Getting to Zero Illinois Summit

November 14, 2023 from 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM @ The Old Post Office Marquee Room

UPDATE: Getting to Zero is now SOLD OUT. Tickets are still available for the Limelight Reception at 5:30 PM. Limelight event tickets here.

Participants will learn about the drivers for net zero buildings in Illinois, best practices for successful projects, and discuss opportunities to scale net zero building demand and adoption.

The Summit welcomes policymakers, designers, building owners, systems manufacturers, and commercial real estate professionals to share best practices and collaborate on opportunities to scale zero energy and zero carbon projects in the region.

Continuing Education: Approved for 4.0 LU|HSW AIA CES credit. Eligible to self-report to GBCI for 4.0 CE hrs.

Summit Agenda

12:35 — Opening Remarks


John Mlade
Director of Sustainable & Healthy Environments, Wight & Co. | 2023 Illinois Green Board Chair


Lana Crouse
Regional Director, U.S. Green Building Council

12:45 — Retrofitting to Zero: Prairie Trails School

Learn the opportunities and challenges that come with retrofitting a building to hit a net zero certification as the Prairie Trails team walks through their journey to Phius Zero Certification with deep dives into envelope design, mechanical updates, and operations. 


Gabriela Martin
Program Director, Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (Moderator)


Ron Richardson
Vice President & Principal, FGM Architects


Tom Boeman
Owner, Boeman Design


Lyndl Schuster
Asst. Supt. for Business Services, River Trails School District 26


Dan Whisler
Buildings & Grounds Director, River Trails School District 26

1:45 — Taking Action: Making the Pitch for Zero

Hear from a Chief Sustainability Officer on how she makes the pitch to clients to steer a project towards net zero goals.  From this short session, you will come away with three main tools to bring to the table next time you are faced with the question of, "Why?".


Megan Zack
Chief Sustainability Officer, Wight & Co.

2:00 — Architect Exchange: Campus Path to Zero

Net zero projects take project managing to a whole new level. Learn how the team for the Heartland Community College Agricultural Complex worked to keep this project on track from the beginning stages of submittal requirements to the final stages of construction and user education. 


Justin Banda
Project Associate, Legat Architects


Monique Taylor
Senior Interior Designer, Legat Architects

2:30 — Networking Break + Net Zero Project Gallery

3:00 — Taking Action: Building Your High Performance Team 

What does it take to build to zero? During this mini-session, Michelle will share the net zero journey from the General Contractor lens. She will share insights on bidding for net zero, project team training and education, setting up subs for success and more!


Michelle McClendon
Senior Project Executive, Gilbane Building Company

3:15 — Building Beyond Code: Developer Roundtable

During this panel discussion, we’ll dig into the developer’s path to pursuing all-electric and net zero buildings in Illinois. Panelists will share lessons learned between building sectors, building the bench for high performance projects, and demystifying the technologies needed and pricing premiums to build beyond code.


Chris Dillion
President, Campbell Coyle (Moderator)

Claudia Rodriguez

Claudia Rodriguez
Senior Construction Project Manager, Preservation of Affordable Housing


Lennox Jackson
Founder & CEO, Urban Equities, Inc.

AJ Patton

AJ Patton
Founder & CEO, 548 Enterprise


Frank Soldano
Vice President, Related Midwest

4:15 — Design Team Exchange: Multifamily Path to Zero

Join members of Chicago's Fifth City Commons (formerly Garfield Green) project team for a lively exchange about taking the net zero project from the C40 Reinventing Cities East Garfield Park winning design concept in 2018 to breaking ground in 2023! The design architect and engineering team will share lessons learned, best practices, and replicability in the multifamily and affordable housing market in our region.


Amina Helstern
Senior Regenerative Design Advisor, Perkins&Will


Justin Wortmann
Project Architect, Senior Associate,


Tyler Hodges
Group Leader

4:45 — Taking Action: Building on Policy & Progress

Climate policy is gaining speed in Illinois. How can you and your team best prepare for future climate policy in Illinois? What can you do to be an advocate and example for advancing climate policy in Illinois and municipalities where you live or work? Illinois Green's Executive Director will share what to expect in the future, how you can stay ahead of the curve, and your role in helping shape building policy.


Brian Imus
Executive Director,
Illinois Green Alliance

5:00 — Transition to Limelight Reception

Don't forget to purchase your Limelight ticket when you register for the Summit! Or go back and add your ticket for this fun networking reception now!

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We're making Illinois a leader in net zero buildings.

Learn more about progress, projects, and certifications on our Getting to Zero webpage.

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