Spotlight On

Spotlight On... Staying Active in Sustainability

March 30, 2017   |   Author: Meghan O'Connor

Spotlight On... Staying Active in Sustainability

As an advocate for sustainable construction, Columbia makes it a priority to stay educated and up to date on LEED and net zero energy trends in the industry. In addition to successfully meeting sustainability goals on projects, Columbia also strives to act as a resource within the industry as zero net energy trends gain more and more momentum. Taking the lead on LEED (pun intended) for Columbia is Conor McGuire, our Director of Sustainability. Conor will be sharing his knowledge and experience at two events next week – he is participating in a panel at the MED|Ed Facilities Conference on Tuesday 4/4, and is invited as guest lecturer at Harvard University on Thursday 4/4.

The MED|Ed Facilities Conference is a two-day event held at the Seaport World Trade Center focusing on design and construction in the healthcare and academic sectors. Conor will be participating in a four-person panel entitled “T24 in a v4 Materials Quandary? Solutions Through Collaboration”, along with Steven Burke of Symmes Maini & McKee Associates, Lisa Goodwin Robbins of Kalin Associates Inc, and Carrie Havey of The Green Engineer Inc. The panel will focus on strategies and tips on navigating specification writing and documentation requirements for LEED v4 compliance. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask any questions they may have and take part in the discussion facilitated by the panel. Click here for more information on the panel and overall conference.


On Thursday, Conor will be a guest speaker at Harvard Extension School’s course ‘Zero Energy in the Built Space’. This course, taught by Paul Ormond, MS, explores zero net energy buildings of all scales; from single family homes to large commercial buildings - even communities! The syllabus covers emerging ZNE trends in the real estate world, and dives into real world case studies to demonstrate successful practices and key concepts as well as lessons learned. In his lecture, Conor will explore zero net energy from the builder’s perspective, bringing to the table his personal experience with this type of construction. The students in the course will have the opportunity to learn not only from Conor, but also from Michelle Apigian and Ned Collier from Icon Architecture. Conor recommended them as guest lecturers to course instructor Ormond as local passive house experts because of their large Passive House project in South Boston, and they are thoroughly qualified to speak on the subject. Further information on the course can be found here.

Good luck to Conor as he continues to share his perspective and expertise on sustainability!