Home Calendar - AIA – East Bay Chapter Event Small Firms Forum AIR (1.5 LU | HSW) – Presented by SFF

AIR (1.5 LU | HSW) – Presented by SFF

“Night-time in the daytime”  September 9, 2020, 10:43 am

The increase in fires in California and its hideous impact on air quality in rural and urban areas remind us of the preciousness of breathable air and the importance of addressing it in our work as architects. But internal pollutants from our materials, gas burning appliances, and mold still represent some of the most serious issues.

Addressing indoor air quality in residential projects- practical solutions and clear
frameworks from best practice and from “better than code”



Beyond Efficiency will discuss strategies including:

  • Avoid pollutants and mitigate moisture related issues
  • Providing an airtight building envelope to minimize the intrusion of exterior pollution
  • Provide a balanced mechanical ventilation system with a high level of filtration and appropriate level of hourly air changes
  • For wildfires: consider providing recirculating HEPA filters, and turn the ventilation system to a very low setting when needed

Learning objectives:

  • Strategies to optimize indoor air quality in typical day to day conditions in urban
  • Strategies to optimize indoor air quality during special events such as wildfires
    and health issues such as Covid
  • Why is indoor air quality so important?
  • Conceptual level cost comparisons

Mercedes Corbell, Principal at Studio Saha

Mercedes Corbell is a licensed architect and LEED AP. As Principal of the Oakland based firm Saha Studio, Mercedes provides architectural services for residential projects, including home renovations, the conversion of existing multi-family buildings to “co-living” homes, and ADUs. Most of the studio’s clients request some level of attention to “sustainability” and we work often with Beyond Efficiency to maximize the energy efficiency and to align the project detailing with best practices within building science. Mercedes spent close to six years in the Middle East from 2011 to 2016working mainly on architectural, urban, and landscape projects, mainly at the civic scale. As part of AECOM’s Jeddah Plans, Mercedes managed sub-projects including work in the historic city of Jeddah, Al-Balad. This led to her current explorations in historical, cultural, and heritage-based projects as an addition to the studio’s residential work.

Katy Hollbacher, Principal at Beyond Efficiency 

Katy is a licensed civil engineer, Certified Passive House Consultant, LEED accredited professional, LEED for Homes Rater, and Certified GreenPoint Rater and holds a Master of Civil Engineering degree from the University of Michigan. She founded Beyond Efficiency in 2009 to provide technical consulting services for high-performance building projects, something that was sorely lacking in the marketplace. With more than 20 years of experience in the A/E/C and green building industries, Katy is passionate about educating clients and team members on building science and best practices. Prior to founding Beyond Efficiency, Katy spent five years managing Build It Green’s suite of technical information programs, including the Ask an Expert green building hotline and Best Builders technical assistance program. [delete: She has presented for a broad range of clients, including AIA, PG&E, ACI, West Coast Green, Structural Engineers Association of Northern California, and NRI, as well as public agencies, USGBC and Passive House chapters.] She is a current board member of Energy Conservation Works in Teton County, Wyoming was also a founding board member of the non-profit Passive House California.

Kara Rousselle, Mechanical Engineer Leader at Beyond Efficiency

Kara is a licensed Professional Engineer, Certified Passive House Consultant, LEED AP BC+C, Certified Energy Manager and holds a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering with a mechanical emphasis from the University of Wyoming. As Mechanical Engineer Leader at Beyond Efficiency, Kara provides full-service professional mechanical and plumbing design services for residential and non-residential projects, including recommending and implementing leading-edge strategies for low load, high performance mechanical systems. Prior to Beyond Efficiency, Kara worked at mechanical consulting firms in California, Wyoming and Idaho.


Mar 11 2021


12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Mar 11 2021
  • Time: 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

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