March 18, 2018
by Yiran Song
Air conditioning is increasingly considered to be a required amenity in both residential and commercial settings. But concerns about global warming and greenhouse gas emissions gives us no time to waste in achieving more energy efficient AC systems. In the February GreenHomeNYC Forum “How to be Cool and Efficient”, three industry experts provided a detailed description of the mechanics of AC systems and the industry as a whole.
Systems and Relative Energy Efficiency
Brendan Casey, of Fujitsu General America, believes that the Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) or so-called Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system is the future of AC systems. Even though VRF can be carried as cooling only, building owners and management companies in places like New York City should consider either heat pump or heat recovery systems which provide both cooling and heating. The heat recovery system carries higher installation cost, but it can provide both heating and cooling at the same time to different zones based on demand with only one control.
March 16, 2018
Meet another GreenHomeNYC volunteer who dedicates her time to make our educational programs a success. This month, the spotlight is on Emily Taubenblatt.
Why did you decide to volunteer for GreenHomeNYC?
About 2 years ago, I wanted to connect with others in my chosen field of sustainability and I also was looking for a job when I heard about one of the Green Careers events. After attending, I learned that the group needed an event photographer and since I enjoy photography, I volunteered. I eventually became part of the Green Careers Planning team.
Where are you from?
I’m from Westchester, NY
What did you study in school?
I studied environmental planning as an undergrad and I have a Master’s in environmental science.
Where do you currently work?
I’m a Project Consultant at APCO Worldwide, a global communications firm. I work primarily in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practice.
What GreenHomeNYC activities are you engaged in?
I am on the planning committee for Green Careers and I attend a majority of those events. Occasionally, I also attend the Monthly Forums, if the topic interests me.
What do you like most about the organization?
I now consider myself a professional networker, thanks to GreenHomeNYC. Attending events and talking with people after the panels has helped me build invaluable skills that I would not have otherwise. Being involved in this organization has really helped me put myself out there and connect with people.
What three things are you most passionate about?
In no particular order: music, photography and saving the world (contributing to building a more sustainable future).
March 7, 2018
Professional certifications can often be helpful in the sustainability field, especially for professionals seeking to get their foot in the door, or change jobs. Although LEED is still fairly ubiquitous, as attitudes toward urban living and buildings change, newer certifications are coming to the fore, sometimes making it difficult to know which ones are right for you.
Join our Green Careers team for our monthly event on Tuesday, March 13th for a panel discussion to discuss what sustainability certifications are available and which ones complement your interests and career goals. Our panel consists of five speakers who are expert trainers and professionals in their fields, and include:
Mark currently works as a Project Manager for the Association for Energy Affordability. Experience with certifications includes: LEED, BPI, Multifamily Operator, and G/PRO.
Zoe currently works with the Levy Partnership as a Project Manager in charge of single-family and multifamily buildings in New York City and the Mid-Atlantic region, along with being a Passive House consultant. Experience with certifications includes: PHIUS and PHI.
Karla is currently the Sustainability Director at Steven Winter Associates. Experience with certifications includes: PHIUS, RESENT, HERS, NGBS, and LEED for Homes.
Leia is the director of Sustainability Services at KOW Building Consultants. Experience with certifications includes: CEM.
March 1, 2018
by Jenny Nicolas
At the annual GreenHomeNYC Green Catwalk, seven speakers presented the latest information on everything from ventilation to greening the moving industry to O&M to-do lists within the sustainability space.
Part 1: Eat, Breathe, Move, & Check Sustainably
Changing Our Relationship with Food
Ricky Stephens, co-founder of AgTech X, set the stage by presenting some of the biggest flaws within our country’s current food system. He indicated that 80% of the food grown today is not meant for human consumption, with 40% grown to support animals and 40% to be processed into biofuels. Additionally, though the plant kingdom is diverse, 84% of total US cropland is dedicated to just three crops: corn, soybean, and wheat. The long term prospects for the system are also in jeopardy as farming is not attracting new folks to the industry – the average age of a U.S. farmer is 58.
Farm One and Smallhold are two indoor farms housed in restaurants.
What can be done to fix our current system? The goal of AgTech X is to create a new food economy, using urban farming as a vehicle to educate, decentralize, and make farming exciting again. AgTech X fosters a collective community by hosting classes, workshops and tours. Its co-lab workspace supports decentralized urban farming methods like Farm One and Smallhold, indoor farms housed in restaurants that produce farm-to-table microgreens. And a recent “Intro to Aquaponics” class by Oko Farms explained the closed-loop system of raising fish, creating fertilizer for plant growth and filtering the water. While urban farming is not a new concept, innovations in the past five years are making it a more intriguing career option for young professionals!
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