Pennsylvania Housing Research Center to host two conferences in March

February 19, 2024

By Mindy Boffemmyer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. The Pennsylvania Housing Research Center (PHRC), housed in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Penn State, will host two concurrent conferences on March 27-28 at The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center, with two full days of educational panels, talks, exhibits and events.  

The research-focused seventh biennial Residential Building Design & Construction Conference (RBDCC) will provide an academic forum for researchers, architects, engineers and other design professionals to share state-of-the-art technologies and groundbreaking developments in their fields. The annual PHRC Housing Conference will bring together all sectors of the housing industry to highlight best practices, regulation and innovation.  

Attendees are encouraged to mix and match sessions from either conference with no additional registration or fees required. Wednesday’s “Networking on the Exhibit Floor” event will offer opportunities for attendees of both conferences to network; enjoy exhibits from product manufacturers, suppliers and professional services; and see highlights from various student competition teams.  

RBDCC presentations and posters are based on submitted abstracts and peer-reviewed papers, which become a part of the published conference proceedings and are available online as a free service to the public. The RBDCC will feature two keynote speakers. Vivian Loftness, Paul Mellon Chair in Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Architecture, will speak on “Environmental Surfing at Home for a Resilient Future” on Wednesday morning. Graham Finch, senior building science specialist at RDH Building Science Inc., will present “Lessons in the Development of Innovative Prefabricated Façades for Mass Timber Buildings” on Thursday morning. 

side by side headshots on a blue background

Left to right: Vivian Loftness, Paul Mellon Chair in the Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture, will present “Environmental Surfing at Home for a Resilient Future” at the seventh RBDCC on Wednesday, March 27. Senior Building Science Specialist Graham Finch of RDH Building Science Inc. will present “Lessons in the Development of Innovative Prefabricated Façades for Mass Timber Buildings” at the seventh RBDCC on Thursday, March 28. Credit: Headshots provided.

PHRC Housing Conference presentations are by invited speakers only, with a focus on providing practical information and updates on issues of interest to residential construction industry professionals. Up to 12 continuing education credits are available for this conference through the American Institute of Architects, the International Code Council, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, as well as for Pennsylvania engineers for their professional development hours and for landscape architecture clock hours.  

The 2024 PHRC Housing Conference will kick off with keynote speakers Cal Beyer, a human capital and wellbeing consultant, and Jeff Horwitz, of the SAFE Project, presenting “Shining Light on Workplace Mental Health: Straight Talk for Leaders” on Wednesday morning.  

Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are available. Contact Darrin Wright,, for information about sponsoring the PHRC Housing Conference. For information about the PHRC’s upcoming conferences, including agendas for both days, learn more at 


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