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The 2016 Keynote Presentation:

The Path to a Sustainable Future Begins with POWER WORDS

Samuel Rashkin, Chief Architect
Building Technologies Office in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
U.S. Department of Energy
Washington, DC

A simple name change and a product that languished for years becomes a huge market success, or a political cause finds massive popular support. Any time we engage the public, the words we chose play a critical role earning acceptance and ultimately the behavior change required to achieve our goals. If we let opposing viewpoints determine the language and concede the use of words that undermine our message, there’s a much greater risk we lose the fight. And the movement to high-performance, healthy buildings that contribute to a sustainable planet is too huge a fight to lose. This presentation will examine the huge opportunity to employ substantially more effective language to transform markets and public policy for more a better future.

About Sam Rashkin:

As Chief Architect for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office, Sam’s primary role is leading deployment of proven innovations for new and existing high-performance homes. This includes work leading DOE’s world-class research program, Building America, and overseeing the DOE Zero Energy Ready Home voluntary labeling program for leading edge builders. In his prior position, he managed Energy Star for Homes since its start in 1996.  Under his leadership, Energy Star for Homes grew exponentially to more than 8,500 builder partners, over one million labeled homes, and over 25 percent market penetration nationwide. Mr. Rashkin was recognized for his contributions to sustainable housing with the 2012 Hanley Award. He received his Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University; completed Masters of Urban Planning studies at New York University; and is a registered architect in California and New York.  During his 20-plus years as a licensed architect, he specialized in energy efficient design and completed over 100 residential projects.  He has served on the national Steering Committees for USGBC’s LEED for Homes, NAHB’s Green Builder Guidelines, and EPA’s Water Sense label, and on the development team for EPA’s Indoor airPLUS label. Sam has authored a book on housing innovation titled “Retooling the U.S. Housing Industry: How It Got Here, Why It’s Broken, and How to Fix It.” Sam has also prepared hundreds of articles, technical papers, reports, and seminars; and contributed to other books and television series on energy efficient and green construction.


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