October 1, 2013
Jordan Bonomo is a Multifamily Energy Auditor at Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation
(NMIC), a long time GreenHomenNYC volunteer, head of the Green Building Tours, and a Student in Columbia University’s Sustainability Management graduate program
GreenHomeNYC’s blog mentions that your interest in the environment was sparked while working on a climate change campaign for MASSPIRG
. Please recount this experience as well as others that have contributed to your interest in the environment and sustainable building.
After college I was living in Boston for the summer. MASSPIRG
, the state public interest research group there, was working on a climate change campaign to get Massachusetts to ratify the RGGI Bill. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
is a carbon cap-and-trade system for the Northeast states. I helped fundraise for that where I learned about the issue and the politics involved. It was also the summer that the Al Gore Movie, An Inconvenient Truth, came out. It was a very hot topic at the time. The initiative eventually went through in Massachusetts .
Living in New York City, obviously there are a lot of buildings. I know that buildings are major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in the city and a lot of the city’s energy use is from buildings. I thought that would be a great starting point for focusing on being more efficient and more sustainable.
Please describe how you became involved in GreenHomeNYC.
I randomly googled green buildings in NYC and came across GreenHomeNYC. I shot them an email and went to meetings and met other people that were interested in the topics. I didn’t know anything about it at all at the time but I started volunteering so that I would learn. One of my first assignments was to make informational note cards that we would post on the website. I did one about passive houses. I researched passive houses, passive lighting, and passive heating systems. This was a good way to learn about one aspect of green building and now it’s a pretty hot topic everywhere. It was cool, a good way to get my feet wet.
February 3, 2011
On February 16th, GreenHomeNYC will host a discussion of the design innovations in the three Melrose Commons North projects, which will be built on the last remaining large City-owned underutilized sites in the Melrose Commons Urban Renewal Area (URA). Together, the three projects will deliver more than 750 units of green affordable housing, bringing the total number in the Melrose Commons URA to 3500 units — a terrific milestone for an area that was synonymous with disinvestment and urban flight in the 1970’s. All three projects will meet the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria, a green standard designed for affordable housing.
The speakers for this forum are veterans of the decades long effort to turn the Bronx around — they’ll give us a look behind the scenes to how the three Melrose Commons North projects combine program and design in the service of rebuilding a vibrant, healthy community in the neighborhood that they’ve cared for and worked in through these years. (more…)
January 12, 2010
GreenHomeNYC and NY Designs are collaborating to bring three NESEA Master Workshops to La Guardia Community College this February. The workshops will be taught by Marc Rosenbaum. His work has been nationally recognized by ASHRAE, AIA, EEBA, and NESEA. Six AIA credits will be provided per workshop. Each workshop is $250 plus a one time registration fee of $15. A discount is available to NESEA members and CUNY students.
This is the FIRST time these courses are being offered in New York City through NESEA. GreenHomeNYC is NESEA’s NYC chapter.
April 21, 2004
John Krieble and Laurie Kerr, of the Office of Sustainable Design
(OSD) at NYC’s Department of Design and Construction
, discussed the close relationship between sustainability and preservation. The speakers focused on two historic buildings that are also OSD pilot green renovation projects. One, the ACS Bellevue by McKim, Meade, and White, is on the National Historic Register. The other, the old Lion House at the Bronx Zoo, is a New York City Landmark, which will achieve at least LEED Silver and perhaps Gold.
The New York City Department of Design and Construction is “bringing together the two most powerful movements in architecture of the past generation: preservation and sustainability,” according to John Krieble and Laurie Kerr at DDC. DDC is a city’s mayoral agency in charge of much of the city’s architecture including all building types that the city owns, excluding schools, hospitals, and water treatment plants. The agency has a $1 billion capital construction budget, one-third of the city’s structure budget.
In 1997, DDC added the Office of Sustainable Design, a consortium of professionals, and created the High Performance Building Guidelines. DDC has used the guidelines for 21 pilot projects at this point, worth $800 million of construction. DDC then further studies the lessons learned from these pilot projects are used to implement agency wide practices that improve the environmental sensitivity of buildings at no extra cost. (More information on the guidelines can be found at DDC’s home page
John Krieble and Laurie Kerr highlighted four reasons the City should green historic buildings.
Most buildings in NYC are old and therefore to have an impact on the built environment, older buildings must be included. New building comprise only one to two percent of the building stock. Most of DDC’s work is renovation. The shells of buildings can lost longer than 300 years, while other building materials will change over time.
Using older and historic buildings, as opposed to construction new buildings, reduces environmental impacts. Over 60 percent of NY’s solid waste is from construction and demolition (C&D) waste, which is greater than in most places due to the old building stock. The City now ships its waste to Pennsylvania and Virginia. The fewer the buildings that are torn down, the less C&D waste is routed to landfills.
Older buildings tend to be higher quality buildings, due to aesthetics and intelligence of design. The detailing that adorns these buildings is too expensive to do today. The high value of construction is hard to repeat, as well. They were built by Old World, skilled craftsman from Europe.
Historic buildings have embodied knowledge. These buildings preceded the era of artificial light and mechanical cooling. We can learn from these buildings how to keep buildings cool and use the sun for lighting. The shape of the buildings, U, T, and L-shaped buildings, enables natural light to penetrate the narrow floors. Artificial lighting consumes between 30-50 percent of a building’s energy. Improving natural light penetration could significantly reduce this consumption.
The presenters went into great detail about two of their green historic building projects with the audience: ACS Bellevue in Manhattan and the Lions House in the Bronx.
The ACS Bellevue, located at 29th and 1st Avenue, was once a morgue. It was built with narrow floor plans for extensive daylighting deep into the floors. In addition to daylighting, the renovation to adaptively reuse the building as a new children’s center had many sustainable features. By using an existing building, the development is not consuming the embodied energy from new resources. It preserves the aesthetics and historic value of the building while avoiding demolition debris and impacts related to construction. The renovation included the use of low VOC paints to avoid negatively impacting indoor air quality and hard floors to reduce the accumulation of dust, mold, and the toxic off-gassing of carpets. Other measures include open offices at perimeter for daylight penetration, modular electric chillers, carbon dioxide sensors, and a closed loop recovery system heated by steam.
The Lions House at the Bronx Zoo was built in 1903. This heavily ornamented building was part of a group of buildings at Astor Court, built between 1899 and 1920 that epitomized the Daniel Burnhham’s City Beautiful Movement. The present renovation will allow the building to be used for a Madagascar exhibit. The renovated Lion’s Den is expected to result in a 54 percent energy savings and attain a silver or gold LEED rating.
is a NYS registered architect. He has been practicing in New York City for twenty-five years as an Associate at Ehrenkrantz/Eckstut, Architects and Planners and on the staff of several other NYC firms including Robert Stern, Architects, and Croxton Collaborative, Architects. As Director of the Office of Sustainable Design and Construction at the NYC Department of Design and Construction, he is currently responsible for the ongoing development and implementation of the agency’s high performance building program. His unit is involved in advancing DDC sustainable design initiatives through involvement in over 20 pilot projects and development of a number of research initiatives.
John has a B.A. from Princeton University in and a Masters degree from Columbia University, both in Architecture and Urban Planning.
is a NYS registered architect who works for the Office of Sustainable Design in New York City’s Department of Design and Construction. Her responsibilities include implementing environmental strategies on half a dozen sustainable projects and coordinating research projects aimed at defining sustainable practices that will be cost effective for the city.
Laurie also writes on architectural topics for various publications, most recently for The Wall Street Journal and Slate. Prior to taking her position with the City of New York, Laurie worked for almost twenty years in private practice, first as an Associate at the firm of Robert AM Stern Architects, and later as a principal of her own practice, which focused primarily on residential architecture.
Laurie has an undergraduate degree in Engineering and Applied Science from Yale College, a Master’s of Science in Applied Physics from Cornell University, and a Master of Architecture degree from Harvard University.