Tedd Benson’s presentation at NESEA’s Building Energy Conference .
“Yes, we are failing, but there is still time to turn everything around—we can still fix this. I want you to act as if the house was on fire. Because it is.”
A team from Unity recently spent two days in Boston for the annual conference of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA). This conference is one of our favorites because it gathers together a wide range of industry professionals who share our mission to build better homes, stronger communities and a healthier planet. The conference is an opportunity to spend time with old friends and associates, make new connections, and share lessons learned. It always leaves us better educated and more inspired for the work that we do at Unity.
This year’s conference had a record number of attendees, which we believe reflects
The subject of the panel was new technologies, strategies
The NESEA community has come to expect challenging and provocative presentations from Tedd, and this year he continued that tradition. The audience included many architects, and Tedd pointed out that as long as architects are designing one building at a time, their impact will be severely limited. By some estimates, the number of homes designed by architects is about 2%. Tedd suggested that if there
In his presentation, Tedd also echoed a theme that many other presenters touched on: the need for a strong, concerted effort to mitigate the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change. With the building sector accounting for close to 40% of carbon emissions in the US, those of us in the profession have a responsibility to minimize the impact of our work. At Unity, we are committed to building homes that are Net Zero Ready—homes that can be Net Zero with the addition of a photovoltaic power system. Building this way has benefits for our clients, who enjoy homes that are healthy, comfortable and durable. It’s also the right thing to do for the environment, and for future generations.
Tedd showed a slide of his three grandchildren, saying that they are the real reason he is driven to develop better ways to build. We are doing it so that future generations will be able to enjoy the health, the support and the beauty that the natural world affords us today.
Tedd also featured a slide of 16 year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg in his presentation. The stand that she is making in Sweden is reverberating around the globe. As another presenter put it, “Greta Thunberg is a hero. We all can be heroes. We all must be heroes.”