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phME Fall Forum 2017: Innovation in Sustainable Construction + District Retrofits

Featuring Bold Approaches to Crack the Retrofit Nut

phME is proud to present three events as part of the Fall Forum. The goal is to reconsider possibilities in retrofits.

Maine's 600,000 existing units desperately need attention as we transition away from fossil fuels and anticipate extreme weather events. Innovation: what's missing in the demand and the solutions now offered? What messaging needs to be done? Is new technology being met with appropriate funding? Are new systems fully understood? Cost impacts demand; what can we do to reduce costs?

The Evening Panel Discussion will grapple with these questions. Moderator, Sonia Barrantes, will help shape the conversation and with luck we will have greater insight and potential steps forward to meet one of the greatest challanges Maine is currently facing: providing adequate and appropriate housing to our population.

The Forum will feature speakers who have already jumped into district retrofits. Learning from their experiences, what can we take away to inspire, fund and tackle retrofits in our major cities and our rural communities?

Fall Forum Agenda

Nov 2, 2017


Rob Conboy, Burlington, VT, ​will facilitate a​ small group conversation about Burlington’s financing of their retrofit and overall program as they edge towards 50% reduction of the emissions (buildings, transportation) and water use by 2030.  Rob understands Passive House and PH goals and also confronts real cost issues. 

​This workshop is geared toward town planners, weatherization programs, and ​housing authorities and will be capped at 20 participants.

Nov 2, 2017

EVENING Panel Discussion
Sponsored by Ventacity

5:45pm- 7:30pm

Innovation in Passive House, Net Zero and Near Net Zero Construction:

A panel discussion with funders, innovators and end users- What’s holding us back? How can we push forward?

Moderator: Sonia Barrantes 
Panelists: Joe Miglaccio, Maine Technology Institute; Rob Conboy, Better Inc; Barry Stephens, Ventacity; Ryan Hamilton, ReVision Heat; Jesse Thompson, Kaplan Thompson Architects

Nov 3, 2017


Much of Maine’s building stock is old and failing. Excessive energy use, cost and carbon emissions thwart a path to serious carbon reduction.  Extreme weather events will render our citizens vulnerable.  What approaches can we take to make substantive improvements to our built environment, preparing us for a carbon light and resilient future? Our four speakers have vision and strategies.

8:30 Coffee and light breakfast

9:15 Opening remarks

9:30 Rob Conboy, Better Inc of Burlington, VT.  Rob will present Burlington’s plan for carbon reduction through renovation of existing structures and encouraging compact mixed use urban development.

10:30 Coffee

11:00 Dave Low- will present the progress being made with Portland 2030.

11:45 Naomi Beal- A Rural retrofit with UN Support? Big Ideas! How far can they go? Tackling retrofits in rural communities, garnering support for a passive house approach.

12:15 LUNCH

12:45 Ivo Opstelten, PIAF Wonen, Netherlands Energiesprong: we have heard about Holland’s movement to drastically reduce carbon emissions by designing an encompassing approach to retrofits.  Blocks of row houses retrofitted to passive house in a week? Ivo will provide technical, design and social approaches to solving a challenge facing most cities in the developed world.

1:45-2:15 Closing Remarks



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