a diverse panel of design, forestry, manufacturing and construction professionals to discuss mass timber in the northeast market. We'll highlight some recent successes such as the inaugural Boston Mass Timber Accelerator and research projects funded by the USDA Forest Service Wood Innovations Grant that are contributing to the advancement of mass timber. Then we'll dive into a variety of questions: Where is the project's mass timber coming from and how is that impacting project, economic and sustainability goals? How is the northeast contributing to mass timber as a carbon reducing design solution? What are options for better planning, design, and construction outcomes and how do those options change with different construction procurement methods? What risk mitigation should be considered, particularly if it is the first mass timber project for the owner, designer or contractor? Attendees will gain insight and leave with resources to enhance knowledge sharing and implementation of mass timber in the northeast.

3. Biobased Materials
The Northeast Bio-Based Materials Collective formed in November 2023 to address the question of how to scale bio-based materials in the built environment in the Northeastern United States. A diverse multidisciplinary group representing the fields of architecture, construction, engineering, manufacturing, research and academia, forestry, agriculture, and policy are now working together to advance this effort. In this workshop, the presenters will introduce the work of the collective, and the five focus areas identified to address system-level barriers to scaling bio-based materials. They will then lead the participants through a design challenge to bring bio-based materials into a building assembly. Solutions will be evaluated using a material greenhouse gas emissions estimating tool to quantify their climate benefits, as well as a rubric of feasibility criteria such as cost, availability, and code compliance. This exercise will also demonstrate a workflow for applied research in the design process that practitioners can easily and quickly incorporate into their own practice. Participants will explore opportunities to immediately incorporate bio-based materials into their work, as well as actions to address the structural barriers to scaling the use of these materials.

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Light Lunch & Networking
Location: First Floor, The Beehive

Stay tuned for more updates about speakers, panelists, and other details.