October 27 • 1:00–2:30 PM
Elizabeth (Liz) Beardsley
Senior Policy Counsel
U.S. Green Building Council
Liz will speak to opportunities for resilient buildings stemming from recent Federal and Virginia legislation. Highlights will include funding coming from the Federal IIJA and IRA, as well as new requirements for municipal building projects under the Virginia High Performance Building Act for Localities.
Liz brings more than 25 years of professional experience working on environmental and climate issues both as an engineer and a lawyer. In her current role, Liz serves as Senior Policy Counsel at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a global environmental nonprofit best known for LEED, the world’s most widely used green building rating program. She provides strategic green building law and policy guidance and direction across the international, federal, state, and local spectrum, and her work focuses on connecting building policy to climate mitigation.
Liz is a sought-after expert and spokesperson for USGBC who has been interviewed by dozens of media outlets such as the LA Times, Yale Climate Connection, BBC News: Business Matters, The Aaron Harber Show, ENR, Building Green, and Commercial Property Executive. She’s also an accomplished writer whose work has been published in Governing Magazine, Green Operations, USGBC+, and others. Since joining USGBC in 2014, Liz has represented the organization at multiple United Nations COP climate change conferences. Liz currently serves on the Board of the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council (VAEEC), and previously served on the Board of the National Association of State Energy Offices (NASEO). She regularly presents at conferences. Liz appeared as a witness at hearings of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Energy; and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Public Buildings and Emergency Management.
She has authored or co-authored policy papers such as State and Local Policy Proposal: Property Tax Incentive for GHG Reductions (2019), Perspectives on State Legislation Concerning Lead Testing in School Drinking Water (2018), and Perspectives on Implementation and Effectiveness of School Green Cleaning Laws (2015).
Liz came to USGBC from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), where she was a Senior Attorney involved in evaluating government environment and energy programs. Prior to her legal career, she was an environmental engineer and Principal at Camp Dresser and McKee (now CDM Smith), where she focused on water issues and infrastructure planning.
Liz has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Stanford University and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Climate Program Analyst
D.C. Department of Energy & Environment,
Urban Sustainability Administration
Sarah will review the District of Columbia’s climate adaptation plan, Climate Ready DC, and its initiatives to prepare its built environment for future climate conditions, such as the resilient design guidelines that provide step-by-step strategies to incorporate resilient design into new and existing buildings. Other adaptation initiatives include a new FloodSmart Homes program, and a Blue-Green Infrastructure neighborhood strategy in Southwest DC that aim to reduce climate risks to vulnerable communities.
Sarah Edwards is a climate program analyst with DC’s Department of Energy & Environment Urban Sustainability Administration. Her work includes staffing the Commission on Climate Change & Resiliency, advancing climate adaptation and energy resilience initiatives, and incorporating climate considerations into projects and policies. Previously, Edwards worked on the flood-prepared communities team at The Pew Charitable Trusts where she established Pew’s State Resilience Planning Group, a network of state officials, each tasked with the development and implementation of comprehensive resilience plans to reduce impacts of flooding and other climate risks. Edwards received her Juris Doctor from William & Mary Law School, where she also worked with the Virginia Coastal Policy Center, and received her bachelor’s degree from University of South Carolina.
Terrazia PC Architecture
This 15-minute educational session demonstrates how resilient buildings & infrastructure can be a primary strategy for mitigating impact of climate change, because it saves money, improves people’s lives and ensures a more sustainable future.
Virginia Registered Architect (#0401006818) and:
USGBC LEED AP/BD+
Building Performance Institute (BPI) Analyst
Oklahoma Certified Energy Auditor Trainer
Certified Pervious Concrete Technician
Steve graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1974 with both Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design degrees.
His architectural career stretches over 50 years of diversified experience including extensive design, project management, energy conservation, and environmental education for a wide variety of stakeholders & building types throughout the United States and the Middle East.
Steve has promoted alternative energy, environmental conservation, and equitable facilities design since the early 1970s, and more recently extensive educational seminars related to resilient building design, sustainable design, high-performance design, and low-impact stormwater management.
“I am compelled to provide a sustainable future for my descendants and all of society by implementing a strategy of change for our built environment that saves money, improves people’s lives, and ensures a sustainable planet.”
Recent Volunteer Organizations:
Resilient Virginia Board of Directors, 2018–Present (Chair 2019–2021)
Cabell Brand Center Board of Directors, President: 2015–Present
Virginia American Concrete Institute Board of Directors, 2015
USGBC Virginia Member, 2015–Present
Center for Green Schools National Green Schools Committee, 2011–2015
SW Virginia Chapter: 2008–2014 Board of Directors; 2008 Vice Chair; 2009 Chair; 2010–2014 Green Schools Committee Chair
Senior Project Manager
Community Housing Partners
Ben will present a case study from Grissom Lane Apartments; a net-zero energy development in Blacksburg, Virginia. The focus will be on resilient aspects of the project, such as: passive survivability, building durability, high performance cold climate heat pumps, on-site renewable energy generation, and the unique opportunity for on-site battery storage.
Ben is a senior project manager at Community Housing Partners. He has experience in building science consulting, energy efficiency, and mechanical system research, development, design, and commissioning. His current focus includes energy equity, resiliency, health, and integrating Weatherization with decarbonization of homes in under-served communities.
Ben is a 2021 Fellow with the Clean Energy Leadership Institute, a 2019 Innovator with the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab IMPEL+ Program, a 2016 Winner of the Oak Ridge National Lab JUMP Innovation Contest in Water Heating, and holds a US patent for a novel water heating technology. Ben holds credentials such as: PHIUS+ Rater and CPHC from the Passive House Institute US, Certified Energy Manager from the Association of Energy Engineers, and Licensed Residential Building Energy Analyst from the Commonwealth of Virginia.