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Net Zero Energy Building: The Why and The How

Net Zero Energy Building: The Why and The How

****This course is approved for 4 AIA LU HSW credits.

Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF) built the first net-zero building in the Lehigh Valley region and one of only a few in Pennsylvania. SEF constructed the Net-Zero Building on a foundation of cost-effective energy efficiency principles and complemented it with on-site solar generation. Through this project, SEF has demonstrated that commercial property owners can build high-efficient, low-impact commercial buildings at market rate.

With an Energy Star score of 97, SEF’s NZB is more efficient than 97% of other buildings within its property type. SEF achieved energy efficiency with a tight building envelope and increased insulation, providing superior comfort within the building space. Energy recovery ventilation sustains indoor air quality, and high-efficiency HVAC equipment and an integrated building automation system maintain and manage this comfort to the occupants’ preference. A 149kW solar array powers the building, reducing its environmental impact.

The sessions/tours featured in this seminar are:

  • 11:30 am – 12:30 pm:  What is Net Zero, Design Choice, and the Formula to Reach Net Zero – Andrew Schuster, Ashley McGraw Architects
  • 12:30 – 1:00 pm: Lunch (provided by Sustainable Energy Fund)
  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm:  Net Zero Energy Building Construction Process – Peter Bowen, TN Ward Company
  • 2:00 – 3:00 pm:  Energy Reduction Strategies for Net Zero Energy – Shannon Kaplan, AKF Group
  • 3:00 – 4:00 pm:  Net Zero Energy Building Tour: Exploring Current Energy Use– Brian Hillard, Sustainable Energy Fund


The cost to attend this half-day seminar is $50. This includes the cost of the lunch provided by SEF. To register, please continue to the form below. You will receive an invoice via email for your registration within 1-2 business days after registering.



Andrew Schuster
Principal at Ashley McGraw Architects

Andrew, a LEED certified registered architect, is a partner at Ashley McGraw Architects. He has extensive experience in sustainability and ecologically-driven architecture, with a passion for how natural materials can enhance the quality of life for a building’s occupants while reducing its environmental impact. Noted projects include the new net zero energy fire station and community hall for the Onondaga Nation and 42 net zero energy apartments and townhouses in Dublin, Ireland. He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University and has practiced in the United States, France, and Ireland.


Peter Bowen
Project Manager at TN Ward Company

Peter has been a project manager at TN Ward Company for over 6 years. TN Ward Company is a general contractor and construction manager whose mission is to satisfy their clients’ objectives by meeting both budget and schedule, solving problems, and maintaining the highest quality of workmanship. Prior to working at TN Ward Comapny, Peter worked as a Project Manger at J&M Associates and an Associate Project Manager at Garnet Hill Construction Managers and General Contractors Inc.


Shannon Kaplan
Operations at AKF Group

Shannon specializes in the design and analysis of high-performance systems for buildings with an emphasis on ultra-low-energy lighting systems, daylight harvesting, and on-site renewable energy. She has 20 years of experience, including experience on numerous high-performance, net-zero, and LEED Certified projects. Shannon works with clients to help them find ways to minimize energy usage in buildings and has helped develop innovative tools such as low-energy building user guides to achieve energy goals. She works as a project manager, a project electrical engineer, a net-zero energy consultant, and a charrette facilitator. She has a Bachelors’s and Masters’s Degree in Architectural Engineering from Penn State University and a Master of Science in Organizational Development and Leadership from Saint Joseph’s University. She is a licensed professional engineer in four states.

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