IMG_1649 (1).jpg
IMG_1674 (1).jpg
IMG_1649 (1).jpg





The Built Environment Coalition (a nonprofit 501c3 organization) focuses on improving sustainability and resilience for communities and organizations. The aim of the Built Environment Coalition is to develop practical knowledge to improve the resilience and sustainability of the built and natural environments. The Coalition works with communities and other organizations to develop innovative approaches and effective strategies. The resulting analytical methodologies, tools, and learning modules are publicly distributed through the Build Environment Coalition.


Sustainability is the improvement of social systems to better provide social justice, economic opportunity, and environmental regeneration. Resilience is the ability to accommodate changes and disruptions over time and maintain critical functions of all interdependent systems. 


The built environment is comprised of infrastructure systems (including water, energy, solid waste, transportation, and communications) and buildings (such as residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial). 

IMG_1674 (1).jpg

Who We Are

Who We Are

The Built Environment Coalition was founded in 2011 and is led by Dr. Sarah Slaughter, a recognized expert in sustainability and resilience for the built environment. The Board of Directors members are Dr. Slaughter, Dr. Sanjay Sarma, Dr. Val Livada, and Rear Admiral (Ret.) David Nash. 

Board of Directors

Dr. Sarah Slaughter is a recognized expert on resilience and sustainability for the built environment. She is the CEO and founder of the Built Environment Coalition, a research and education nonprofit (501c3) focused on community sustainability and resilience. She currently serves on the Green Building Advisory Committee (GBAC) to the U.S. General Services Administration and the Federal government on sustainable technologies and practices for the federal built facilities portfolio.

In 2015, Dr. Slaughter was a Visiting Lecturer in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, teaching and doing research on resilient urban communities. Before the Coalition, she was the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) Associate Director for Buildings and Infrastructure, and co-founder and faculty head of the Sustainability Initiative in the MIT Sloan School of Management. Previously, she was founder and CEO of MOCA Systems, Inc., a construction program management company utilizing the construction simulation software system developed in her MIT research. Before she founded MOCA, she was a MIT professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and earlier, was a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Lehigh University.

Dr. Slaughter is currently a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Construction. She was previously on the National Research Council (NRC) Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment (BICE), the National Academy of Science DOD Standing Committee on Materials, Manufacturing, and Infrastructure, and the Vice Chair of the NRC Committee on Sustainable Critical Infrastructure Systems. She also served on the Massachusetts Sustainable Water Management Advisory Board, the Sustainability Committee in the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA), and several national and international advisory committees and editorial boards of professional publications. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Charles River Watershed Association, and previously served on the Board of Directors of Retroficiency, Inc., Eastern Research Group/AEA Technology, Inc., and MOCA Systems, Inc. She received her PhD, SM, and SB from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Sanjay Sarma is the Vice President for Open Learning. He also leads the Office of Digital Learning, which oversees MIT OpenCourseWare and supports the development and use of digital technology for on-campus teaching and massive open online courses (MOOCs). He is also the Fred Fort Flowers (1941) and Daniel Fort Flowers (1941) Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. A co-founder of the Auto-ID Center at MIT, Sarma developed many of the key technologies behind the EPC suite of RFID standards now used worldwide. He was the founder and CTO of OATSystems, which was acquired by Checkpoint Systems (NYSE: CKP) in 2008, and he has worked at Schlumberger Oilfield Services in Aberdeen, UK, and at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories in Berkeley, California. Currently, Sarma serves on the boards of GS1, EPCglobal, several startup companies including Senaya and ESSESS, and edX, the not-for-profit company set up by MIT and Harvard to create and promulgate an open-source platform for the distribution of free online education worldwide. He also advises several national governments and global companies. Author of more than 75 academic papers in computational geometry, sensing, RFID, automation, and CAD, Sarma is the recipient of numerous awards for teaching and research, including the MacVicar Fellowship, the Business Week eBiz Award, and InformationWeek's Innovators and Influencers Award. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, his master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University, and his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley.

Dr. Val Livada is Senior Lecturer on "Corporate Entrepreneurship" at the MIT Sloan School of Management where he also served as Research Affiliate and Guest Lecturer for the last 15 years focusing on issues of corporate venture capital. Dr. Livada founded Weybridge Partners in 1996 as a network of formal and informal associations of practitioners and organizations focused on the successful commercialization of technology. The network includes business and technology consultants, venture capitalists, academics, entrepreneurs, lawyers, etc in the US and abroad. He brings 30 years of consulting experience to his clients. He was a Director at Braxton Associates, an international strategy planning consulting firm, and a Vice President at Pugh-Roberts Associates, a technology management firm established by Prof. Ed Roberts from MIT. Prior to establishing Weybridge Partners, he was the leading practitioner in the area of innovation management for the PA Consulting Group. During his career, Dr. Livada has combined expertise in the areas of strategic planning and organizational dynamics, with a detailed knowledge in the areas of innovation, new business and product development, and R&D management.

Through the years, clients have included Fortune 500-type companies such as: GM, Becton Dickinson, Eli Lilly, Nokia, J&J, Hitachi, Raytheon. Most recently his work with such clients focuses on various aspects of new business development, entrepreneurship and open innovation. Specific areas include venture capital, spin-outs, internal incubators, strategic alliances, IP portfolio optimization and university technology transfer.

Val sits on the Board of Directors for Monarch Antenna (a Delphi Automotive spinout), Polynova Composites (an advanced materials startup), AutoHarvest Foundation (an automotive industry innovation portal), and The Entretech Forum (a Boston based university entrepreneurship network). Dr. Livada is also actively involved with a variety of emerging companies, helping to translate promising technologies into commercial successes. He is advisor to Liquid Bits (a 3D animation start-up,) WWTechnologies and SonicWeld- Swiss ultrasound companies, NanoC (a carbon nanotube manufacturer), Aphios (a biologics company), Aware (a wellness company), and Agiltron (a microelectronics firm). In addition, he consults to another dozen emerging companies in diverse areas such as e-health, instrumentation, and medical devices.

In 2009 Val established the Strategic Investors Forum, a network of corporate venture capital organizations that includes more than 60 companies in a variety of market segments. The Forum provides a vehicle for an exchange of ideas and a constant updating of sector dynamics. He is a Catalyst at the Deshpande Center, and a consultant to the Cambridge University/MIT Institute on various aspects of Innovation and Corporate/University partnerships. He received his undergraduate degree from MIT and his MA and PhD from Tufts University.

Rear Admiral David J. Nash, CEC, USN (ret.) has over five decades of experience in building, design and program management for both the U.S. Navy and the private sector. His experience includes the management of multi-billion dollar physical asset programs, including the U.S. Navy’s shore installations worldwide and the reconstruction of Iraq’s infrastructure. He currently serves as President of Sustainable Biofuel Solutions, LLC. Nash also has his own project consultancy, Dave Nash & Associates, LLC.

Rear Admiral Nash’s service in the U.S. Navy spanned thirty-three years as an officer in the Civil Engineer Corps (CEC). Among his many leadership positions, Nash served at the top of the CEC as Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command and Chief of Civil Engineers. In the private sector, he has extended his leadership over large building programs in a variety of executive positions including as a Program Director, Parsons Brinkerhoff, for a one billion dollar renovation program of General Motors’ Warren Technical Center Campus in Warren, MI. Rear Admiral Nash is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Society of American Military Engineers Golden Eagle Award, the Beavers Award for Heavy Engineering Construction, the ASCE John I. Parcel-Leif J. Sverdrup Award for Civil Engineering Management, and the CERF/IIEC Henry L. Michel Award for Industry Advancement of Research. In 2005, he was named “One of the 50 Top Newsmakers” by Engineering News-Record. He was elected to the National Academy of Construction in 2003 and the National Academy of Engineering in 2007. He was awarded the Carroll H. Dunn Award of Excellence by the Construction Industry Institute in 2007. Most recently he was awarded the Ted Kennedy Award for lifetime achievement by the National Academy of Construction.

He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Indiana Institute of Technology, an M.S. in Financial Management from the Naval Postgraduate School, and an Honorary Doctorate from the Indiana Institute of Technology. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Michigan and Pennsylvania.