Keynote Speakers



Opening Remarks

Matt Beaton, Secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs, will deliver opening remarks at our 13th Annual North American Passive House Conference. We are especially excited to welcome Secretary Beaton because he is himself a Passive House pioneer, having built the very first house in Massachusetts to earn PHIUS+ certification, in 2009.

From building a super-efficient single family home to serving in the Legislature to overseeing six state agencies with over $800 million in annual budget, Secretary Beaton will share his own perspective on how passive building advances the organizing themes of NAPHC 2018: comfort, health, resilience, and carbon action.



Energy and Sustainability Scholar

Dr. Melgar’s distinguished career spans industry, government, and academia. From February 2014 to July 2016, Dr. Melgar served as Deputy Secretary of Energy for Hydrocarbons in Mexico and was a member of the Board of Directors of Pemex. From December 2012 to February 2014, she held the position of Under-Secretary for Electricity and served on the Board of CFE. During her tenure, she played a key role in the design, negotiation and implementation of Mexico’s energy reform, including social and sustainability components in the new regulatory framework.

In the academic realm, Dr. Melgar was Founding Director of the Center for Sustainability and Business at EGADE Business School of the Tecnológico de Monterrey. She was visiting scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and at the Jackson School of Geosciences at University of Texas. She is a CONACYT National Researcher. A graduate from Mount Holyoke College, she holds a MS and PhD in Political Sciences from MIT.

Dr. Lourdes Melgar is a research affiliate at the Center for Collective Intelligence of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was the 2016-17 Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow. She is also a non-resident Fellow at the Center of Energy of the Baker Institute at Rice University.



Advancing Equity in the Built Environment (through Passive Design)

Our closing keynote will be delivered by the grand prize winners from the DOE Race to Zero Competition, Prairie View A&M, a historically black university with a strong portfolio of community-oriented sustainable design.

A year ago, the Gulf Coast was drying out after Hurricane Harvey dumped a record 60 inches of rain across the Houston metropolitan area, causing over $100 billion in damages. The team will discuss how conditions of environmental degradation and social dislocation informed their design approach, and how creative application of flexible, adaptable physical and legal structures can enhance community resilience. Hear how the next generation of designers is applying tools and lessons from passive building practitioners to advance an inclusive, sustainable future.



On Comfort

Dr. Achilles Karagiozis is Director of Building Science at Owens Corning, where he is responsible for leading, shaping, driving, educating, and training others in energy efficiency and green building science. In his keynote, “On Comfort,” Dr. Karagiozis will share insights on analysis, design, and engineering for comfort developed over decades in the industry.



Icing on the Cake: Adventures in Passive Building Retrofit

Chris Benedict is a registered architect with 30 years of professional experience. Her office, Chris Benedict, R.A., was founded in 1995 and specializes in the design of exceptionally energy efficient buildings. A leader of the Passive House movement in the United States, Chris has designed over 80 apartment buildings in New York City, including three recently completed apartment buildings in New York City designed to meet the Passive House Standard.

She has another 15 Passive House buildings on the boards, all designed to cost the same as typical construction. Chris is a graduate of the Cooper Union where she was inducted into the Cooper Union Hall of Fame. Chris teaches internationally about her groundbreaking work and is a thought leader in the building industry.


#NAPHC2018 is presented by Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) in partnership with Passive House Alliance US (PHAUS).

PHIUS is a 501(c)(3) organization committed to making high-performance passive building the mainstream market standard.

PHIUS is transforming the building sector by developing Passive Building standards, practices, and certifications specific to North America’s many climate zones. PHIUS is the Made-in-America solution for building professionals who create durable, comfortable, healthy, and super energy-efficient buildings.

Visit About PHIUS for more info.

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