September 4, 2019
Recap: Tour of the East River Compost YardBy Jonathan Oriondo On August 15th, GreenHomeNYC hosted a tour of the East River Compost Yard in Manhattan, where participants learned what it takes to compost on a community-wide scale. Lia Lucero, the outreach coordinator for NYC Compost Project, personally guided us throughout the site. At first glance it was not obvious that this facility’s main goal was community education. Right on the river, in the middle of a park, this place was huge! There were piles of compost at various stages of the digestion process. Most of the facility was outdoors with a small administrative building towards the road, and it was all surrounded by a formidable fence. It was very impressive—even the smell. (more…)
September 27, 2015
The Green Spotlight on BE NYC: Rebecca MarshallRebecca Marshall’s Mantra: “Sustainability has no boundaries.” By Pamela Berns “Sustainability doesn’t have boundaries.” That’s Rebecca Marshall ‘s mantra. On October 15, Rebecca, who is the Javits Center’s Energy and Sustainability Manager, will spread the wisdom as she shares the in-depth sustainability story behind the Center’s recent renovation. Rebecca is an upbeat person with a serious mission: to expand the boundaries of sustainability well beyond the Center’s 840,000 square feet of exhibit space. While she monitors the building’s resource consumption and engages employees internally, she also works to help customers exhibit responsibly and strives to ensure that the Javits Center is a “good neighbor” to the buildings that are rapidly going up in the adjacent Hudson Yards. She’s also works to extend a green welcome to New York City tourists, and even helps provide a safe haven for the local wildlife population. And she shares a commitment with others in her field to improve and increase sustainability in the events and conventions industry. (more…)
March 2, 2014
The Green Spotlight: Andrew McNamaraWith NESEA’s Building Energy conference right around the corner, GreenhomeNYC is shining the spotlight on the experts who will be making BE 14 an exceptional industry event! Andrew McNamara is Vice President of Engineering at Bright Power, Inc., a Manhattan-based firm that is pioneering energy efficiency and solar energy solutions in multifamily residential buildings. A physicist by qualification and an environmentalist at heart, Andrew found his true calling in the energy efficiency sector. Passionate to the point of adopting a sustainable lifestyle himself (he owned a solar oven at one point), he stays hungry for more by surrounding himself with smart and inquisitive people who stretch his intellectual boundaries. Let’s hear more from the man himself! (more…)
October 14, 2013
The Green Spotlight on BE NYC: Tom ThompsonBE NYC is almost here! With onlyday until the conference, GreenHomeNYC is shining the spotlight on the experts who will be making the BE NYC an exceptional industry event! One of the professionals participating in the conference is Tom Thompson. Tom Thompson is the Director of Business Development for Advanced Solar Products, Inc. and has over 30 years’ experience in the energy industry. He is active in the renewable energy sector, via his involvement with organizations such as the NY Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA), the NY Solar Energy Society (NYSES), and the Solar Energy Business Association of New England (SEBANE). In addition to being a lifetime member of NESEA, Tom served as Executive Director of the organization from 1995 to 2000. Tom is a co-chair of the Renewables and Resilience track with Scott Schultz. How would you describe your work with Advanced Solar Products, Inc.? I’m the Business Development Director for Advanced Solar Products, which is one of the oldest and most innovative solar businesses in America. My responsibilities include commercial- and utility-scale photo voltaic development in the Northeast. One of my focuses is seeking out solar projects and client opportunities. The job is a balance between technical and financial objectives, as well as developing connections with people (more…)
The Green Spotlight on BE NYC: Steve BluestoneCountdown to BE NYC! With onlydays until the conference, GreenHomeNYC is shining the spotlight on the experts who will be making the BE NYC an exceptional industry event! One of the professionals participating in the conference is Steve Bluestone. Steve Bluestone is a partner in The Bluestone Organization, a real estate development, contracting, and property management firm founded by his grandfather, Jacob Bluestone, in 1927. Mr. Bluestone studied architecture and passive and active solar energy systems, earning a B.S. in environmental science from Marlboro College. Since entering the construction and development industry, he has led his firm’s efforts on research and implementation of green building design. Using off-the-shelf components, the firm produced a 50-unit rental building that was hailed as “the most energy efficient multi-family building in New York State with four or more units,” and did so at conventional construction cost levels. Steve lives with his wife in Westchester County in a passive solar, geothermally-heated and cooled home that they designed and built in 2000. They are in the process of building an innovative new house upstate that is destined to be net zero energy and Passive House certified. Steve is a speaker within the Small Buildings Track of BuildingEnergy NYC 2013. (more…)
October 9, 2013
The Green Spotlight on BE NYC: Sam WeisenbergCountdown to BE NYC! With onlydays until the conference, GreenHomeNYC is shining the spotlight on the experts who will be making the BE NYC an exceptional industry event! One of the professionals participating in the conference is Sam Weisenberg. Sam Weisenberg is a Heating Specialist at Bright Power. Mr. Weisenberg troubleshoots, optimizes, and designs stream and hot water heating systems. He is an Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) Certified Building Commissioning Professional. Sam is also a Building Performance Institute (BPI) Certified Multifamily Building Analyst (MFBA). In his free time, Mr. Weisenberg plays percussion, guitar, and steel guitar. Sam enjoys cooking and volunteers doing bike repair. Sam is a speaker within the Commercial/Institutional Track of BuildingEnergy NYC 2013. What brought you to your current position? My mother and stepfather liked to move homes, so I grew up ripping our houses apart. I worked through college doing electrical trades and a lot of woodworking. Then I worked for a lighting designer and cabinet maker for a while. After that, I joined Bright Power and have been enamored with heating systems ever since. (more…)
October 7, 2013
The Green Spotlight on BE-NYC: Marc ZuluagaCountdown to BE NYC! With onlydays until the conference, GreenHomeNYC is shining the spotlight on the experts who will be making the BE NYC an exceptional industry event! One of the professionals participating in the conference is Marc Zuluaga. As a VP and Director of Steven Winter Associates’s Multifamily Energy Services, Marc Zuluaga has directed energy audits on over 20 million square feet of existing buildings and leads a team committed to applying a rigorous technical approach to the evaluation and implementation of a wide range of building upgrades. Marc has worked since 2005 to pioneer a retrofit approach to central exhaust ventilation systems in multifamily buildings, working openly and collaboratively with practitioners across the country. More recently, in research sponsored by the Urban Green Council, Mr. Zuluaga acted as the team leader on a project to quantify the winter heat loss due to air leakage around window and sleeve air conditioners in NYC. Mr. Zuluaga has also provided technical input to inform various policy initiatives; in 2010, he served on the NYC Green Codes Task Force that was convened by the Mayor’s Office to recommend green changes to the laws and regulations affecting buildings in New York. Marc is a speaker within the Commercial/Institutional Track of Building Energy NYC 2013. (more…)
October 5, 2013
The Green Spotlight on BE NYC: Christopher DiamondCountdown to BE NYC! With onlydays until the conference, GreenHomeNYC is shining the spotlight on the experts who will be making BE NYC an exceptional industry event! One of the professionals participating in the conference is Christopher Diamond. Chris is Director of Engineering and Technical Analysis at the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC), an independent, non-profit financial corporation established by New York City to assist the City in implementing its Greener, Greater Buildings Plan and to advance the goals of PlaNYC. NYCEEC’s mission is to support the City’s energy and climate action goals by catalyzing an energy efficiency retrofit financing market for private building owners. Chris earned a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) from Manhattan College, and Master of Science (Engineering) and Master of Architecture degrees from UC Berkeley. He will be one of seven industry professionals participating in the panel “Real Financing, Real Quick (Financing for People with Short Attention Spans),” which is part of BE NYC’s Multifamily track. How did you become involved in this aspect of sustainability? My career path seems a bit scattered, but there is a progression and along the way I’ve learned a variety of skills and perspectives that influence the work I do today. I started as a civil engineer designing gas stations in Southern California. Much of that work was tied to then-new environmental regulations including Title 24. Since the projects were small and quick paced, by the time I got to architecture school I had built more projects than most of my professors. After graduate school I worked for a boutique structural engineering firm on some high-profile projects, including Simmons Hall at MIT, the expansion to MoMA, and the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City. I then transitioned my career toward sustainability and energy efficiency and worked at an architectural firm and later Steven Winter Associates. The work I do today is integrating energy efficiency design and construction into the financing process. The breadth of my previous experience helps me clearly see the big picture. What are the main reasons that your panel at BE NYC, “Real Quick (Financing for People With Short Attention Spans),” is important to someone trying to gain a better understanding of the sustainability field at large? The excuse not to do an energy efficiency retrofit—even one with a great payback—is often a lack of financing. NYCEEC was established to eliminate that excuse and catalyze a financing market for energy efficiency. Financing can be very specific to the type of project under consideration and oftentimes people don’t know what is available. The format and collection of speakers on this panel will give the audience a great overview of the types of financing available for different types of projects. Spoiler Alert: In the end, if there’s a project that doesn’t fit into any of the categories we discuss, people should come talk to NYCEEC. Can you mention one or two projects you’ve been involved with at NYCEEC that are pertinent to this panel discussion? I’ve worked on two mortgage products in particular. The first is with the NYC Housing Development Corporation (so it’s limited to affordable housing). Over the summer we closed our first deal—with Franklin Plaza Apartments, a Mitchell Lama cooperative in Harlem—that is providing additional loan proceeds to incorporate energy efficiency into major renovations that were already planned. We’ve even been able to leverage a separate loan to do extra energy efficiency measures. The energy savings of these measures will go a long way to keeping the units more affordable for a long time into the future.
The second mortgage product is now rolling out with Fannie Mae. We’re working with some of their partner lenders to provide additional loan proceeds for energy efficiency improvements at the time of acquisition, refinancing, or even as a supplemental loan on top of an existing Fannie Mae mortgage. We’re fundamentally changing the way Fannie Mae underwrites loans: A portion of the projected energy and water cost savings can be used during the underwriting process.What other discussions at the BE NYC conference are you most interested in attending? The ones pertaining to resilience. The steps we’re taking with energy efficiency will only reduce the changes to our climate. Over the course of my lifetime and my children’s, we’ll need to learn to adapt and be resilient as well. Interested in learning more from Christopher Diamond? Look for him at the Multifamily Track at BE NYC. CLICK HERE to register for BE NYC. For more information on workshop sessions, sponsoring and exhibiting at BE NYC, CLICK HERE. Interview conducted by Steve Knight. To know more about GHNYC’s The Green Spotlight, CLICK HERE!