GreenHomeNYC's mission is to promote an energy efficient and sustainable built environment and to support green professional development in NYC. We provide sustainability information to the general public and technical education to advance sustainability careers through a diverse array of programming, events, peer-to-peer mentoring and networking opportunities.

GreenHomeNYC Blog

October Forum Recap: Passive House High Rise

December 11, 2018

By Jessica Bartolini; Photos by Olha Peralta

High-rise Passive House buildings were the subject of GreenHomeNYC’s monthly forum in October. The three presentations provided attendees with an overview of what implementing Passive House standards looks like in real life.

Gahl Sorkin Spanier of the Association for Energy Affordability (AEA) kicked off the evening with a presentation on how best to go about building a high-rise Passive House (PH) project. Kevin Brennan, formerly of AEA and now co-owner of Brennan Brennan Insulation and Air tightness, joined Gahl in sharing learnings from Passive House projects and training. AEA recently worked on an 86-unit PH affordable residence for seniors in Queens, in partnership with the non-profit organization HANAC. 

Kevin Brennan & Gahl Spanier

Gahl emphasized the importance of holding training for the various trades building a PH project, noting that the main sources of air leakage are often at details where trade responsibilities are unclear. It is key, therefore, that training not only instill understanding of PH requirements, but also recognition of the importance of collaboration and coordinating across trades. Another takeaway from AEA’s experience is that training should not include more theory or math than necessary. Gahl noted that any general contractor personnel in a supervisory role should not only receive training, but also be empowered to teach others. 


GreenHolidayNYC: Giving to the Planet During the Holiday Season

December 7, 2018

by Pamela Berns


With the holidays upon us, you can make the decision to be either naughty or nice when it comes to your carbon footprint. From treats to trees, from toys to travel, your choices make a difference in the health of the planet. How can New Yorkers stop dreaming of a white Christmas, and take actions toward a green one? Here are a few ideas for sustainable celebrating.

tree shoppingChoose an earth-friendly tree: According to Thomas Harman, founder of artificial Christmas tree maker Balsam Hill, “The minimal use necessary to make an artificial tree green is about seven years. Use it for three and a real tree is better.” But artificial trees are often made of materials that don’t readily decompose and may even contain toxic chemicals. Leaving a real tree in the ground is still best for the environment, so if you choose to go for a cut tree, make sure you get it from a reliable sustainable source. If you’re not sure what to make of the whole artificial vs cut tree controversy, consider a living tree. Think of it as buying a potted plant rather than cut flowers, only bigger. The tree comes with roots intact, and can be planted afterward. If you don’t have a yard of your own, gift it to someone who does. There are also plenty of community and school gardens in need of green. (Keep in mind that living trees sequester carbon; they actually store it and turn it into nutrition.)


November Green Careers: 2019 Brainstorm Session

November 5, 2018

The GreenHomeNYC Green Careers group needs you and your bright ideas for our 2019 meet-ups!


For our November Green Careers meeting, we’ll begin planning the 2019 calendar year. As such, we’re looking for feedback on this year’s past events, as well your thoughts and ideas on what would make next year’s programming a useful career-building resource.


Who should attend this month’s Green Careers meet-up? 

  • Anyone with ideas for professional development-focused discussion topics, workshops and/or speakers
  • Emerging and transitioning professionals looking to build a career in sustainability and energy efficiency
  • Industry professionals interested in contributing time, expertise, and/or resources
  • Individuals interested in becoming more active volunteers with GHNYC
  • Those interested in learning more about the GHNYC Green Careers programming


Date: Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Time: 6:30pm – 8:00pm with networking afterwards
Location: Steven Winter Associates – 307 7th Ave, 19th Floor Conference Room New York, NY 10001


Register for FREE Here

Posted by Emily Taubenblatt in Blog, Green Careers Transitions

November Forum: Sustainability & Art

November 4, 2018

Art and sustainability intersect in many ways. Art permeates our culture and can serve as a platform to talk about issues like climate change as well as the spaces and cities which hold these artworks.


At one interface, an artist’s media choice and material sourcing can implicate connections to nature and convey valuable messages on sustainability. As energy efficiency and space usage becomes more critical, the built-environment which holds art (e.g. museums, galleries) seeks to reconcile current energy-related issues. Museum alliances have been created to collectively issue goals, while academic institutions are researching the status of museums and ways to create sustainability progress. On a larger scale, art institution sustainability goals interconnect with the sustainability goals of a geographic area.


At the November forum focused on Sustainability & Art, we will hear from artists, academia, and the American Alliance of Museums about their work, and the steps of museums and cities to create a more sustainable art world. We invite you to join us and to think about ways art can move you or your community towards speaking out about an issue of importance and ways your art community can become more sustainable.


Date: Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

Time: 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Place: ThoughtWorks, Inc. 99 Madison Avenue, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10016


Our speakers will include:

Sharon Gaber, American Alliance of Museums, Environment and Climate Network Chair

Emily Rea, Artist

Raphael Gernath, Master’s in Urban Studies/Affairs, SciencePo

Andrew McWilliams, Tech/Video Artist


Register here!


We highly encourage attendees to register in advance, as fees increase at the door. If registering at the door, credit/debit card is strongly preferred.



Posted by GreenHomeNYC Forums in Blog, Monthly Forum

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