A Practical Approach to Carbon Neutral Master Planning

Michael Swenson

Campuses bring our communities together – providing education, training, and jobs for millions of people in the Midwest in cities, small towns, and rural communities. Central plants are the lifeblood of campuses, whether they are focused on education, research, healthcare, or manufacturing. While we know that a carbon neutral future is coming, priorities are often set on maintaining operations, planning for the future, redundancy, and resiliency, which continue to take precedence over carbon reduction. Historically, marginalized communities have been differentially impacted by poor environmental planning and at times by environmental catastrophes. Creating low or zero carbon central plants on our local campuses and in the buildings they serve is one of many steps toward environmental justice. It is our job as built environment professionals to be aware of the impact of our work and this is one area where we can do right both for our clients and the communities they serve.

image of Michael Swenson SPEAKER: Michael Swenson is a Senior Associate at BR+A Consulting Engineers. His work focuses on the energy planning, including carbon neutral master planning, vetting energy conservation measures in design, commissioning of building systems in construction, and post-occupancy measurement and verification. Prior to joining the firm, Michael lead Green Building Services at Harvard University providing sustainable design consulting to the University and partnering with the Harvard Office for Sustainability to advise on sustainability policy, healthier material standards, and occupant engagement strategies. Michael has also worked as Faculty and a Teaching Fellow at Harvard Extension School where he taught classes covering a variety of topics including sustainable design and construction; buildings for health, comfort, and sustainability; and energy auditing.


Free – Members of Missouri Gateway Green Building Council, ASHRAE – St. Louis and full-time students

$25.00 – NON-Members

ASHRAE – St. Louis members should register for this event with ASHRAE to receive the member pricing.



To be submitted for AIA CES Approval


Describe how to plan for a carbon neutral future without sacrificing operations, redundancy, or resiliency.

Identify ways to align with stakeholders and build consensus around carbon neutral goals.

Analyze how a hybrid approach to carbon neutral master planning can maximize benefits while leveraging previous investments.

Examine how an implementation plan takes shape, including right sizing systems for future loads, and long term planning for carbon neutral operation with future load reduction.

Missouri Gateway Green Building Council is a registered provider of AIA-approved continuing education under Provider Number R341. All registered AIA CES Providers must comply with the AIA Standards for Continuing Education Programs. Any questions or concerns about this provider or this learning program may be sent to AIA CES (cessupport@aia.org or (800) AIA 3837, Option 3). This learning program is registered with AIA CES for continuing professional education. As such, it does not include content that may be deemed or construed to be an approval or endorsement by the AIA of any material of construction or any method or manner of handling, using, distributing, or dealing in any material or product. AIA continuing education credit has been reviewed and approved by AIA CES. Learners must complete the entire learning program to receive continuing education credit. AIA continuing education Learning Units earned upon completion of this course will be reported to AIA CES for AIA members. Certificates of Completion for both AIA members and non-AIA members are available upon request.

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