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Connect 2022 – Energy Efficiency & Housing
powered by Xcel Energy

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
American Swedish Institute
2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55407


As more homeowners incorporate sustainable features into their homes and more buyers seek to reduce their climate impact, Realtors® have an opportunity to learn how to best serve these clients.

Powered by Xcel Energy, Connect 2022 – Energy Efficiency & Housing is a half-day conference focused on green retrofits, new construction, renewable energy and green appraisals. You will hear from experts in the field of architecture, remodeling, home certifications, and appraisals to broaden your knowledge and maximize your value to buyers and sellers! You’ll also leave with resources to help put your new-found knowledge into practice.


Admission includes breakfast, lunch and a tour of the LEED® Gold-certified Nelson Cultural Center following the program.

MAR Members: $40, Non-Members: $65
Deadline to register: October 26



Title Sponsor

Additional support provided by MAR Signature Sponsors



8 a.m. – Registration/Breakfast
8:45 a.m. – Welcome & Acknowledgements
9 a.m. – Keynote – Passive House Design: Tim Eian, TE Studio
9:45 a.m. to 10 a.m. – Break
10 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. – Residential Energy Efficiency: Rob Buchanan, Xcel Energy
10:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. – Pearl Certification, Robin LeBaron
10:45 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Break
11 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. – Green Appraisals: Sandra K. Adomatis, Appraisal Institute
11:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. – HVAC Retrofits: Josh Quinnell, Center for Energy & Environment
11:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. – NAR Toolkit and other resources
12 p.m. to 1 p.m. – Lunch – Green Remodeling, Jesse Prax, Tamarack Materials



Speakers & Sessions

Passive House Design

Tim Eian, TE Studio

Tim Eian is a Certified Passive House Designer and Consultant based in Minneapolis. Tim founded TE Studio in 2008 and that same year, he started designing the first certified Passive House home in Wisconsin, which is also the first to offer plus-energy levels of performance in the country. Tim was a founding board member of the Passive House Alliance U.S. In 2008, he also founded Passive House Minnesota—now a chapter of the Passive House Network, which has been promoting Passive House in Minnesota for well over a decade.

Tim is also a Master Carpenter and graduated with honors from the Technical University of

Kaiserslautern, Germany, earning an architectural engineering degree (Dipl.-Ing.). He and his family live in Minneapolis’ first certified Passive House Plus.


Residential Energy Efficiency

Rob Buchanan, Xcel Energy

Rob Buchanan is an Energy Efficiency Portfolio Product Manager at Xcel Energy in Minneapolis. He manages the residential new construction energy efficiency programs in Colorado and Minnesota and Whole Home Efficiency program in Minnesota.

Rob has 11 years of experience in residential energy efficiency as a utility program manager, implementer, installer, and energy auditor. He is a Building Performance Institute-certified Building Analyst and Envelope Professional, designations he’s held for 10 years. Rob earned his MBA from the University of Northern Iowa and BA in Economics from Carleton College, and is a white belt judoka.


Pearl Certification

Robin LeBaron

Robin LeBaron is the president and co-founder of Pearl Certification, a national firm that is transforming the way homes are bought and sold in the U.S. by certifying high-performing homes and creating a platform that connects homeowners with the professionals who build, improve, sell, and finance high-performing homes. Prior to co-founding Pearl, Robin served as the Managing Director of the National Home Performance Council, a national non-profit organization created to promote energy efficiency upgrades in U.S. homes, where he led national efforts that developed energy efficiency, real estate home data and certification standards, and authored guides on best practices in energy efficiency for the U.S. Department of Energy and other stakeholders. He previously served as the executive director of Hope Community, Inc., a non-profit based in East Harlem, New York that built and managed 1,200 units of affordable housing, including the first affordable LEED Silver multi-family buildings in New York City.


Green Appraisals

Sandra K. Adomatis, Appraisal Institute

Sandra K Adomatis holds the Appraisal Institute’s SRA designation and is the 2022 Vice President of the Appraisal Institute. She specializes in residential valuation including energy efficient, green homes, and expert witness testimony for a variety of residential assignments.

Sandra works with several organizations that are part of the real estate ecosystem to encourage collaboration to improve the flow of knowledge and resources. Her energetic keynotes on valuing high performance features always includes promotion of the Appraisal Institute’s Green Registry.

Sandra is an author, Appraisal Institute instructor, course developer, and a national speaker on valuing high performance features. She has been published in the Appraisal Journal and has won several awards including the Armstrong/Kahn Award in 2016 and the Swango Award in 2019 for her Appraisal Journal articles. Her work in real estate appraisal education earned her the Dr. William N. Kinnard in 2012.


HVAC Retrofits

Josh Quinnell, Center for Energy & Environment

Josh Quinnell is a Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Energy and Environment in Minneapolis. He has thirteen years of research experience in building science. Prior to CEE, Josh worked in areas ranging from corn syrup production to nuclear powered generators for space probes and thermochemical energy storage cycles. He obtained his PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota. Since joining CEE, Josh’s research has focused on residential building energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment. For about the past 5 years, Josh has been working on the challenges of cold climate decarbonization, with a specific focus on the biggest savings opportunity in Minnesota’s built environment, space heating in existing homes and its implication for future energy systems.


Green Remodeling

Jesse Prax, Tamarack Materials

Jesse Prax is the Director of Enclosure for Tamarack Materials in Bloomington, MN and sits on the National Advisory Board of a global insulation manufacturer. Working in enclosure for 20+ years, Jesse’s focus is in protecting the interior of a building while also facilitating climate control. His building expertise lies in support (structural support determines how a building can handle loads and forces), control (energy efficiency and climate control facilitating passage of water, heat, and condensation between the interior and exterior of the building), and aesthetics. Throughout his tenure, has held major roles on commercial and high-end residential projects throughout the US to ensure regional code compliance. These include business development within spray applied and sheet waterproofing, and continuous insulation systems. No building can be energy efficient if the enclosure isn’t done well and Jesse excels in his work.


Please reach out to Ava Spencer with questions at avasmplsrealtor.com, 952-988-3142

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