Net-Zero Buildings: Cost-Effective and Sustainable for New Construction  

Education Type: 
Live Online
1.5 hours
11:00AM - 12:30PM (ET)
0.2 CEU
Sponsored by: 

DOE Federal Energy Management Program - FEMP

This course will cover federal sustainable and net-zero emissions buildings goals and requirements, the path to reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions, and net-zero buildings life cycle costs.


Otto VanGeet, Principal Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory  

Otto Van Geet is a Principal Engineer at NREL. He has been involved in the design, construction, and operation of energy-efficient research facilities such as laboratories and data centers, office and general use facilities, and low-energy-use campus and communities. Van Geet was one of the founding members of the Labs21 (Smart Labs) program and his experience also includes renewables screening and assessment, PV system design for on- and off-grid applications, energy audits, and minimizing energy use. Van Geet has authored many technical reports and conference papers and been recognized with many awards from professional associations, including the 2007 Presidential Award for Leadership in Federal Energy Management and the 2011 GreenGov Green Innovation Presidential Award for the NREL Research Support Facility data center.

Rick Mears, Program Manager, Data Centers, U.S. Department of Energy - Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP)  

Rick Mears, P.E., is program manager support for the Data Center program in U.S. DOE's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP). He also serves as the DOE FEMP lead for the Technology Validation and Sustainable Buildings programs. He has over 12 years of experience in the energy and sustainability fields and has provided energy resilience, energy and sustainability management, carbon accounting, and energy policy support across federal agencies. Rick is a Certified Energy Manager and has a master's degree from Johns Hopkins University and an engineering degree from Cornell University.

Shanti Pless, Researcher and Mechanical Engineer, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)  

Shanti is a senior commercial building energy researcher at NREL. His research focuses on the broad adoption of net-zero energy/carbon design and operational practices through applied research, innovative demonstrations, Cleantech Group startup technical guidance, academic engagements, high-impact publications, and informed industry outreach. His active research projects include integrating net-zero carbon strategies into the emerging off-site and affordable housing construction industry. He also focuses on supporting innovative development approaches to zero energy, including district-scale energy planning and how-to resources for emerging developers. He is active in the green building design and construction industry and is a frequent speaker at industry events. He is also an adjunct lecturer at the University of Colorado, teaching classes on sustainable construction and real estate.

Sheila Hayter, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Laboratory Program Manager  

Sheila Hayter is the NREL laboratory program manager for the U.S. Department of Energy Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP). In this role, she leads NREL's portfolio of activities focused on helping U.S. federal agencies identify, implement, and evaluate opportunities related to energy/water resilience and security, facility and fleet optimization, and energy and project procurement. Sheila has a M.S., Mechanical Engineering, from the University of Colorado and a B.S., Mechanical Engineering, from Kansas State University.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, attendees will be able to:

  • Identify the federal mandates and drivers behind net-zero buildings;
  • Recognize how to utilize best practices for planning and designing net-zero buildings;
  • Identify case studies from the national labs on achieving net-zero efforts.