When: Tuesday, November 09 / 8:30 am – 9:30 am
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Categorized under: Lectures, Webinars

Webinar: Follow the Energy Rich Road to PV – Lessons Learned from Three Zero Energy

1.5 LU/HSW Available

Planning a Zero Energy building can seem daunting, but this session will demystify a successful design and construction process that can put anyone on the path to Net Zero Energy. This session will cover the cost-shifting strategies of energy-efficient design with a focus on zero energy operation for Maryland’s first three new Zero Energy public schools: Wilde Lake MS, Holabird Academy ES/MS, and Graceland Park-O’Donnel Heights ES/MS. Prioritizing energy efficiency is possible, for any school district that is looking to provide world-class schools that can integrate teaching, learning, and equitable sustainable design,. The panelists from two architecture firms, Grimm + Parker Architects and TCA Architects, will share challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned for zero energy strategies, user behavior outreach, and ongoing occupant training. In light of concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic, the panelists will also discuss what measures can be taken to balance indoor environmental quality and deep energy savings.

Learning Objectives

*Explore fundamentals of design to achieve Zero Energy operation within new public buildings through the examples of equitable design, cost-effective construction details and energy-efficient mechanical and electrical systems.

*Identify critical decisions needed by the owner/client at each stage of sustainable design and construction to successfully operate as a Zero Energy facility that elevates the user experience with healthy indoor environments and a focus on wellness.

*Summarize operational Zero Energy Lessons Learned that can be incorporated by Owners, A/E teams and construction partners.

*Discover the opportunities of using the building as a sustainable learning tool from design through construction, and during operation.

Robyn Toth, AIA | TCA Architects, LLC

As Owner and Principal of TCA Architects, LLC, Robyn Toth, has dedicated the past 25 years to the design of sustainable educational facilities and has worked on over 88 school projects in the state of Maryland. She has had the honor of designing 10 LEED projects including 5 silver, 4 gold and one platinum and Maryland’s First Net Zero Energy School, Wilde Lake Middle School (WLMS). The WLMS project has won many certifications and awards including First Place the 2019 ASHRAE Technology Award for New Educational Facilities. WLMS is the largest building in the nation that is able to function at an EUI of 13.8. Since the opening of this project, Robyn has been working with clients to incorporate energy efficient strategies on all her projects, even if the budget does not allow for a Net Zero certification.


Amy Upton, AIA, LEED Fellow | Grimm + Parker Architects

Amy has spent her 20+ year career at Grimm + Parker Architects balancing her roles as Project Architect on K-12 Schools, Recreation Centers and Libraries, as a firm Principal, and as the firm’s Director of Environmental Design. She has designed and/or been a part of over 14.5 million square feet of green certified public projects that strike a balance of inspiring, healthy and high-performance environments with budget, maintenance and operation concerns. She is a co-Project Manager for two new Zero Energy Pre-K-Grade 8 schools in Baltimore City that opened Fall 2020 and LEED Platinum certified, Graceland Park-O’Donnell Heights ES/MS and Holabird Academy ES/MS.


Melissa Wilfong, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, ALEP | Grimm + Parker Architects

In her 24 years focusing on educational design, Melissa has advocated for sustainable solutions that inspire students and enhance educational opportunities. As a leader in the K-12 practice at Grimm + Parker, Melissa has facilitate projects throughout the region, bringing her vast experience to each project, challenging assumptions and insuring each project progress toward the most efficient and effective solutions. She has supported many clients through the development of new standards supporting modern educational methodologies and the most sustainable practices including multiple LEED and Net Zero firsts. Melissa has worked with City Schools from the inception of the 21st Century Schools plan, creating standards, developing the education specifications and planning and design of the two Net Zero schools.