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A team of technical experts from WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff will address the challenges associated with net zero building design at the AIA California Council Monterey Design Conference, on October 16th at 12:45 pm, at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California.


Entering its fourth decade, the Monterey Design Conference brings together the country’s – and the world’s – leading architects and design thinkers for an intellectually vibrant weekend of discussions.

Led by WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff senior vice president and national leader for the firm’s built ecology group Alan Shepherd, the session will also feature senior associates Adam Kyle and James Saywell. The program will combine lecture material with an interactive design challenge that will involve all members of the audience. The goal is to provide an appreciation of how recent trends in the industry are affecting how we design for energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality.

During the interactive session the audience will be posed with the challenge of designing the most cost effective net zero energy building in differing climate types. Real-time energy analysis will be used to provide the audience with quantitative feedback on their selections.

“Our objective with this program is to demonstrate how indoor environment quality and energy efficiency have generally been aligned in recent years, but show how that has not always been the case, and may not be the case in the future based on recent trends,” Mr. Shepherd notes. “We want to show that the most cost effective mix of envelope design, efficient building systems, and renewable energy needed to achieve net zero energy will vary based on location and rapidly changing renewable energy costs.”

“What we have learned lately is that despite the unity of recent decades, designing buildings for low energy and indoor environmental quality are not necessarily compatible goals,” Mr. Shepherd says. “Our interactive design challenge will help participants to better understand low-energy design principles and the difficulties faced in achieving a net zero energy target.”