September 10, 2015
by Jaime Alvarez
Two seasoned building professionals and a financier came together on Wednesday, August 19th at the GreenHomeNYC August forum held at the Hafele showroom to share their experiences regarding the economic value of green building with a full room of over 50 curious attendees. The presentations emphasized that with attention to detail, green buildings can be built affordably.
Steve Bluestone of The Bluestone Organization: Making green building cost competitive
Affordable housing developer, Steven Bluestone, began the discussion showing how through years of practice and commitment to constant improvement his firm has left behind stagnant building practices and forged ahead past code requirements with a simpler building process which delivers more efficient buildings with significant cost savings to tenants.
For over fifty years, small to medium multi-family housing has been built using concrete masonry unit, “cinder block,” structural walls and planks for flooring and roofing. The buildings would be structurally sound, but energy efficiency suffered as a result of minimal insulation, air sealing, and “thermal bridges”— where conductive material such as concrete is exposed to outdoor weather drawing in cold temperature indoors during winter, and warmer temperatures in summer, raising heating and cooling costs.
September 29, 2013
Countdown to BE NYC!
days until the conference, Greenhome NYC 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 Henry Gifford.
is director of mechanical system design at Architecture and Energy Limited
, a Manhattan firm that designs buildings that are very energy efficient, yet cost no extra to build. He is a longtime practitioner in the Building Science and energy efficiency fields, specializing in multifamily buildings, and thinks one good measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions.
Henry is a speaker in the “One Pipe, Two Pipe” workshop in the Smaller Buildings track.
How did you become focused on this particular area of sustainability?
When I was 20 years old I bought two apartment buildings in the Lower East Side. They were expensive to run, and I knew I couldn’t lower the mortgage payments, taxes, or insurance; and I couldn’t raise the rent. So I started to see what I could do about paying less to Con Edison. I could see that my bills went up and down, jumped around a lot – even in summer. I called the service company for them to send someone out to check the boiler. He barely stepped into the boiler room, glanced at the flame and said “Yeah, it’s efficient.” I knew that he knew more than I did, but that there had to be more to it than that. Pretty soon I became more interested in spending time in boiler rooms than in housing court. (more…)
June 1, 2013
As a part of our Spring 2013 SustaiNYC tours
, architect Chris Benedict of Chris Benedict, R.A. showed the GreenHomeNYC community her latest project– a 24-unit apartment building in Bushwick that is designed to meet Passive House standards. Passive Houses are airtight buildings that are designed and built under rigorous conversion standards to dramatically minimize energy use. Thoughtful building design and infrastructure are at the core of a Passive House, so it was a treat to tour the building mid-construction and explore the details firsthand.
Chris and her team have designed 424 Melrose Street to be as airtight as possible, using modeling software such as PHPP (Passive House Planning Package) to calculate energy balance and facilitate building decisions. Each part of the building– including the walls, floors, windows, and the roof– are expertly designed with selected materials to maximize insulation. While optimizing solar energy and heat from appliances and occupants within the building, the team is also working to reduce the size of heating and AC systems. (more…)