Reaching for Net Zero Commercial Buildings in Michigan

Join us for a day focused on achieving Zero Net Energy (ZNE) performance in new and existing commercial buildings, and how developers, contractors and architects must look at commercial buildings in a completely different way; utilizing energy efficiency to reduce energy consumption, while generating energy needs through solar and geothermal systems.

 Attendees will hear from the team that partnered on the IBEW Local 58 ZNE project in Detroit and use that project model for how the historic Jam Handy building could become a Net-Zero Energy Building (NZEB).

 This event follows a similar conference which took place in Grand Rapids in Spring 2019 focused on residential ZNE. The idea for a ZNE conference took shape following MEECA’s event last year at the IBEW Local 58 ZNE facility in Detroit, and conversations with energy efficiency contractors wanting to network with renewable energy contractors, architects, engineers, and others around ZNE projects.

 Free parking is available next door to the Jam Handy, behind 2884 E Grand Blvd.

 Cost: $35 (includes light continental breakfast and lunch)


Megawatt Sponsors:



Kilowatt Sponsors:



Watt Sponsors:


Energizer Non-Profit:


Planning Partners:


$10.00 coupon codes are available from promo and planning partners for their members. Contact them today to get your code!

 Get exposure to over 200  people for your product, service or idea to help advance net zero in Michigan! If you are interested in sponsoring, please inquire here.




8:30 am                         Check-In, Coffee, Networking


9:00 am                         Resilient Cities: City of Detroit – Keynote Speaker:

Joel Howrani Heeres, City of Detroit’s Office of Sustainability


Welcome: David Gard, Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Association


Session I

10:00 – 11:00             Case Study of Existing Project: IBEW 58 ZNE project in Detroit

                                           Speakers:       Diana Nash, Energy Sciences

Jim Dirkes, Foresight Management

                                                                        Walt Dindoffer, Development Solutions Midwest

John Jevahirian, Michigan Solar Solutions


Session II

11:00 -12:00              Design Charette – Can this building be Net Zero?

                                           Speakers:       Simeon Heyer – Owner, The Jam Handy

Diane Van Buren, D2solar / Zachary and Associates

Will Held, Strawberry Solar

Christian Koch, Lean & Green Michigan         

Kortney Lull, Midwest Geothermal

Doug Elbinger, Newman Consulting Group

Alan Waller, WaterFurnace


12:00 – 1:00                Lunch/Networking/Speaker:

Professor Doug Kelbaugh, former Dean of University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning on his recent book titled, THE URBAN FIX: Resilient Cities in the War against Climate Change, Heat Islands and Overpopulation



1:00 – 2:30 pm            Breakout Session I Topics: Focus on specific projects and how was the project planned, implemented and measured.


  1. Case studies on Multifamily Net Zero – New and Rehab

Moderator: Tim Skrotzki, Elevate Energy

  1. Jim Dirkes, Foresight Management
  2. Jeff Dombrowski, WM Housing Alliance
  3. Brett Little, Green Home Institute
  4. Peter Skornia, Bazzani Building Co.
  5. Tim Skrotzki, Elevate Energy


  1. Consumers Energy ZNE Pilot Program: Food to Flight

Moderator: David Gard, Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Association

  1. Ben Glendening and Annie Koch from Consumers Energy ZNE Pilot Program
  2. Matt VanSweden, Catalyst Partners on the WMU College of Aviation project in Kalamazoo
  3. Kirstin Policastro, E Three Inc. on the Long Lake Culinary Campus in Traverse City – Food For Thought case study


  1. Event Space

Moderator: Dennis Marvin, GLREA Board Member

  1. Chris Heine, SmithGroup – Edsel & Eleanor Ford House new administration building and visitor center in Grosse Pointe
  2. Rut Wattanasak, Catalyst Partners – Grand Rapids Art Museum
  3. Annie Koch, Consumers Energy ZNE Pilot Program


2:30 – 2:45                    Break


2:45 – 3:45 pm            Breakout Session II Topics:           


  1. Faith Based – Nonprofits

Moderator: Larry Kaufman, Michigan Geothermal Energy Association

  1. Andy Mayville, The Peoples Church
  2. Diane Mills, Occupant Care
  3. Leah Wiste, Michigan Interfaith Power & Light


  1. Office Space

Moderator: Kendal Kuneman, Energy Sciences

  1. Chris Heine, SmithGroup – models of office buildings
  2. Will Held, Strawberry Solar


  1. Financing

Moderator: Melanie McCoy, Sebewaing Light & Water

  1. Christian Koch, Lean & Green Michigan
  2. Patrick O’Boyle, Michigan Saves
  3. Doug Elbinger, Newman Consulting Group – PACE project at historic Whitney Restaurant in Detroit



3:45 – 4:00 pm            Break


4:00 – 5:00 pm           ClosingFuture of Net Zero Energy from Buildings to Cities

                                           Moderator: John Sarver, GLREA Board Member

  • Dr. Brandy Brown, Climate and Energy Advisor for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy
  • City of Detroit Councilman Scott Benson and Chairman of the Detroit City Council Green Task Force
  • Cheri Holman, GR2030 District & Zero Cities Project
  • Peggy Matta, USGBC and LEED for Cities


5:00 pm                         Afterglow:


Kiesling,449 E Milwaukee Ave, Detroit, MI 48202 – TBD