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Building Sustainability Conference and Awards

April 25, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 6:30 pm


After nine successful years, Viridiant’s Sustainable Leadership Awards has expanded into the Building Sustainability Conference and Awards highlighting efforts to build sustainability in our communities and infrastructure with focus on health, resilience, and innovation. This event aims to educate and recognize innovative solutions of today to meet the needs of the evolving building industry of tomorrow. The conference will feature sessions and speakers, bringing together cross-discipline industry experts to share knowledge, inspire discussion, and drive change in the protection of our living environments, both inside and out. Awards will be presented to recognize the region’s leaders in high-performance construction with a focus on projects, programs and initiatives that represent the future of sustainable building.

*Each concurrent session is eligible for 1.25 AIA credits (approval pending). We’ll have forms at each of the sessions to ensure your credits are recorded.

2019 Theme: Innovative Solutions
Location: The Place at Innsbrook, 4036 Cox Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060

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[trx_toggles_item title=”1:00 – 2:15 PM | Concurrent Session: Energy Code Research ” open=”no”]Buildings use about 40% of all energy, and 70% of electricity, in the U.S. Successfully advancing energy codes is mission critical for addressing climate change and integral for increasing building durability and indoor environmental quality, while supporting a vibrant building design and construction industry. Speakers will showcase results from recent field research on single family homes that helps better understand energy code adoption and building practices across the Southeast, highlighting Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance’s multi-state work. Attendees will get the latest information on where Virginia is in the energy code update process, and a look ahead at what Department of Housing and Community Development and Viridiant will be doing in partnership to provide training on implementation of energy codes in the Commonwealth.


  • Daniel Farrell, Energy Financing Program Manager, Virginia Dept. of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) (moderator)
  • Jeff Brown, Director, State Building Codes Office, Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)
  • Sean Evensen-Shanley, Director of Residential Operations, Viridiant
  • Maggie Kelley, Built Environment Project Manager, Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance[/trx_toggles_item]

[trx_toggles_item title=”1:00 – 2:15 PM | Concurrent Session: Municipal Sustainability Programs in Virginia” open=”no”]This session features local government sustainability experts as well as the statewide perspective on energy efficiency from the Executive Director of the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council. The speakers will highlight local initiatives, policies, and partnerships focused on sustainability and energy efficiency in the built environment. Specific examples will illustrate how local government energy efficiency and overall sustainability programs are integral to Virginia’s economy and sustainable future.


  • Joan Kelsch, Green Building Program Manager, Arlington County, VA (moderator)
  • Carol Davis, Sustainability Manager, Blacksburg, VA
  • Susan Elliott, Climate Protection Program Manager, Charlottesville, VA
  • Chelsea Harnish, Executive Director of the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council (VAEEC) [/trx_toggles_item]

[trx_toggles_item title=”2:30 – 3:45 PM | Concurrent Session: Building Resilience into Commercial and Residential Structures” open=”no”]The continued focus on resilience is evident across policy, infrastructure, supply chain, and the built environment. Drawing from the National Institute of Building Science, we define resilience as the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt to adverse events. Speakers will discuss resilience efforts including national and state perspectives on policy and code, how resilience is integrated into construction delivery, and the Brock Environmental Center – one of the world’s most sustainable buildings.


  • Annette Osso, Executive Director, Resilient Virginia (moderator)
  • Sydney Covey, Sustainable Solutions Manger, STRUCTR Advisors
  • Joshua Saks, Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources, Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Theresa Weston, Senior Research Fellow, DuPont Performance Building Solutions [/trx_toggles_item]

[trx_toggles_item title=”2:30 – 3:45 PM | Concurrent Session: Construction Delivery of the Future” open=”no”]This panel explores the evolving delivery of residential and light commercial construction to meet the industry’s needs, including both the current state of design and construction practice and various technological and process advancements on the horizon. High-performance HVAC systems will be examined, including integration issues, equipment limitations, and application engineering in the current market. Off-site construction will also be addressed, including its multi-faceted benefits, innovative design and fabrication approaches and the needed industry recognition of high-quality modular designs and facilities. The speakers will discuss the progress that they hope to see in the market to solve our current shortcomings in high-performance construction.


  • Sandra Leibowitz, Managing Principal, Sustainable Design Consulting, LLC (moderator)
  • Tom Hardiman, Executive Director, Modular Institute
  • David Treleven, Industry Manager, Ultra-Aire Whole House Ventilating Dehumidifiers [/trx_toggles_item]

[trx_toggles_item title=”4:00 – 4:30 PM | Keynote Address: Building a Culture of Health in RVA ” open=”no”]The Keynote Address will explore the link between housing and health in Richmond, Virginia. Dr. Avula will explain how historic planning and housing policies have impacted health and health equity in the city and highlight the impact that thoughtful neighborhood design can have on the health and wellness of a community, using examples of on-going work in Richmond.

Dr. Danny Avula is the Director of the Richmond City and Henrico County Health Departments. He is a public health physician specializing in pediatrics and preventive medicine, and he continues to practice clinically as a pediatric hospitalist. After graduating from the University of Virginia, he attended medical school at the VCU School of Medicine, and completed residencies at VCU and Johns Hopkins University, where he also received a Master’s in Public Health. He is an Affiliate Faculty member at VCU, where he regularly serves as an advisor and preceptor to graduate and medical students. Dr. Avula was appointed by Governor McAuliffe to the State Board of Social Services in 2013, and currently serves as Chairman. He also serves on a number of community boards including Communities in Schools and the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation.

At home, Danny’s time is devoted to life with five kids, and to learning how to be a good neighbor in the rapidly changing community of Church Hill, where he has lived for the past fifteen years. His work has been featured nationally by the CDC, MSNBC, Christianity Today, and on the TED circuit with his TEDx talk entitled “Dependence isn’t a Dirty Word“.


  • Dr. Danny Avula, Director of the Richmond City and Henrico County Health Departments [/trx_toggles_item]

[trx_toggles_item title=”4:30 – 5:15 PM | Awards Presentation” open=”no”]Awards will be presented to recognize the region’s leaders in high-performance construction with a focus on projects, programs, and initiatives that represent the future of sustainable building. Awards are for work completed in the last three years in the mid-Atlantic region. Nominations are not required to be associated with EarthCraft or Viridiant. [/trx_toggles_item]

[trx_toggles_item title=”5:15 – 6:30 PM | Networking Reception” open=”no”]Attendees will network with speakers, award winners, and other industry leaders while enjoying refreshments and light hors d’oeuvres. [/trx_toggles_item][/trx_toggles]

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Now in its 10th year, the Sustainable Leadership Awards have been revamped to allow for a broader range of recognition. The awards will now be referred to as the Building Sustainability Awards with the following categories:


-Project or Development – Multifamily

-Project or Development – Single Family

-Project or Development – Commercial

-Program, Initiative, or Partnership

-Builder or Developer

-Habitat for Humanity Affiliate

-Most Energy Efficient Homes

-Next Generation

Category details and the judging matrix can be found here. Awards and nominations are for work completed in the last three years in the mid-Atlantic region. While the use of a certification program is preferred, nominations are not required to be associated with EarthCraft or Viridiant.

One nomination form per entry. You are allowed to nominate for more than one award but you must fill out a separate nomination form for each person/company you are nominating. NOMINATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED! Thanks to everyone who submitted.

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Thanks to all of our 2019 event sponsors!


Sponsorship Opportunities

Click below to see the various event sponsorship opportunities. Interested in all three events? Maximize your sponsorship, receive top benefits, and reach a variety of audiences by supporting all 3 events as a Sustainable Weekend Sponsor.

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April 25, 2019
1:00 pm - 6:30 pm



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