retrofit’s Inaugural Conference Is a Success

retrofit hosted its first conference on Oct. 12 at Chicago’s Navy Pier. The conference included a lineup of fantastic speakers who are experts in Chicagoland building retrofits, as well as two highly motivational keynotes to inspire attendees. The conference also offered CEUs from the Washington, D.C.-based American Institute of Architects and Green Business Certification Institute.

The retrofit team celebrating a successful conference (back row, left to right): Barrett Hahn, sales; Becky Riester, operations; John Riester, publisher; Vilija Krajewski, art director. Front row (left to right): Lyn Ure, circulation; Christina Koch, editor in chief; and Andrea Hoffmeier, editorial assistant.

The retrofit team celebrating a successful conference: (back row, left to right) Barrett Hahn, sales; Becky Riester, operations; John Riester, publisher; Vilija Krajewski, art director. Front row (left to right): Lyn Ure, circulation; Christina Koch, editor in chief; and Andrea Hoffmeier, editorial assistant.

The day kicked off with a keynote from Jason Roberts, chair of the Better Block Foundation. Roberts recalled how, in 2010, he organized a series of “Better Block” projects, converting blighted blocks in southern Dallas into temporary walkable districts with pop-up businesses, bike lanes, cafe seating and landscaping. Better Block now is an international movement.

The afternoon keynote from Ashok Gupta, senior energy economist, programs, at the New York-based Natural Resources Defense Council, focused on policies relating to global warming, energy efficiency, renewables, sustainable building design, smart growth and transportation.

The conference’s three educational sessions—Benchmarking, Financing and Commissioning & Building Envelope—featured a panel of three speakers per session who presented for 20 minutes each. Thank you to our speakers for sharing thought-provoking presentations:

Benchmarking

  • Benjamin Skelton, P.E., LEED AP, BEMP, CPMP, CxA, president of Cyclone Energy Group, Chicago
  • Amy Jewel, Chicago city advisor with the City Energy Project
  • Lesley Showers, property manager at the Institute of Cultural Affairs, Chicago

Financing

Rick Tonielli of ComEd answers a question from the audience during a panel discussion.

Rick Tonielli of ComEd answers a question from the audience during a panel discussion.

  • Amy Jewel, Chicago city advisor with the City Energy Project
  • Kimberly Loewen, associate director, Technical Services and Building Technology, Elevate Energy, Chicago
  • Jack Crane, senior vice president and director of lending, Community Investment Corporation, Chicago

Commissioning & Building Envelope

  • Rick Tonielli, LEED AP, senior energy efficiency program manager, ComEd, Chicago
  • Aubrey Swift, AIA, CEM, QCxP, LEED AP, director of Design Integration, dbHMS, Chicago
  • Brian Stroik, industry expert in the construction of energy-efficient, sustainable and durable buildings

A special thank you to our industry advisors who helped make introduc- tions and garner speakers and support for the conference:

  • Nathan M. Gillette, AIA, LEED AP O+M, director of Natura Architec- tural Consulting LLC, Grand Rapids, Mich., and a retrofit editorial advisor
  • Paul R. Bertram Jr., FCSI, CDT, LEED AP BD+C, GGP, president of PRB Connect LLC, Casselberry, Fla.

There was opportunity to network and socialize throughout the day in our Tabletops Area. Here attendees talked with our generous sponsors—without whom the conference would not have been possible—about materials and systems for effective building retrofits.

Finally, we ended the day with a cocktail reception to celebrate a successful conference. Follow us on social media and watch our website for updates about the 2018 retrofit conference!

Attendees enjoyed meeting with sponsors in the Tabletops area.

Attendees enjoyed meeting with sponsors in the Tabletops area.

Thank you to our sponsors!
Armstrong Ceiling and Wall Solutions
Cambridge Engineering Inc.
CSI Chicago Chapter
Draper
Connectrac
Engineered Products Co.
Flex
Iconenergy
International Environmental Corp.
Kingspan
Metl-Span
Mitsubishi Electric
Petersen Aluminum Corp.
RoofHugger
Sierra Pacific Windows
Tremco
USGBC Illinois

Testimonials

“The retrofit conference is the only conference I know of where industrial and commercial facility owners and managers can hear information specific to retrofitting their facility. This focus provided an in-depth opportunity that isn’t available at conferences that blend retrofit topics with new construction or O&M topics.” — Doug Hargrave, GGA, CEM, Iconergy

“I thoroughly enjoyed the retrofit conference! It had a good mix of industry professionals—from designers, specifiers, owners, research and sustainability specialists, media and legislative experts—with very engaging and thought-provoking presentations on a myriad of topics.” —Kelly Adighije, CEng, IMechE, LEED AP BD+C, BCxP, BEAP, GGP, senior mechanical engineer, Baumann Consulting

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