Solar 2021

Sustainability Track: Sustainable Buildings

Session Moderator: Julian Wang

Because of its large energy expenditure and the abundance of homes, office buildings, and industrial complexes, the building sector is one of the most appropriate candidates for solar energy utilization. Energy from the sun can be used passively, actively, or both. More specifically, solar heat gains can reduce building heating loads in winter, and lighting loads during the day. Natural light can be beneficial to the occupant’s health and well-being. The building structure can support solar panels on the roof or integrated into the building skin. These PV (photovoltaic panels) can also produce electricity for appliances and electronics as well as supply energy for vehicles. The importance of these topics will be covered in the Building Session of the Sustainability Track.


Aug 04 2021


2:15 pm - 3:45 pm


Aspen Room East


  • Ash Ragheb
    Ash Ragheb
    Lawrence Technological University

    Ash Ragheb is an Associate Professor at Lawrence Technological University in the College of Architecture and Design. Dr. Ragheb’s research focuses on building systems integration, energy efficiency, the integration of renewable energy technologies in design, environmental sustainability esp. reducing building environmental impact, often using quantitative methods, computer simulation, and Life Cycle Assessment LCA as methods. His research on environmental profiling of buildings using LCA has been funded by AIA prestigious UpJohn grant in 2009. He has published numerous peer reviewed papers in national and international conferences and journals including ARCC, ASES, PLEA, Int’l J of LCA

    Presentation Title: Environmental Analysis of Solar Technologies Using Life Cycle Analysis (LCA): An Emphasis on Building Integrated Solar Thermal Systems.

    Presentation Description: This research highlights the relationship between ongoing standardization of solar systems and their environmental performance. This is a controversial debate that slows down the implementation of such systems to the level of household. Research on the influence of the building integrated solar thermal systems on building life-cycle performance provides crucial information in reducing their environmental impacts. This shows how these systems are significant energy savers and contribute to the creation of a more sustainable buildings.

  • Brian Spitnale
    Virginia Tech University

    I’m a former student of the Virginia Tech 2020 graduating class and have received my Master’s in Architecture. I currently reside in Washington, DC and work for an architecture firm in Alexandria, VA. I chose architecture because I was engrossed by the idea that something I could conjure up in my imagination could become a physical thing, and something that could serve as a lasting mark. Through my studies I recognized the need for sustainability and was drawn to passive solar design as it seemed to merge the concepts of a constructed building and how it could be built sustainably.
    Presentation Title: Enhanced Passive Solar Design: Studies in Solar Design and Human Health

    Presentation Description: Concepts in sustainable solar design are becoming the “new wave” in green architecture. As architects we shape the world we live in, and we have taken positive steps in reducing our carbon footprint. However, one thing that has become very apparent in recent years is the significance of someone’s mental health. It is incredibly important, now more than ever, that architects pay close attention to not only how a building performs using passive solar design strategies, but how these strategies can impact the inhabitants and overall quality and feel of a space.

  • Dale Miller
    University of Colorado-Boulder

    Dale Miller is a native Coloradoan, and attended the University of Colorado for his undergraduate and graduate studies in physics, writing, rhetoric and the teaching of science. He has been faculty since 1999 in the Environmental Studies program at the University of Colorado-Boulder. In 2008 Dale and his wife Leslie completed building a solar home in Lakewood, Colorado, for which the city honored them with its Sustainability Award. Dale has served on the Lakewood Planning Commission for 7 years; for 3 years prior he served on a citizens advisory committee tasked with making recommendations for re-writing the city’s zoning codes, focusing on encouraging sustainable building, walkable and bikeable streets, and urban agriculture.
    Presentation Title: 13 Years of a Carbon Neutral Home

    Presentation Description: We completed building our carbon neutral home 13 years ago in part to show it could be done, and have thus kept thousands of pounds of carbon each year from entering the atmosphere. Since that time, countless homes have been built in the U.S., with few actually coming close to the low emission levels of our home. We lament this reality, and continue to speak out about it.

  • John Spears

    John Spears is the President of the Sustainable Design Group located in Gaithersburg, Maryland and the founder of the non profit International Center for Sustainable Development. He has been a leader and visionary in sustainable design and green building since the early 1970’s. John has made a significant impact on environmental awareness through his advocacy, conversation and spotlight on sustainable development in the United States and around the world. John has contributed to the research and development many of the green guidelines used in today’s high performance buildings and many of the technologies and renewable energy systems used today.
    Presentation Title: Passive solar design and thermal mass in an off grid home in Maryland

    Presentation Description: In an effort to move buildings towards zero energy and zero carbon we need to consider making buildings self-regulating through the design of the building envelope itself. A good passive solar building can maintain indoor comfort conditions with no need for electricity, fossil fuels or mechanical systems. This significantly reduces the carbon footprint of the building and improves its resiliency. Passive solar is a balance of solar gain through the windows, thermal mass and insulation. With a good understanding of the engineering principals and a careful selection of materials, passive solar can be designed into any building in any climate.

  • Steve Stevens
    Founder, Chief Sustainabilist, Curator, "Post Architect" & Builder (1 man band!)

    Education: BA Math/Physics – Honors/ High Distinction / Phi Beta Kappa. MS / AbD Computer Science.
    Career: AT&T BELL TELEPHONE LABORATORIES, New Jersey / Illinois / Korea – Country Manager.
    Publications: Book Chapter and Many National and International Conference Talks with Papers.
    Post Retirement: Research and Development of Energy Transformation Approaches to EXISTING RESIDENTIAL STRUCTURES – Using Cultural Transformation to Personal Responsibility.
    I have integrated a lifetime of work and education (living on 3 continents and traveling to over 60 countries) into an approach to Climate based upon Applied Personal Responsibility- to Do It Yourself slowly but surely. Results – a Minus 7 ton carbon footprint on a 1979 home with powering car and growing Citrus in Golden Colorado (was 15 ton without car and citrus to start). The Gas Line is Terminated.
    Over-production of ~ 8 MWH of PV after meeting all residential and transport needs. This DEMO home is less than 1 KM West of NREL and Features Water Capture as well as Multi Solar Integration and Structural Features. ASES & CRES LIFE MEMBER.
    Presentation Title: Building a Culture of Personal Climate Responsibility and Personal Energy Action – A Prototype

    Presentation Description: With the reticence of Government Action – and Reversal of Government Progress, We CANNOT leave the climate/energy transformation to “THEM”. Individuals must TAKE SERIOUS PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for NEGATING PERSONAL CARBON FOOTPRINTS. A Cultural Transformation to Personal Action to get
    to (and beyond) Net Zero Carbon (Total Electrification with Renewables of Residence / Transport) and Producing Personal food. This presentation shows how this has been done (DIY) to a 1979 residence in Golden, Colorado less than 1 KM from NREL using over 90% recycled and repurposed materials. Temperatures can exceed 100 F and drop to Minus 20s. This argues for the Cultural Change which would Normalize this activity.

  • William Young_
    Florida Solar Energy Center

    William Young career specialized in renewable and alternative energy for use in disaster relief and in ensuring a sustainable future for over 30 years. Bill holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Sciences with a major in Electrical Engineering from the University of Central Florida. He cooperated with the U.S. Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, SANDIA labs, Solar Energy Industry
    Association and many other organization. In 1990, he started work at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) as a Senior Research Engineer. FSEC is an energy research institute of the University of Central Florida. Bill’s work included development, design, evaluation, standards, testing, teaching and implementation of photovoltaic (PV) power applications, both stand-alone and utility grid-tied interactive systems for projects across the world.
    Presentation Title: Growing Implementation of City and County Sustainability Plans

    Presentation Description: This presents a growing movement by local governments towards sustainability in a real way. Plans are being developed and implemented by City and County government across the country. What worked and did not work in the design and operation was researched during 2020 program inspection and evaluation providing real life research and results that effected each system performance.

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