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2021 Net Zero Fellowship

Congratulations to 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 focuses on removing barriers to net-zero commercial-industrial development. She will review sustainability standards and development codes in Portland, Medford and Bend to understand their application to net-zero industrial development and create a design guide with proposed solutions to remove barriers. Jean will partner with Convergence Architecture, a COBID (Certification Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity) certified firm, to conduct and disseminate the recommendations.

Jessy will analyze new combinations of systems and technologies for affordable, resilient net-zero housing. She will explore 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 will also coordinate 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 will partner with Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory, Institute for Health in the Built Environment, Tallwood Design Institute, Swinerton Construction and Timberlab.

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Jean von Bargen Root
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.

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Jessy Ledesma
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.