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

January Forum: Green Catwalk

January 10, 2017

Join us for our annual kick-start to the New Year!


Happy New Year from the Monthly Forums Group!  Once again, we’ll be bringing you a whole new lineup of interesting topics, and January brings you the annual Green Catwalk, featuring a multitude of hot topics for 2017.


Join us to hear current updates and “green” news for the year from different key players and organizations in NYC. Reserve your seat now and check our website for updates.


Date: Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Time: 6:30-8:00pm
Place: Fujitsu General America, 1450 Broadway, 42nd Floor New York, NY


RSVP here!


Our speakers will include:

Duncan Prahl RA, AIA., Sr. Research Architect, speaking on building the first LEED Platinum Home in Saudi Arabia
Tom Sahagian, Independent Energy-Efficiency Consultant, speaking on How to acheive 80×50 and how you can help with basic energy-efficiency research
Matthew Caruso, Sustainble South Bronx, speaking on the energy efficiency program they run through NYSERDA

Richard Gerbe, CEO, HighMark, speaking on how energy efficiency supports renewable energy, in relation to demand management for buildings in NYC.

Daniel Paschell, Analyst, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, speaking on ways to transform transport culture and prioritize people and the environment instead of the movement of cars.

Bill Oberkehr, NY State Solar Ombudsman, speaking on the Shared Solar NYC program.

Gabe Landes, Program Manager, Sustainable CUNY, speaking on the Solarize NYC Program.

Posted by Theresa Heller in Blog, Monthly Forum

How Green is Your Hotel: Sustainability in the Hotel Industry

December 29, 2016

by Tamanna Mohapatra


We’ve just been through another holiday season with tourists filling sidewalks, restaurants and New York City hotels. According to NYC & Company, the official destination marketing organization for the city, over 58 million visitors came to Manhattan in 2015 alone, and another 59.7 million were projected for last year. Clearly, tourism is alive and well in the city – and the one thing all tourists need is a place to stay. Although Airbnb and similar types of housing have become popular in NYC, hotels still provide the bulk of accommodations for visitors. But with increasing competition from Airbnb, along with consumer awareness and general CSR efforts, hotels are taking a serious look at their operations with an eye towards implementing green initiatives.



What Exactly is a Green Hotel?

Sustainability can mean many things for a hotel. For some, it can be physical, as in being housed in the latest LEED certified building. For others, it can mean working on the nitty gritty details of establishing programs to reuse and recycle soaps and shampoos, or it can mean looking at the big picture by partnering with city government to reduce their carbon footprint.


In Manhattan, 19 major hotels have pledged to reduce their individual carbon footprint by taking part in the NYC Carbon Challenge, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 80% by 2050. It’s estimated that participation will reduce citywide GHG emissions by 32,000 metric tons and save approximately $25 million in energy costs.


Energy Efficiency: It’s All About the People

December 27, 2016

By Pamela Berns


BENYC Conference

BENYC Conference

After attending four panel discussions and taking several turns around vendor exhibit floor of the 2016 BuildingEnergyNYC conference, one thing became perfectly clear. When it comes to sustainability and energy efficiency, there is no shortage of tools: codes, incentives, certifications, technology, data collection, and some incredibly innovative products and services. But the biggest takeaway was the the need to clearly decipher this complex landscape in order to achieve meaningful behavior change among all the stakeholders involved. Said Saheel Chandrani, Senior Account Executive at Johnson Controls, “The big thing we miss out on is the people.”


The Challenge
According to Richard Yancey, Executive Director of the Building Energy Exchange, “The educational issue is a big component” in achieving sustainability compliance among building owners. “People are scared of doing things differently.” Mike Davis, Senior Program Officer at the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), feels it’s especially important to provide a clear understanding of available resources in order to help owners “navigate the space.” Chandrani described things from the tenant’s viewpoint: “How do you use energy data to get people to care? That’s the hardest part.”


Showcasing the success of New York City’s increasingly stringent energy codes is an effective way to reinforce positive behaviors already taking form. Sean Brennan, Research Manager at the Urban Green Council said, “The key is making sure the message gets out to the public, so they know it’s working.” But Roya Kazemi, Director of the GreeNYC program at Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, sees “voluntary behavior change as the missing part as the code gets developed.” Danielle Spiegel-Feld, Executive Director at the Guarini Center on Environmental, Energy and Land Use Law, NYC School of Law, is concerned that there’s “very little knowledge in consumer markets that the data even exists.” One reason she says is that “it’s buried” on the “not user-friendly, not heavily trafficked New York City Department of Finance website.”

Photo from DCAS


Messaging Do’s and Don’ts

In addition to creating platforms for more for accessible information, framing the story in a context that stakeholders can relate to is key. Kazemi said that the environmental message isn’t always effective and that “being heavy handed with guilt and fear and shame doesn’t work.” Yancey warned against a “saving the polar bears” message for tenants, and suggested a focus on benefits such as comfort and well-being. Phil Madnick, Program Manager at Con Edison’s Multifamily Energy Efficiency program, cautioned against “go[ing] in there and talk[ing] about climate change” with building managers, who are more interested in the bottom lin. Loic Chappoz, Project Manager at NYSERDA, believes that property owner-managers will “respond to a good business case.” And Kazemi stressed the importance of making “wonky academic speak accessible” to all stakeholders. (more…)

It Pays to Volunteer! Meet the Winners of the 2016 GreenHomeNYC Scholarship

December 1, 2016

By Pamela Berns

 image-6-e1478788966554-1024x1024As an educational non-profit, GreenHomeNYC is committed to the advancement of people in the energy efficiency and renewable energy fields, especially those GreenHomeNYC volunteers who have made outstanding contributions to the organization.


Says Board President Jim Henderson, “Our partnership with the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) creates a great opportunity for our volunteers to increase their knowledge and connect directly with sustainability leaders. This year we selected four outstanding volunteers to attend NESEA’s BuildingEnergy NYC conference held at the TKP New York Conference Center. The conference offers a full day of workshops, networking and content sharing on energy efficiency in commercial and multifamily buildings in New York City and it attracts all the key players from the building, sustainability, and resilience sectors. We are pleased to announce our 2016 winners!”


It takes a lot of hard work, coordination, and teamwork to produce a GreenHomeNYC event: speaker recruitment, venue procurement, outreach and marketing, on site logistics, and post-event communication.  This year’s scholarship winners were selected for their diligence in producing these events. In addition to thanking these volunteers for their hard work, the GreenHomeNYC scholarship award aims to enrich their knowledge and career potential, and build on their strong commitment to further the organization’s mission to create an energy efficient, resilient, and sustainable New York.


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