Our fifth annual Net Zero Fellows: Jean von Bargen Root of MWA Architects, Inc., and Jessy Ledesma of HomeWork Development. Through two fellowship grants, these industry experts will receive funding to support net-zero research in Oregon.
Jean’s research explores barriers and opportunities to advance net-zero energy in commercial-industrial developments in Oregon. With a focus on the Willamette Valley, Rogue Valley and High Desert, Jean evaluates current and future climate conditions and assesses how local development codes, standards and policies help or hinder net-zero performance in this building type. An accompanying design guide provides detailed design solutions for mixed-use office/industrial, warehouses, pre-engineering metal building and unoccupied service buildings. Jean partnered with Convergence Architecture, a COBID (Certification Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity) certified firm, to conduct and disseminate the recommendations.
Jean von Bargen Root
AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Director of Sustainability at MWA Architects
Jean has been an architect and educator in the Pacific Northwest for over 20 years and pursues projects that tackle sustainability and social justice. She oversees commercial-industrial, Net Positive and Living Building projects. She advocates for minority- and woman-owned businesses through her work with the National Organization of Minority Architects, student and professional mentorships, and in the development of project teams.
Removing Barriers to Net Zero Commercial Industrial Development
Jessy analyzed new combinations of systems and technologies for affordable, resilient net-zero housing. Her research explores the application of a mass plywood panel envelope, monobloc heat pump to thermally condition a high-mass floor slab and thermal storage and solar energy in multifamily cluster housing. Jessy coordinated with the National Association of Minority Contractors Oregon to develop a workforce training about the fast-growing fields of mass timber and net-zero construction. Through this training, she hopes to connect diverse contractors across the state with tools and information about new construction types and net-zero building strategies. Jessy’s partners included two housing developers, HomeWork Development and Wild Hair Development, and the University of Oregon Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory, among other mass timber industry partners.
Founder and Principal at HomeWork Development
Jessy founded HomeWork Development in early 2021 with a vision to build a new inclusive, thoughtful and responsive model for the development industry. Her 15 years of affordable housing and commercial development experience includes creative structuring, for-profit and non-profit partnerships, and design-forward, climate-change resilient projects in the Portland metro area.
A Prototype for Affordable, Resilient, Low-Energy Cottage Cluster Housing
To assist in selecting the grant recipient, Energy Trust assembled a Net Zero Advisory Panel comprised of leaders in a variety of commercial new construction industry sectors.
Port of Portland
University of Oregon
American Council for
an Energy-Efficient Economy
Burch Energy Services
New Buildings Institute
Oregon Architecture Inc.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory