NYC Green Building Events

Please note that GreenHomeNYC lists local events as a service to the community and is not directly affiliated with every event listed please check the individual listings to find out details and contact information!

You can also submit an event to be included on this list.


SDS Sustainability Crash Course 2014

March 29, 2014 9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Where: Pratt Institute Center for Sustainable Design Studies Brooklyn, NY
  • Hosted by: Pratt Institute
  • Go to event website »
Imagine being able to spend one amazing day immersed in learning about sustainable design—and meeting the people who have pioneered new thinking and practices. On Saturday, March 29, 2014, Pratt’s CSDS will present the third annual Sustainability Crash Course, a day-long series of workshops with a host of experts from Pratt’s sustainable design faculty and elsewhere. With over 20 speakers, it is sure to be a fantastic day of exploration and inspiration! Registration required. Space is limited.   Featured Presentations:   Keynote Discussion: Generate, Incubate, Accelerate Rhonda Schaller, Brynna Tucker and Debera Johnson   This discussion focuses on three stages of transforming from student to entrepreneur. 1) How can develop a career as an artist, architect or designer with sustainability as a part of my portfolio? 2) What skills do I need to be and entrepreneur? 3) What should I do if I am thinking of starting my own business?   New York City’s Food Waste Challenge   Elizabeth Balkan Elizabeth Balkan focuses on solid waste policy and sustainable procurement at the City of New York Mayor’s Office. She was responsible for the development, and now oversees implementation, of the Food Waste Challenge, a voluntary program that invites NYC restaurants to join the city in preventing food waste from going to landfill. She also leads city legislative initiatives including the commercial organics mandate. Before working for the Mayor’s Office, she researched solid waste planning in China, which took her to landfills, incineration facilities and recycling markets. Balkan also created a specialized consulting firm, Emergence Advisors, whose clients included the New York Power Authority, the United Nations Environmental Programme, United States Agency for International Aid and the Climate Group. She has worked extensively with cities to make sustainable development a viable option for both developed and emerging economies. Her educational background is in public policy and economic development. She holds a masters degree from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, and a Bachelors from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and lives in Brooklyn.   RiDE: Turning Your Ideas Into a Business   Participants in Pratt’s Incubator and Accelerator   Entrepreneurs in Pratt’s Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator and student entrepreneurs in the new on-campus Design Incubator will present their aspirations for creating exciting new business ventures from ideas that started in Pratt classrooms and studios. Additional presentations on what you need to know to be an entrepreneur will be presented by Debera Johnson, founder of the Incubator and the BF+DA.   The Great Work of Our Time: Picturing the Ecological Age   Angela Manno Whether we realize it or not, those of us alive today are laying the foundation for the next thousand years. And within our midst, out of our modern industrial society, ecological civilization is forming around the globe, in a dazzling display of variety and creativity.   Through the lens of four primary approaches — the Confrontational, the Legislative, the Creative and Consciousness Changing — internationally acclaimed artist and activist Angela Manno illustrates this transition to global ecological culture encompassing all areas of human endeavor — from law, practical ecology, ecovillages and non-violent direct action to new art and ceremonial forms designed to regenerate our connection to the Earth and the larger Universe. Come “Get the Picture” and celebrate the heroic times in which we live . . . and consider what is yours to do in the Great Work of Our Time!   Angela Manno is an educator, activist and internationally exhibited artist who has been exploring the pattern that connects personal and planetary healing for nearly 30 years. She studied Earth Literacy at Genesis Farm and is a graduate of the School of the Spirit Quaker Ministry On Being a Spiritual Nurturer. She brings her many years of teaching the creative process as applied to daily life to the crucial work of Earth restoration. Angela teaches Eco-spirituality and Action, developed under the auspices of New York Friends in Unity With Nature (Quakers), which was instrumental in the formulation of New York Yearly Meeting’s “Peace with Earth” declaration. Angela’s art and teaching are dedicated to the vision of humanity and the Earth living as one, and “the Earth restored to her pristine beauty and full regenerative capacities.” To learn more about Angela as an artist and to see her award-winning art, please visit Plastic Baskets and Neveruses: a Facture Show   Josh Blackwell The ubiquitous presence of plastic bags is as amazing as it is upsetting. Josh Blackwell makes objects from these scavenged items called Plastic Baskets. Transient and provisional, the plastic bag is a contemporary cipher. It symbolizes consumption, comfort, convenience, and planned obsolescence. Yet is also practical and durable, easily repurposed or recycled, effortlessly ingratiating itself into daily life. Thus, the paradoxical meaning and status of the plastic bag: it is both totally superfluous and utterly necessary. In this lecture and presentation, artworks will be worn and used by live models, addressing the surplus of stuff at large in the world today.   Originally from New Orleans, Josh Blackwell is an artist and teacher based in Brooklyn. He received a BA from Bennington College in Vermont and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles. He has participated in exhibitions at PS1/MoMA, Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans, and EAST international. In 2004-05 he received an International Fellowship from the Delfina Studio Trust in London, and has received two fellowships from Yaddo, (2004, 2006). He teaches in the Department of Social Sciences and Cultural Studies at Pratt Institute.   Artisan Collaboration and Snorkeling with Biologists   Rebecca Welz Rebecca Welz is a sculptor and educator. The June Kelly Gallery in New York represents her as well as galleries on the west coast. Her work is included in many private and public collections. She is currently working in welded steel, exploring and developing new forms that are inspired by jellyfish, the growing patterns of trees and vines and the evasiveness and mutability of smoke or vapor. She teaches three -dimensional design and a class for incoming graduate students in the Industrial Design department at Pratt which focuses on the thought process of design. She has developed a course in Biomimicry and has taken students to snorkel in the Caribbean and to work with biologists in the field. We study how nature solves problems, sometimes looking at the Nano-scale and observing how that information is being translated into ideas and useful forms. Another travel program she has developed is traveling with students to non -industrialized countries to collaborate with artisan weavers, carpenters, woodcarvers, and welders making products. This is a rich experience exploring indigenous culture and craft and learning about traditional skills. It is also an opportunity to experience another place and get to know some people who live very differently that we do.   The Tailor Project   Amy DuFault The Tailor Project is a year-long mending and design collaboration between sustainable fashion writer, Amy DuFault and her local tailor Kathryn Hilderbrand. Amy has taken a vow of fashion abstinence for a year where she won’t be buying any new clothing, jewelry or shoes and instead, will be re-designing her existing clothes. The project is also a call to arms for old friends, new friends and colleagues to join in supporting and exploring their local tailor, an age-old profession being pushed out for cheaply made and priced clothing- garments more cost-effective to just throw away than to mend. In addition to visually documenting the project online, Amy is writing about her own psychological observances from not consuming fashion, which has already proved challenging and enlightening. Amy DuFault is a sustainable fashion and lifestyle writer found often on Ecouterre,The Guardian and other online and print publications. She is also a Sustainable Fashion Strategist for Pratt’s Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator and consults and runs social media for natural dye guru, Kathy Hattori ofBotanical Colors.   Passive House Panel Discussion   Presented by LEAP – Leaders in Environmental Advocacy at Pratt   Ken Levenson & Marty Rowland The Passive House concept represents today’s highest energy standard with the promise of slashing the heating energy consumption of buildings by an amazing 90%. Widespread application of the Passive House design would have a dramatic impact on energy conservation. The Passive House panel will discuss applied concepts of the passive house design throughout the speakers’ career. We will have two insights of the entrepreneurship path of the building performance industry from the architect, founder of 475 High Performance Building Supply and President of the NY Passive House, Ken Levenson; and the civil-environmental engineer and certified passive house designer Marty Rowland.   Ken Levenson Ken Levenson is a registered architect in New York State with 20 years experience as a practicing architect, including 10 years as principal of Ken Levenson Architect PC, based in Brooklyn, NY. A graduate of Pratt Institute, Ken became a Certified Passive House Consultant in 2010, incorporating the Passive House standard into projects, including several historic building renovations in “Brownstone Brooklyn”. Ken is a founding partner in 475 High Performance Building Supply, a company dedicated to providing those products that help transform green building into high-performance building across the US. Ken is also president of NY Passive House, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting the Passive House standard, and a founding board member of the North American Passive House Network. Ken regularly lectures on the Passive House standard and building science.   Marty Rowland Marty Rowland is a certified passive house designer, currently working with the NYC Dept of Parks & Recreation, and as an adjunct professor of environmental science at Pace University. He is also a licensed professional civil and environmental engineer who worked in the aerospace industry for 28 years. Dr. Rowland is an expert in collective use of common natural resources, having researched water management in Tampa and Baton Rouge. The point of view he will be expressing today concerns how the passive house movement necessarily needs to become the rule rather than the exception in the American construction industry; he has ideas on how that could happen.   Paddling Down the Toxic Stream: Classroom-Community Partnerships for Field Experiences on Polluted Waterways   Carl Zimring Sustainability educators use a wide variety of field experiences to engage students with issues discussed in class. This session discusses the benefits and logistics of partnering with community organizations to bring students out of the classroom and onto polluted waterways. Carl Zimring has partnered with local groups to run field trips as part of the sustainability courses he has taught at Roosevelt University and Pratt the past six years. Today’s talk will discuss how partnerships with Friends of the Chicago River for trips on Bubbly Creek (infamously described as Chicago’s “Great Open Sewer” by Upton Sinclair in 1906’s The Jungle) and Gowanus Dredgers for trips on the Gowanus Canal (designated a Superfund site by the EPA in 2010) have enriched student experiences in specific courses on sustainability, waste, and water, and how these partnerships may inform course development in the future. For more info: Friends of the Chicago River:, Gowanus Dredgers:   Carl Zimring is an environmenta historian interested in the ways in which attitudes concerning waste shape society and institutions. His first book, Cash for Your Trash: Scrap Recycling in America (Rutgers University Press, 2005) documents how changing ideas about material reuse from colonial times to the end of the twentieth century shaped the scrap recycling industry. He is general editor of The Encyclopedia of Consumption and Waste: The Social Science of Garbage (Sage Publications, 2012), and serves as associate professor in the Department of Social Science and Cultural Studies at the Pratt Institute, where he founded the Sustainability Studies minor in 2013. Prior to arriving at Pratt, he co-founded the Sustainability Studies program at Roosevelt University and taught environmenta history for several years at Oberlin College. His doctorate in history is from Carnegie Mellon University and he has been an Environmental Protection Agency Science to Achieve Results fellow, an American Society for Environmental History Samue P. Hays research fellow, and a scholar-in-residence at the Smithsonian Institute Libraries.   Sustainability in Scandinavia   Brent Porter Brent M. Porter is completing his 41st year at Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture and has been a practicing architect with his own firm since 1982. He was selected by the Pratt student body as Distinguished Teacher in 2004-2005. Prof. Porter has pioneered in the research and application of energy conscious design and planning in work in the New York City region and abroad. He headed one of the four design teams in the Summer Energy Conscious Design Institute at Harvard University’s School of Architecture as early as 1983. His Pratt research group received one of the first national solar access research grants from the American Institute of Architects and the U.S. Dept. of Energy. With the late William H. Whyte, well-known author and urban planner, the Pratt Environics Design Studio established by Porter won the first victory for “sun rights” in NYC from the City Council and the Board of Estimate. Additional floors proposed for a new high rise at 505 Third Avenue were shown to cast much shadow on the adjacent Green Acre Park at East 51st St. The commission for the first “Solar Access Study for NYC” was granted to Porter’s team shortly after by the Dept. of City Planning. Public successes followed and began in defense of St. Bartholomew’s Church from a new high rise’s shadowing, then led to similar studies at Union Square and the Upper East Side. The simulation of shadowing was featured on PBS’s “Innovations” program. Proposals for Atlantic Yards housing as well as for the Navy Yard’s Admirals Row Housing have been simulated with community groups support. Work to defend sun rights and lessen shadowing continues. Prof. Porter now heads the Christina Porter Lighting Lab of the School of Architecture. Current studies include simulation of various configurations of photovoltaic material within double glazing with shading devices within the glazing to both generate electricity and admit daylight but concentrate that available natural lighting on the ceiling of various types of spaces.   In both his teaching and his practice, the pursuit of environmentally sensitive and passive solar implementation has been a major goal. Strategies to lessen the environmental impact to Machu Picchu and its town below have been pursued for twenty years with a new commitment due to the mudslides in 2010 and the contribution of a broad, multidisciplinary team headed by Porter to study planning, environmental, civil engineering and structural engineering in the lower Royal Inka valley of the Urabama River. Porter has served as a consultant for such sustainable projects in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Great Britain, Denmark, Sweden, India and Japan. But perhaps his popular Czech and Slovakian beergarten known as Radegast Hall in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is a special accomplishment. With its sustainable design measures and materials used throughout, its naturally ventilated skylights and its planned photovoltaic roof, this Eastern European eating and drinking establishment has been named one of the ten best facilities of its kind in the USA.   Artisan Made   Frank Millero Designers have a long history of collaboration with the makers that bring their ideas to life. This session will explore opportunities for designers to work with artisans from around the world to develop new products while supporting the artisans, their culture and their communities.   Frank Millero is a designer, consultant and educator based in Brooklyn, New York. He holds a Master’s degree in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute and a Bachelors degree in Molecular Cell Biology from the University of California at Berkeley.   He began his career and spent ten years at the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco where he developed numerous biology-based exhibits and programs. After attending the graduate program at Pratt, he has developed products for a variety of commercial brands including West Elm, Urban Outfitters, One Kings Lane and the Canadian retailer Indigo.   Since 2004, Frank has developed curricula and taught in the Industrial Design department at Pratt Institute. He is currently teaching “Artisan Made”, a product design studio that links students to artisans from around the world. He is a member of the board of directors for SERRV, a nonprofit whose mission is to eradicate poverty through fair trade. He provides strategic advice on product development, merchandising and marketing and has also designed products and conducted training workshops for SERRV’s partners in Cambodia and Nepal.   What I Live By (WILBy) and The [Ethical] Sweatshop   Elana Langer What I Live By (WILBy) and The [Ethical] Sweatshop offer a new type of shopping experience, one that promotes the greatest luxury item of all; thoughtfulness. With a live manufacturing area to construct the ‘Made-In-USA’ bag, a range of products that reflect the ethics of NYC and Brooklyn based designers, a ‘Do-Gooder’ bag that supports former sex traffic victims in Cambodia, or the ‘I-Don’t-Need-Another Bag’ bag, this pop-up shop/art installation hybrid invites shoppers to articulate what they live by through their consumption choices.   During the Green Week workshop/discussion Elana will be presenting her [Ethical] Sweatshop concept, along with the ethnographic findings from her pop up/installation at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn, and an invitation for professor and industry professionals to get involved and share mindful consumption and empathic life-art practice to students and beyond.   The installation that will be running at the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg from March 10 through April 7.   After a decade working for international development agencies in Africa and Central Asia including UNICEF and the Center For Disease Control (CDC), Elana began looking for ways to communicate the complicatedness she experienced in our global, digitally connected, capitalist-based reality. In 2013 she launched What I Live By (WILBy) and the Pop Up [Ethical] Sweatshop, a hybrid of business, art, and education that promotes mindful consumption and thoughtfulness as a first step toward positive global change. Her work can be found online at   Have questions about CSDS Sustainability Crash Course 2014?

Back to all events