This week has been a busy one in the sustainable design community! On Wednesday night, I enjoyed some great weather and a barbecue while discussing a very hot topic right now—the future of the solar industry in Massachusetts. Specifically, I was on hand as co-chair of the Advocacy Committee to discuss the Net Metering legislation currently on the floor of the Massachusetts State House.
As you may have heard, there is a cap on net metering, which essentially limits the amount of solar installations across the Commonwealth. Each energy provider has a cap that once reached (as is the case at National Grid), prohibits additional solar installation construction. This leaves the future of the solar industry uncertain. As an architect who sees more and more clients with a desire to incorporate solar renewables into their projects, this is a big concern. The USGCBMA chapter is in favor of increasing or eliminating the cap, developing a comprehensive plan, as well as other criteria that was laid out in the MA Solar Task Force report last year.
In other local green news, last night I attended the inaugural meeting of the Committee on Resilient Environments (CORE) at the BSA. It was very exciting to see such a breadth and diversity of participants in this discussion including architects, engineers, city and state planners and property managers, urban planners, university educators and students, researchers, developers, and contractors.
The purpose of this first meeting was to have a roundtable discussion about what people are doing around resilience and what they hope to get out of CORE. One of the things we discussed is what are the regional, state, and local climate action plans and how we can distill them and design to meet the needs of these plans. One thing was clear, there is an enormous amount that has been and is being done around resilience, but there is no one resource for all of this knowledge. CORE could be that resource for Boston, the Commonwealth, and beyond. I look forward to working with this group to learn from one another in order to create resilient buildings and communities.