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The multifamily housing market has seen a historic shift over the past decade and now encompasses a large majority of the construction and development within the Greater Philadelphia area. The vitality and diversity of the market are its strengths but have also slowed our pursuit of sustainability and resiliency. This panel discussion captures the perspective of industry stakeholders in order to address these challenges, identify potential solutions, and define how we can effectively incentivize multifamily development to be sustainable, affordable, scalable, and equitable for all.
Howard is a registered Architect in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. Holding degrees in Environmental Design, Architecture and Construction Management, he has worked for several architectural, construction management and development firms since 1991, and served as VP of Design and Construction for Scannapieco Development and Switzenbaum Realty Capital. In 2005, Howard joined Onion Flats with partner Tim McDonald, and JIG, Inc., a General Contracting and Construction Management / Certified Green Roof design and installation company allowing the Onion Flats team to provide full design-build services for both clients and their own developments. Additionally, Howard is a Certified LEED Accredited Professional, Certified Passive House Designer and Tradesman.
Patrick is passionate about sustainability and housing affordability for low-income individuals. He joined Community Ventures in 2017 after writing his Master Thesis on the topic of providing affordable sustainable housing for homeownership by renovating existing blighted rowhouses in Philadelphia. In 2008, Patrick graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from CCNY and has worked as an architectural designer on the renovation of private homes in NYC while employed in different architecture firms. Starting in 2012, he spent three years in Malawi, South East Africa, working and volunteering, both in the field of design and research, striving to understand the best sustainable and affordable methods which can be applied to help alleviate poverty through housing. At CV, he assists with project planning & design and construction management. He is helping in finding new ways to develop sustainable single-family housing without subsidies and is part of the project management team for Rebuild renovation projects.
Emily Schapira is PEA’s President, CEO, and a member of the Board. Emily joined PEA as Executive Director in 2016 to execute the Philadelphia Energy Campaign, a $1 billion, 10-year initiative to advance energy efficiency and clean energy across Philadelphia, while creating over 10,000 jobs. Emily has been a PEA board member since 2010, as a City Council appointee. Prior to joining PEA full-time, Emily was Director of Global Accounts for Lighting at WESCO Distribution, a Fortune 500 electrical supply company. Her focus was on developing portfolio-wide energy efficient lighting upgrades for large commercial, industrial and institutional customers. WESCO acquired Emily’s previous company, Aelux, in 2015 where Emily served as Chief Operating Officer, managing sales, marketing and operations teams, and VP of Marketing and Business Development since 2012. Aelux was a lighting and controls retrofitter serving clients across North America. Prior to joining Aelux, Emily worked on sustainability for Verizon and Intel, and started and ran the Wharton School’s Sustainability Program, based in Wharton’s facilities management group. Emily’s efforts focused on operational eco-efficiency and behavior change, and supported LEED certifications and attempts across the Wharton portfolio, earning the first LEED for Commercial Interiors certification at Penn. Emily also spent five years running a consumer heating oil co-op in Philadelphia and advocating for low-income energy assistance at the federal, state and local levels. Emily holds an MBA from Wharton and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania. She has been a LEED Accredited Professional focused on Operations and Maintenance, sat on the Alumni Advisory Board of Penn’s Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership, and is a member of the Special Districts Program Advisory Board for Government Technology magazine. She was also a 40 under 40 honoree in 2020 and a finalist for the S&P Platts Rising Star Award. Emily lives in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia.
Josh Harris is Owner of Design Art Build Company, a creative collaboration between two brothers and their community of talented tradesmen and artisans who work together to design and build custom projects for a range of clients. Josh and his brother Ben migrated from New York City to Philadelphia several years ago and began their business renovating their dream Atelier. Since then Josh has taken over the business and grown it to include clients such as Onion Flats, Larsen and Landis, The Tower Theater: Live Nation, Tavern on the Green, NYC, as well as several new and adaptive reuse residential and commercial projects.