There is much talk about the urgency of climate change and how federal policy is currently being crafted to address it. However, there remains a critical need for targeted tax credits for zero-carbon buildings and retrofits. Buildings are the largest single contributor of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, producing approximately 40 percent of global emissions. To meet…
Heather Clark manages REALIZE, RMI’s deep energy retrofit accelerator, for the East Coast. She also works on policy with the goal of decarbonizing buildings, the largest single contributor to the climate crisis. Heather strives to shape policy that will rapidly transition our fossil fuel-based economy to one where we only construct zero-carbon buildings and retrofit existing buildings to be super-efficient, all-electric, and grid interactive. She works toward a built environment that is easily powered with clean renewable energy, constructed utilizing carbon-storing materials, and benefits historically disenfranchised communities.
Throughout her career, Heather has focused on two passions—curbing the climate crisis and creating more affordable housing. Heather spearheaded the first large-scale deep energy retrofit in the United States, transforming 192 affordable apartments at Boston’s Castle Square Apartments. This groundbreaking deep energy retrofit was the culmination of her work with WinnCompanies, where she established a green building program to strategically address energy efficiency and renewable energy in 90,000+ units of affordable housing.
Heather is also the founder of Biome Studio, a design and development studio, whose mission is to utilize art, architecture, and community engagement to catalyze built environments that power themselves, cleanse themselves, transform waste, provide wildlife habitat, produce food, and enhance the lives of people. Through Biome Studio, Heather implemented a wide range of projects, including what may be the country’s first federal historic tax credit project to achieve Passive House, while at the same time utilizing low-embodied carbon materials.
Heather previously served as energy efficiency expert on the Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Advisory Council that oversees Massachusetts utility energy efficiency programs. Early in her career, Heather was director of Rebuild America for the New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA). Heather is also an award-winning visual artist where she utilizes public art and large-scale interactive art installations to convey stories of social justice and the environment.
MS, Real Estate Development, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
BS, Environmental Science and Community Planning, summa cum laude, Cornell University