District of Columbia High-Performance Building Hub Appoints Director

The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) has named Lindsey Falasca as director of the District of Columbia’s High-Performance Building Hub. The Hub will provide assistance to the local real estate community and building industry professionals as they work to improve their building’s performance and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the Building Energy Performance Standard set by the CleanEnergy DC Omnibus Act of 2018. The Act states that, starting in 2021, owners of buildings over 50,000 square feet that do not meet a specific energy performance threshold will be required to improve their energy efficiency over a 5-year compliance cycle.

“Now, more than ever, we need the District’s buildings to be resilient for all residents and businesses, as well as for the community. We can do this by helping owners, tenants, and practitioners across the District manage and operate their buildings as productively as possible to save money, reduce carbon emissions, and support and strengthen the local economy,” says IMT Executive Director Lotte Schlegel. “The High-Performance Building Hub will be a key resource to the real estate community in making this happen and Lindsey’s direct industry experience and understanding of the local policy environment make her an excellent fit to lead the Hub in its mission.”

“We’ve got work to do to mitigate climate change over the next 10 years, and that work starts now. With buildings accounting for 74 percent of the District’s carbon emissions, both the Hub and the legislation are central strategies to helping the District become carbon neutral and climate resilient while creating a stronger local economy,” states Tommy Wells, director of the District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment. “We look forward to working with Lindsey, the High-Performance Building Hub, and our building industry experts to help our commercial real estate community become stronger than ever.”

Previously a program manager for private sector engagement at IMT, Falasca brings to her new role a depth of experience with the District’s building community and the new legislation. Prior to joining IMT, she spent over a decade working as a commercial architect in and around the District of Columbia, working on a variety of building typologies; mixed-use commercial and multifamily housing, market-rate and affordable. She understands the balance that is required to meet the often competing requirements of building owners, codes, local regulation, and the District’s sustainability goals. Falasca holds a bachelor’s of science degree in architecture from the University of Maryland and master’s degrees in both architecture and sustainable design from the Catholic University of America. She is a Registered Architect, LEED BD+C Accreditedand a Fitwel Ambassador.

“I’m looking forward to take on the mission of the Hub and making high-performance buildings easier to achieve by providing access to the resources and information that the industry needs, but I also know business conditions are changing rapidly for the real estate sector. The Hub must respond to new priorities, while still pushing towards the long-term goals of the District,” says Falasca. “My goal is to provide practical but forward-leaning solutions to guide the industry to achieve the District’s visionary future. The Hub’s role is to fill the gap between the realities of today’s market with the goals set forth in DC’s sustainability plan.”

Hub timeline and priorities for 2020

The Hub will officially launch in the fall of 2020 to assist the local building and real estate community in improving their buildings. The priority will be to provide:

  • Resources devoted specifically towards compliance with the Building Energy Performance Standard for a variety of disciplines and typologies.
  • A map of available local financial incentives, including those from the District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility, C-PACE, the DC Green Bank, and others.
  • Contract language and templates for various request for proposals, lease language, specifications, and work letters.
  • Services that help match building owners’ needs with resources, tools, and skilled professionals who can perform the work.
  • Information to support two priority tracks:affordable housing and workforce development

Falasca is actively looking for feedback from owners, property managers, and practitioners about what resources can help. She can be reached at [email protected] and looks forward to receiving industry insights about what resources would be most useful and what content would be most impactful in the current real estate climate.

Falasca will be working closely with the District’s Department of Energy and Environment and other partner organizations to provide more updates, information, and resources as the Hub is developed. The latest in Hub news and announcements is available here. Visitors to that page can sign up for updates on Hub progress as it moves toward its late 2020 launch.

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