Keynote Speakers



President & Founding Principal, Farr Associates

Doug Farr is Founding Principal and President of Farr Associates, the 2012 AIA Chicago Firm of the Year. He is a national leader in designing sustainable neighborhoods and buildings, being elevated to the AIA College of Fellows in 2014. Under his leadership, Farr Associates has designed and certified a total of seven LEED Platinum buildings, two of which also achieve net-zero energy, and four LEED-ND Developments. Doug was the founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED-ND Core Committee and is currently serving as the Chair of the Congress for the New Urbanism Executive Board.



President, EMerge Alliance

Brian T. Patterson is the President of the EMerge Alliance, a 501c non-profit corporation established to create application standards for low voltage dc and hybrid ac/dc microgrids and power systems used at the enterprise level. The Alliance also promotes the development of the eco-system supporting the rapid adoption of those standards that includes building and home owners and managers, architects and designers, engineers and contractors, policy, regulatory and compliance officials, academic and independent researchers, original equipment manufacturers and system integrators.

Patterson’s extensive technical and work history in building technologies, electronics, and fiber optics has resulted in his holding multiple patents in those fields. He has held positions of General Manger of Business Development for the Building Products Division of Armstrong World Industries, Director Fiber Optics for AMP Incorporated, and Division President for Kollmorgan Corporation. He is a founding member of the EMerge Alliance, and a member of the IEEE, IEC, CABA, PSMA, SEPA, USGBC and PHIUS and an active participant in UL/NEMA/NFPA task groups on DC power. He is the EMerge liaison to the National Electrical Manufacturers Association; Underwriters Laboratories; Solar Energy Industry Association, the NSF sponsored Center for Power Electronic Systems (at the University of Virginia Technology); the FREEDM Systems Center (at the University of North Carolina); the Power Electronics Research Group (at the University of Texas-Austin) and the Alliance to Save Energy.



NK Architects

A member of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps, Zack is CMO at Nicholson Kovalchick (NK) Architects, a firm based in Seattle and Pittsburgh that is dedicated to creating zero carbon buildings at scale. After earning his BA from Stanford University with a concentration in Human Ecology, Zack began his career as the first staffer of the Coalition for a Livable Future, a Portland-based coalition of environmental, affordable housing, transportation reform, and smart growth advocacy organizations. He then co-led the performing arts group, Portland Taiko, building a national audience and serving as a lead performer for the Japanese drumming troupe. He later earned his graduate certificate in design from the Landscape Institute at Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum. After a few years as a designer he joined builder Hammer & Hand as Chief Evangelist to share the firm’s pioneering Passive House work and its connection to climate change. Zack serves on the board of directors of Passive House NW and chairs its policy committee.

Eric at FF 2014


Building America National Director, U.S. Department of Energy

Eric Werling is National Director for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building America program. Since 2011, he has worked with Building America partnership teams and DOE national laboratories to transform building science knowledge and innovations into proven best practices for the housing industry and trades. Prior to his DOE service, Eric launched the U.S. EPA’s Indoor air PLUS home labeling program in 2009, and led development of popular Indoor Air Quality and Moisture Control guides and protocols for ASHRAE and EPA. He also helped EPA develop and implement the successful ENERGY STAR for New Homes program from 1995 to 2004, as a consultant with ICF Consulting. Eric holds a MS in Architectural Engineering and a MBA, both from Penn State University, and a BS from the U.S. Naval Academy. Eric currently serves on two ASHRAE standard committees, SSPC 62.2, Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Residential Buildings, and SSPC 160, Criteria for Moisture Control Design Analysis in Buildings. Eric is an amateur musician who writes and performs songs about building science to encourage and entertain colleagues and building science professionals.



Deputy Director of China Academy of Building Research, Institute of Building Environment and Energy

Professor ZOU has 27 years of experience in building energy performance in China. She is Deputy Director of China Academy of Building Research, Institute of Building Environment and Energy. She is the Secretary General of China Passive Building Alliance. She has led and participated in multiple national research programs of the 10th, 11th and 12th Five Year Plans in the areas of building energy efficiency and commercial building auditing. She has taken charge and participated in multiple national standards of China in building energy efficiency. She also has extensive international cooperation experience in the programs of World Bank, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Asia-Pacific Energy Cooperation (APEC), Energy Foundation, and so on. She was awarded “Outstanding Engineer of Modern China” by China Association of Building Energy Efficiency (CABEE) in 2013. She has led to finish more than 10 national building energy codes and standards of China, including the Standard for Building Energy Performance Certification – JGJ/T 288-2012,  the Design Standard for energy efficiency of public buildings – GB50189-2015 and the Passive Building Guideline for residential buildings. At present, she is leading an effort to compile the national standard: Technical Standard of Nearly Zero Energy Building for China. It is on track to be finished by the end of 2018.