The Buildings Conference 2023


5.17.2023 at 8:00AM - 5.18.2023 at 5:00PM


Convene 333 N Green St. Chicago, IL 60607

Conference Overview:

We want more out of our Buildings than ever: cost, speed to market, sustainability, agility, user experience, wellness, and more. Effective leverage of emerging technology and innovation in the planning process, selection of buildings materials and systems, and the operation and maintenance of buildings is critical to our ability to achieve these combined goals. The Buildings Conference is the place where the industry's leading professionals come together to discuss exactly how.

Leading fund architects / engineers, developers, builders, and solution providers gather each year to take the pulse of the industry’s startup ecosystem at the BuiltWorlds Buildings Conference.

Pre-Conference Events (May 16, 2023)

Prior to the official start of our 2023 Buildings Conference in Chicago, IL we are hosting a series of meetings and a Demo Day Competition at our headquarters in the River North Area of Chicago. Click the drop dow menus below are more information. Registration for these pre-events will open soon so stay tuned!

800 W Fulton Tour & Reception (May 18, 2023)

Following the closing panel of the 2023 Buildings Conference, there will be guided tours of 800 W Fulton Market. This 19-story mixed-use building sits in the heart of one of Chicago's most vibrant neighborhoods. Register below to see first-hand the results of designing with both innovation and functionality in mind.

Reception to follow the tour on the roof of 800 W Fulton.

*You must be properly registered for the conference in order to attend the tour/reception*

2023 Speakers

Eric Lindquist

President, Adjustable Concrete Construction

Denyse van Opbergen

Manager, Corporate Sustainability, EllisDon Corporation

Jessica Francisco

Global Head of Sustainability, Global Occupier Services, Cushman & Wakefield

Josh Lowe

Co-Founder, AkitaBox

Tyler Sewall

Director of Technology Adoption, BuiltWorlds

Anthony Katsivalis

National Director of Client Technology, Transwestern

Jennifer Taranto

Vice President of Sustainability, STO Building Group

Sean Wrenn

Research Analyst, BuiltWorlds

Joe Dardis

Head of Presales - Construction Projects, ArcelorMittal

Julie Michiels

Senior Associate Principal, Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)

Peter Siegal

SVP & Director of Development Operations, LendLease

Tommy Linstroth

CEO, Green Badger

Mike Travalini

CEO, Mezo

Rachel O'Connell

Vice President on The Real Estate Technology Investment Team, Fifth Wall

Ryan Spies

VP of Sustainability, Clayco

Geoffrey Kasselman

CEO, Op2mize Energy

Michelle Palys

VP of Performance Excellence and ESG, Graycor

Daniel Laboe

Director of Venture Investments, BuiltWorlds

Kyle Hendricks

Managing Director, Sustainability, CBRE

Barbra BatShalom

CEO, Building Ease

Michael Ellch

Senior Vice President, Related Midwest

Joe Harris

Asset Manager, JMB Financial Advisors

Igor Tsinman

President, AMC Bridge

Curtis Wong

CEO, Cloud Apartments

Kurt Karnatz

President, Environmental Systems Design Inc.

Susan Heinking

Senior Vice President, Pepper Construction

Matt Wegworth

VP, Dawson Ventures, McKinstry

Stacy Scopano

VP - National Director of Prefabrication and Manufacturing, JE Dunn

Austin Rabine

CEO, Rabine Group

Steve Glenn

CEO, Plant Prefab

Lucas Tryggestad

Principal, Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)

Kevin Rodenkirch

Associate Principal, Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)

Chris Fortunato

Vice President, CRH Ventures

John Ortiz

Global Head of Sustainability, Master Builders Solutions

Michael Ellis

Technical Executive AEC, Dassault Systèmes

Igor Starkov

VP Digital Twin, Siemens

Stephen Katz

Technical Director, Senior Associate, Gensler

Nolan Browne

Founding Partner, ADL Ventures

Chris Drew

Director of Sustainability, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill

Todd Burns

President Project and Development Services, Jones Lang-LaSalle (JLL)

Andria Tay

VP Marketing, Carbon Title

Jennifer Caldwell

Client Accounts Director, US, Modulous

Harv Sidhu

CEO and Founder, BuildSmartr

Terence Caulkins

Associate | Digital Services, Arup

David Fennell

Senior Structural Steel Specialist, American Institute of Steel Construction

Leila Banijamali

CEO, Symbium

Aaron Holm

Co-CEO, Blokable

Nick Durham

General Partner, Shadow Ventures

Ryan Cialdella

VP of Research & Development, Ozinga

Nick Carter

CEO & Founder, Ingenious.Build

Kathleen Egan

CEO, Ecomedes

Preliminary Agenda

Day 1 Schedule


Registration & Breakfast


Welcoming Address


Keynote - The New Developments for Future Cities


Buildings 2.0 - What Will that Ultimately Mean?

When thinking about our buildings, it is often easy to grow complacent with their design and operations. In a world driven by advancing technology, it is critical for our buildings to adapt alongside the tech that enhances the industry’s capabilities. This panel will address buildings of the future; discussions will cover innovations that are making our buildings more efficient, tools that can be used to maximize ROI in the design/planning process (modeling, digital twin, etc.), and some of the challenges that need to be overcome to achieve the buildings we want.

Kyle Hendricks, Managing Director, Sustainability, CBRE
Chris Drew, Director of Sustainability, Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill
Geoffrey Kasselman, CEO, Op2mize, LLC
Nolan Browne, Founding Partner, ADL Ventures


How the Drive for Energy Positive/Carbon Negative is Changing our Buildings

With increased attention on the construction industry’s energy consumption and overall carbon emissions, the need for contractors, material suppliers, developers, and the like to decarbonize the built environment is more important than ever. Panelists will share their perspectives regarding the ongoing energy transition and speculate whether various climate pledges are within reach or merely marketing tools.

Peter Siegal, SVP & Director of Development Operations, Lendlease
Joe Dardis, Head of Presales - Construction Projects, ArcelorMittal
Matt Wegworth, VP, Dawson Ventures, McKinstry


Networking Break & Sponsor Appreciation


New Tools for Planning Better Buildings

There is a multitude of software and hardware solutions on the market that can be leveraged to plan and ultimately construct better buildings. This panel will examine the digital tools that enable owners, developers, and architects to plan more effectively while acknowledging the physical tools required to deliver each project. Topics will include innovations, challenges, and, ultimately, the benefits of implementing both digital and physical technology in the planning process.

Terence Caulkins, Associate | Digital Services, Arup
Andria Tay, VP Marketing, Carbon Title
Nick Durham, General Partner, Shadow Ventures


How Sustainability / ESG Priorities are Changing the Way we Design & Build

As Sustainability and ESG initiatives continue to gain traction and recognition in the built environment, it is no surprise that traditional design and building techniques are evolving. Across the value chain, we are seeing paradigm shifts that affect all stakeholders in some way. This panel will examine what specific functions are changing as a result of these priorities and some of the key factors influencing these changes.

Denyse van Opbergen, Manager, Corporate Sustainability, EllisDon Corporation
John Ortiz, Global Head of Sustainability, MBCC Group
Ryan spies, VP of Sustainability, Clayco
Jennifer Taranto, Vice President of Sustainability, STO Building Group
Tommy Linstroth, CEO, Green Badger




How Prefabrication, Lifecycle Costing, and Other Factors are Changing the Role of the Contractor in the Design of Buildings

This panel will look at emerging trends and technology in prefabrication and lifecycle costing as a tool to understand how the role of contractor away from the site is growing and transforming. As these concepts become more widely adopted, project teams may be better equipped to deliver on projects on time and under budget.

Michelle Palys, VP of Performance Excellence and ESG, Graycor
Susan Heinking, SVP of High Performance and Sustainable Construction, Pepper Construction
Stacy Scopano, VP - National Director of Prefabrication and Manufacturing, JE Dunn


Intersection of ConTech and PropTech

Building off of the high-level conversation regarding PropTech’s possible convergence with ConTech that started at BuiltWorlds’ Venture West Conference in San Francisco, this panel will take a more granular look at their possible intersection, including how the two technologies coexist. Beyond living in parallel, panelists will discuss what true collaboration looks like.

Jessica Francisco, Global Head of Sustainability, Global Occupier Services, Cushman & Wakefield
Todd Burns, President Project and Development Services, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL)


Networking Break


How Innovation in Building Materials and Systems is/is not Changing our Buildings

To mitigate the nearly 40% of total global energy-related carbon emissions caused by buildings, the AEC industry is increasingly looking to innovative building materials and systems as a means to build greener. This panel will explore the feasibility of implementing new materials and whether or not it is financially worthwhile in the short vs long term.

David Fennell, Senior Structural Steel Specialist, American Institute of Steel Construction
Ryan Cialdella, VP of Research & Development, Ozinga
Eric Lindquist, President, Adjustable Concrete Construction


Findings from our Building Tech Benchmarking Research - Building Tech 50 and Digital Leaders Recognition


SOM Presentation on 800 Fulton Market

Ahead of SOM's guided tour of 800 W Fulton Market on Thursday, 5/18, Kevin Rodenkirch, Lucas Tryggestad, and Julie Michiels will present on 800 W Fulton, an immersive mixed-use office building in Chicago's Fulton Market.

Kevin Rodenkirch, Associate Principal, Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)
Lucas Tryggestad, Principal, Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)
Julie Michiels, Senior Associate Principal, Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM)


Closing Remarks, Reception

Day 2 Schedule


Breakfast & Networking


Case Study/Studies in New Development

This session is a series of three 15-minute "Lighting Keynotes" in which we'll hear about some of the latest and most innovative developments across the US.

Joe Harris, Vice President, JMB Financial Advisors


User Experience, Safety, and Communication

Forces influencing user/tenant experiences are not always physical. In addition to considering the various means and methods of boosting user experience, safety, and communication by altering buildings physically, such as forward-thinking design, this panel will also cover the many other ways to optimize user experience.

Josh Lowe, Co-Founder, AkitaBox
Stephen Katz, Technical Director, Senior Associate, Gensler


Networking Break


How Venture Investment is Influencing Building Tech (CVC & Funds)

The BuiltWorld VC niche is buzzing with excited capital, as the broader equity market continues to sit on its hands. Since the beginning of 2022, an additional ~$5B in deployable capital has been raised, bucking the broader VC fundraising enviroment's contraction, with investors from every corner of our economy ostenisbly playing a hand in this ripe investment space. This panel will dive into what makes Building Tech such an attractive investment niche and how the tightening credit market will play into due diligence and deployment (if at all).

Rachel O'Connell, Vice President on The Real Estate Technology Investment Team, Fifth Wall
Chris Fortunato, Vice President, CRH Ventures


Building IoT - The Challenges and Opportunities of Building Operations Tech.

With the seemingly constant vertical integration of building operations tech and advanced data, this panel will look at what has happened over the last five to ten years and what catalyzed any changes there may have been. Further, the panelists will discuss what the driving forces were in the past versus today and if they’re just the “flavor of the day” or if they’ll be here to stay.

Kurt Karnatz, President, Environmental Systems Design, Inc.
Michael Ellis, Technical Executive AEC, Dassault Systèmes
Anthony Katsivalis, National Director of Client Technology, Transwestern
Deepinder Singh, CEO, 75F




Facilities Management & Maintenance Tech

Technology that aids in facilities management and maintenance lives and dies by the accuracy of its data. The more accurate the data, the more efficient facilities managers and technicians can be, ultimately optimizing operations and maximizing their time. This paneel will discuss how the evolution of available technology has led to positive improvements as well as possible drawbacks to implementation, such as integration challenges, upfront costs, and potential security risks.

Austin Rabine, CEO, Rabine Group
Mike Travalini, CEO, Mezo
Igor Tsinman, President, AMC Bridge
Igor Starkov, VP Digital Twin, Siemens


The Nuances of Modular/Prefab: Modular Development & Modular Construction and the Impact on How we Build

Current discussions around modular and prefabrication in the AEC industry have shifted drastically since the $2.5B rise & fall of Katerra in the wake of the pandemic lockdowns. This modular failure seemed to insight a cascade of fresh innovation as it highlighted the ripe opportunity that recent modular/prefab founders are just now taking advantage of. Increased efficiency through repeatable processes, less waste, and more easily adhering to schedules to name a few. Now that modular is a widely established concept, disruption and expansion in this space will demand profits and challenge the status quo. This panel will explore some key differences between Modular Development and Modular Construction before looking at ways to incentivize investment in R&D and increasing and growing profit margins specific to buildings and real estate.

Jennifer Caldwell, Client Accounts Director, US, Modulous
Steve Glenn, CEO, Plant Prefab
Aaron Holm, Co-CEO, Blokable
Curtis Wong, CEO, Cloud Apartments


SOM Lead Tour of 800 W Fulton Market


Closing Remarks & Reception @ 800 W Fulton Market

Related Building Tech Topic Research from Our Analysts

In addition to our conferences, our Analysts provide our members valuable Research Reports, Briefings, Lists, and other Data to help learn more about the companies, people, and trends in the Topic Areas we cover. Click below to sample some our most recent Building Tech-Focused Research:

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