The Building Innovation Hub’s Advisory Board is up and running with an array of extremely qualified, experienced and well-connected members of the Washington, DC real estate community. We asked each of them to share their perspective on challenges and opportunities to create high-performing buildings. You can read the full bios for each board member on our webpage.
Q: What do you see as the biggest challenge, and the biggest opportunity, to creating high-performance buildings in DC?
Lisa Mallory – DCBIA
Some of the biggest challenges to the implementation of the building energy standards are the lack of training, awareness and cost data. Many of our builders have asked for cost comparisons but we have not been able to provide the precise guidance they have requested. As more partners implement we will then be able to share that data more broadly. Unfortunately, we cannot take this in a vacuum as many additional requirements have been hoisted on our industry including the unforeseen effects of the pandemic. On the plus side, there are ample opportunities for us to all learn from each other.
Holly Lennihan – Hickok Cole Architects
As an architect, I see changing the status quo—of how buildings are designed, engineered, constructed, and financed—as a huge impediment. It takes a terrific amount of effort to design and build/renovate buildings. Cramming in the needed details around energy efficiency/lower embodied carbon for materials/renewable energy is a struggle for most project teams unless there is a mandate to do so. I think that BEPS and the DC energy code amendments are necessary legal requirements to initiate this change.
Gautami Palanki – The Howard Hughes Corporation
The biggest opportunity for lasting impact lies in engaging people, to improve the performance of buildings we live, work, learn, heal and pray in. This begins with our generation, who are decision makers today and specifically our industry that is shaping the future of cities. It’s also our responsibility to engage students and young professionals with the right tools, to continue accelerating climate action.
James Ball – MaGrann Associates
Our greatest opportunity and challenge is creating a shared vision for what success will look like in achieving DC’s high-performance building goals. Stakeholders need to see their part (and what is in it for them) within the bigger picture of reducing carbon emissions while maintaining affordability, improving equity, attracting investment and optimizing profit. Once each player sees their role and potential reward within a shared vision we can efficiently and effectively make that vision a reality. Read James’ blog post on “coopetition.”
David Ferrara – NAPEEF
The biggest challenge in creating high performance buildings is the training required to operate them as intended and the segmentation of stakeholders. This leads us to only take small steps towards efficiency in small phases. By increasing training and awareness, we can assist in creating a top-down approach that will engage all stakeholders to work together in achieving high performance buildings.