GREEN is the New Black. The Dollars and SENSE of Building Green'r.

Thursday, November 9: 9:30am – 11:30am

Is building to higher Green Standards just the fashionable thing to do? It is inevitable that Green is here to stay, and technology and innovation will continue to drive Green to the forefront. Stay on top of what is currently the norm and where we are all heading. Join us in a round table discussion with three highly respected and knowledgeable individuals as they delve into Green building trends and concepts, Passive House initiatives and how these innovative Green Principles can be incorporated into your projects while still delivering on time and within budget.

Session Materials:

GREEN is the New Black Presentations (2.17 MB Adobe PDF File)


Kip Lewis, Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing
Mr. Lewis joined Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH) in March 2005 as an Asset Manager. Two years later, he was named the Director of Construction Management. As Director of Construction Management, he is responsible for managing all aspects of the Construction Management Department including the contracting, oversight, training, and coordination of over 30 consulting architectural firms who perform third-party construction monitoring services in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Mr. Lewis' responsibilities include construction risk mitigation, the development of departmental policies and procedures, construction standards, construction monitoring processes, issue tracking and resolution, reviewing plans during the application and development stages, reviewing contracts as part of the closing process, managing third-party service contracts, evaluating budgets, reviewing draws and change orders, ensuring schedule and budgetary compliance, and assisting Asset Management and Partners in resolving construction and capital needs issues.


John Semmelhack, Think Little Solutions
John Semmelhack is the owner of Think Little, a building science consulting firm based in Charlottesville, Virginia, specializing in building enclosure and mechanical system design for single-family and multi-family Passive House and net-zero energy homes in the mid-Atlantic. Since 2007, Think Little has provided consulting, testing and inspection services for over 2,500 multi-family and single-family housing units, including several firsts – the first certified Passive House residence in Virginia as well as some of the first EarthCraft certified net-zero homes. John is a certified Home Energy Rating System (HERS) rater and an EarthCraft Technical Advisor. John is also a Certified Passive House Consultant, is a past member of the Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS) Technical Committee, and is a PHIUS Trainer for the Certified Passive House Consultant training programs.

Michelle Foster, Home Innovation Research Labs
Michelle Foster works with builders, architects, remodelers, and other professionals to remove barriers to high-performance, sustainable housing. Michelle oversees NGBS Green, the certification program based on the National Green Building Standard ICC/ASHRAE - 700. The program certifies new and remodeled residential buildings and communities of all sizes and has transformed the market for green homes. Michelle's career has focused on market solutions to solve environmental issues without compromising housing affordability. Michelle developed Fannie Mae's Smart Commute Mortgage, revamped the Energy Efficient Mortgage, and developed a methodology to calculate the carbon reduction from efficient homes so that they could be sold on the emerging greenhouse gas market. Michelle has a Masters in Urban Planning and Environmental Studies from the University of Virginia and a BS in Environmental Studies from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Chris Schwarzkopf, Energy Diagnostics Inc.
My professional career began in the construction industry before I realized that it would become my passion. My father, who started as a union carpenter in downtown Chicago, now a developer/development consultant, would have me labor for free as punishment for my "youthful decision making". I quickly became skilled in almost every aspect in the construction industry before I was old enough to drive a car. Little did I know, my punishments would become the best life lesson my father could teach me. My education in the construction industry led me down the road to home performance in 2005, when I met my, now mentor, Jerry Thatcher. Jerry, the founder of Energy Diagnostics Inc. blew my mind when he showed me a blower door test and the capabilities of REMrate software. I was hooked from that point and was eager to learn more. Jerry hired me as a full time assistant to learn the ropes and soon after become a HERS Rater myself. Since my hire date I have yet to satisfy my hunger for continuing education. In 2008 I became a CGP, and later that year a Green Verifier through the National Green Building Standard then (The NAHB "Green Building Guidelines"). In 2009, I became a BPI Building Analyst, where I worked as a weatherization auditor in Northwest Indiana. Weatherization was an eye opening experience for me both emotionally and professionally, seeing firsthand the effect of poor construction practices, and most importantly the lack of homeowner education. The homes that we build should last for generations! Seeing this degradation sparked my interest in "Green Building" more than I could ever imagine. That spark has earned me consecutive "Green Partner of Excellence" awards! The opportunity arose to become the coordinator of all our green building programs and commercial projects for Energy Diagnostics Inc. This opportunity has enabled me to expand my professional goals and help better our company for the future. I have also taken on the responsibility of continuing education for our now 25 Rater/employees as a RESNET Training Provider. As a company, Energy Diagnostics Inc. has certified well over 25,000 dwellings in the major above codes programs, excelled as leaders in IECC compliance, and has broadened our horizons into the HV AC load and design world. We have become a true "one stop shop" for any and all home performance and modeling needs. We as a group have accomplished this without losing sight of the original visions our founding partners, Jerry and Karen Thatcher, placed before us. I'm the father of 3 wonderful children that never cease to amaze my wife and I! As a parent, the importance of sustainability takes on a whole new meaning and further motivates me to make a difference in the world.

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