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All-Electric Affordable Housing

December 15, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm PST

AIALA Presents…
All-Electric Affordable Housing: a roundtable discussion to discuss best-practices & implementation strategies

As the second in our series of roundtables to promote the adoption of the 2022 Zero Code For California, this roundtable discussion will serve as a forum to share best-practices and implementation strategies to design, build, and operate all-electric affordable housing.  As we build momentum to decarbonize our built environment, we recognize an opportunity to lower the cost of housing, improve indoor air-quality, and facilitate greater social and environmental equity with measures to improve energy performance, electrify new construction with on-site renewables, and procure 100% renewable energy for whatever the project can not produce on-site.

REGISTER HERE (free w/ advance RSVP)

Moderated by: Heidi Creighton, AIA, LEED AP – Associate Principal, Buro Happold

Tara Barauskas, Leed APExecutive Director, Community Corporation of Santa Monica
Merrian BorgesonSenior Scientist, Natural Resources Defense Council
Wanda Dalla Costa, Architect, AIA, OAA, AAA, LEED A.P. (Saddle Lake Cree Nation) – Director & Founder, The Indigenous Design Collaborative & Institute Professor, The Design School, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
Lance A. Collins, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP (BD+C), cSBA, GGP, GGA-EBDirector, Partner Energy & President, So Cal NOMA
Tim Kohut, AIA​ – Director of Sustainable Design, National Community Renaissance
Hilary Noll, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Fitwel AmbassadorSenior Associate, Sustainability Integration Leader, Mithun

Tara Barauskas, Leed APExecutive Director, Community Corporation of Santa Monic

Tara Barauskas is the Executive Director of Community Corporation of Santa Monica, a nonprofit affordable housing organization based in Santa Monica, California. Being in this role since 2016, she oversees the functional areas of the organization, including management of 1,800 units of affordable housing, housing development, resident services, maintenance and administration of 80 staff. Ms. Barauskas has over 20 years of experience in affordable housing development, having worked at both for-profit and non-profit affordable housing development organizations prior to joining Community Corporation. Her past experience includes overseeing and managing the development process of numerous projects throughout California. Ms. Barauskas holds a Bachelors’ Degree in English from California State University, Long Beach, and a LEED AP Accreditation from the US Green Building Council. She currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the Southern California Association of Non-profit Housing (SCANPH), a nonprofit membership organization that advocates for effective affordable housing policy throughout Southern California. In addition, she serves on the Board of the Santa Monica Bay Area Human Relations Council and the Board of Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. She is passionate about her children, her Lithuanian heritage, the environment and affordable housing. She lives in Playa del Rey with her two children, Julius and Linas.

Merrian BorgesonSenior Scientist, Natural Resources Defense Council

Merrian Borgeson is one of California’s leading policy experts working to create a safe and affordable zero-emission energy system. With expertise in renewable energy, market transformation, technology financing, energy efficiency programs, and grid planning, Borgeson specializes in designing policies to achieve significant emissions reductions from buildings, transportation, and the power sector. Borgeson is currently a Senior Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Prior to joining NRDC, she worked as a team leader at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She also served as the first director of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, a master’s from the University of California, Berkeley, Energy and Resources Group; and an MBA from Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. She is based in San Francisco.

Heidi Creighton, AIA, LEED AP – Associate Principal, Buro Happold

Heidi Creighton, AIA, is an associate principal at Buro Happold and is a LEED Fellow, WELL Faculty, and Fitwel Ambassador. Her work focuses on sustainability and wellness strategies for academic, healthcare, commercial, and residential projects. She provides sustainability consulting at building and master plan scales, as well as 3rd party certification management, post occupancy evaluation, and health and wellbeing-focused design. Heidi is a passionate advocate for a restorative built environment, delivering socially, economically and environmentally sustainable developments.

Heidi has been active in the green building industry for more than 15 years and served on the USGBC-LA Board of Directors for six years. She is currently serving on the AIA California Committee on the Environment Steering Committee. Heidi was named a LEED Fellow in 2018 and was one of the world’s first WELL APs. At Buro Happold, Heidi created and continues to lead the Collective Impact speaker series, which has brought together 179 speakers from 146 different organizations. She also led the Bridges to Prosperity build in 2018, launched the Buro Happold Los Angeles Diversity and Inclusion Forum and initiated the JUST label for Buro Happold U.S.

Lance A. Collins, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP (BD+C), cSBA, GGP, GGA-EBDirector, Partner Energy & President, So Cal NOMA

Mr. Collins is a Director at Partner Energy, in charge of the Sustainability team for projects pursuing green certification such as LEED, GreenPoint Rated and others; energy modeling, commissioning, and HERS verifications. A licensed architect with over twenty years of experience in architecture, urban design, and sustainable design consulting, his experience includes design, construction administration, building energy / water benchmarking and analysis, resource conservation measures, and green certification project management. Mr. Collins has provided design and consulting solution for various types of buildings including institutional, office, mixed-use, retail, schools, and multifamily residential properties. Lance has led the completion of more than 50 Green certified projects including LEED Platinum and Net-Zero projects for new buildings and existing construction for Partner Energy clients.

In addition to his professional experience, Mr. Collins is the President of the Southern California Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects, on the Homefree Champions Advisory Board for the Healthy Buildings Network, a member of the AIA-LA committee on Affordable Housing, and was the founding Co-Chair of the US Green Building Council Long Beach Branch. He also is a guest lecturer at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, and a design juror at the USC School of Architecture, Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), and at Cal Baptist University. He has also been an adjunct professor at Long Beach City College and has been a guest speaker at many local colleges, for professional organizations, and at national conferences teaching green building principles and sustainable design strategies. His work and writings have been featured in multiple publications including, Metropolis Magazine, Sustainable Industries, and Commercial Observer.

Mr. Collins was born and raised in Seattle Washington and is a graduate of the Cornell University school of Architecture, Art, and Planning and the University of California Los Angeles School of Architecture and Urban Design. He currently resides in Long Beach, California.

Wanda Dalla Costa, Architect, AIA, OAA, AAA, LEED A.P. (Saddle Lake Cree Nation) – Director & Founder, The Indigenous Design Collaborative & Institute Professor, The Design School, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

Wanda Dalla Costa, AIA, OAA, AAA, LEED A.P. is a member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation, a practicing architect, a professor and a YBCA 100 2019 honoree. At Arizona State University, she is the director and founder of the Indigenous Design Collaborative, a community-driven design and construction program, which brings together tribal community members, industry and a multidisciplinary team of ASU students and faculty to co-design and co-develop solutions for tribal communities.

In terms of her practice, Dalla Costa was the first, First Nation women to become an architect in Canada. Her firm, Tawaw Architectural Collective (www.TawArc.com), is based in Phoenix, Arizona. Recent projects include the Indigenous embassy in Ottawa, an Indigenous urban early learning center in Saskatoon and a tribal college in Alberta. Dalla Costa was also invited to the 2018 Venice Biennale, world festival in architecture, as part of the Unceded team, where she joined 18 Indigenous architects from across Turtle Island, to share an Indigenous vision of the future. Dalla Costa holds a Master of Design Research in City Design from SCI-Arc in Los Angeles, and a Master of Architecture from the University of Calgary.

Tim Kohut, AIA​ – Director of Sustainable Design, National Community Renaissance

Tim Kohut, AIA, is Director of Sustainable Design with National Community Renaissance, a regional Developer/Builder of affordable housing.  Tim works with design teams, construction teams and subcontractors implementing strategies aimed at high performance and energy efficiency, with an increasing focus on Zero Net Energy and Carbon Neutrality.  He is a Certified Energy Analyst (CEA), Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Rater, and Building Performance Institute (BPI) Energy Analyst.  Tim has spent more than 20 years designing, building, and consulting on affordable housing projects throughout Southern California.

Hilary Noll, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Fitwel AmbassadorSenior Associate, Sustainability Integration Leader, Mithun

Hilary is an architect and social-impact designer specialized in sustainability. As a Senior Associate and Sustainability Integration Leader at Mithun, she works on affordable multifamily housing, holistic building performance and the pursuit of ecologically regenerative, carbon-neutral projects. A background in environmental science and community organizing informs her design approach of working in a participatory process to achieve place based solutions. In 2014 she was selected as a Rose Architectural Fellow and served as Design Director at First Community Housing, furthering the mission to develop high-quality, healthy, green affordable housing for low-income communities. Previously, Hilary worked in New Mexico as a LEED Project Manager and Architectural Designer on a wide variety of project types. This past year, Hilary has served on the San Francisco Mayor’s Zero Emission Building Taskforce as a member of the All Electric Buildings for New Construction Workgroup, which advised on policy for all-electric building code for the City.
Hilary is a LEED AP BD+C, SEED Evaluator, Living Building Challenge Ambassador and Fitwel Ambassador. Recognition of her work includes Exhibition Winner: Drylands Design Competition; Natural Talent Design Competition; ‘Best in Show’ at the NM Green Built Tour. Hilary has been named a Udall Scholar and Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow.

REGISTER HERE (free w/ advance RSVP)

NOTES from Merrian Borgeson with the NRDC:

  • Key points for AHSC transition to all-electric
  • The SGC should increase the AHSC application points for all-electric buildings this year and – most importantly – make a clear public commitment to only consider all-electric buildings in the next funding cycle.
  • This will align the GGRF climate dollars with the state’s climate commitments, and ensure that new affordable housing supports community and resident health
  • The affordable housing community is already starting to build all-electric – motivated by lower costs, reduced pollution, and local building code requirements. A clear signal from the SGC will make all-electric standard practice, while also giving developers time to make the transition before the next round of AHSC applications.
  • The CEC’s BUILD program, created by SB 1477 (Stern), will launch in 2021 and provide $60M in direct incentives and robust technical assistance for new all-electric affordable housing. This is well-timed to support the change in AHSC guidelines in 2021.


December 15, 2020
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm PST
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