promote sustainable business practices

nurture the environmentally committed business sector

advocate for green policies

improve the environmental profile of economic activity in Western Mass

2012 Charrette Results


Over 150 people arrived at Greenfield Community College on Saturday Feb 25th for our 4th annual Project RetroFit Charrette. It was a day full of education, excitement and community.

We identified four key peer groups or “constituencies” when we crafted our agenda for the day

• Home Owners
• Trades People
• Business Owners
• Municipal Leaders

The goal of Project RetroFit is to work with these 4 groups to stimulate demand for energy efficient retrofit while augmenting the supply of a retrofit competent workforce.

We presented a day focused on:

Testimonials: Current and the development of future testimonials to educate and inspire.

Green Financing: Western Mass is known as a hotbed of activity in the area of Energy Efficiency and renewable Energy, access to financing remains an important barrier to the widespread implementation of energy efficiency measures in buildings and to the development of renewable energy projects.

Stretch Energy Codes and Home Rating Systems: Energy Efficiency Retrofits and the construction of new energy efficient buildings can be fraught with uncertainty. How do you know whether your building will be as energy efficient as you expected? How can perspective lenders, tenants and buyers recognize the energy efficiency measures, design, and construction?

What followed was a full and energized day!

We asked the participants to evaluate this event; here is a synopsis of what we heard!

Was this a worthwhile use of time?

The overwhelming response was YES!

Do we really have to wait a year to build on this?”
we have decided to use the morning of our Summer BBQ event as a time to come together, track progress and continue towards the goal of building our place as a leader of Green and Sustainable building practices.

Additional Responses:
• “Yes, but need to go further- great on business end but what is the homeowners end?”
• “Geared to businessman/companies not homeowners”
• “Small steps, longer term steps (year to year) of what the homeowner can do.”
• “Business community well represented, recommended greater outreach to consumers,community members, students & community activists”

We hear you loud and clear and will be expanding our efforts to reach out to homeowners and consumers, they will be key in the next phase of development!

Another prominent thread in the evaluations was:

“not enough time”

• “less time pressure Do a longer day”
• “Needed a little bit longer sessions, otherwise excellent”
• “Limited amount of time for discussions about the various resources”
• “Not quite enough time to spend at brainstorming”
• “Lots of good info but speakers not given enough time to speak”

Okay! great news! You want a longer day, more time to network, time visit the booths and really dig in! We’ve already started to turn our sights to next year and we will plan a longer day or maybe two days. If you would like to volunteer let us know!

It is very important to know what people want from these events and What folks want to learn in the future.
Here are some major themes.
For the Homeowner
• “How ratings relate to home assessments and retail value”
• “Homeowner resources and Home energy systems”
• “Portable apartment energy saving options”
• “Financing”

Business opportunities

• “Advertisements to go green”
• “Starting a small green based business”
• “Shadowing/internship opportunities for fall/spring 2012”

For the Contractors

• “External upgrades-driveways, sidings that are more “green” if there are any more out there”
• “Alternative energy solutions that move us away from fossil fuels”
• “What projects or installations to model after or keep an eye on”
• “Stretch code, most valuable training and learning resources, books, magazines, courses, for contractors”
• “Architects/engineers/developers frustrated because “green” improvements are passed on to the client or renter but not the developer. knew more about incentives could encourage building improvements at the design phase.”
• “Distinction between available choices of energy efficiency upgrades for homeowners, businesses & renters”
• “Commercial opportunities”

We will take this information and start to craft our plan for 2012. As we plan our 2 annual events, our monthly green nights and information that we distribute through our website, email newsletter and our social media outreach. If you see an area that you would like to work on then please let us know.

What now?

We hear this time and again:
“Keep on getting the word out, getting like minded people together is good”

So as Project RetroFit moves forward taking your feedback and hard work we need finacial support. We are looking for businesses and individuals that want to invest in this powerful community transforming iniative, WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT.

Your financial contributions will go towards:
• Charrette 2012 expenses
• 2013 marketing and planning expenses
• Room Rental Fees
• Printed Materials
• Food & Beverage
• Website
• 2012 Annual BBQ

You will be recognized at different levels:

• Logo and link our Website,
• Email Newsletter recognition (3,500)
• On the 2012 report
• Marketing Materials for the 2013 Charrette.
• Marketing Materials for 2012 Annual BBQ

To find out more info and how to get your company involved contact