August 6, 2018
by Karen Hindie
The June GreenHomeNYC Forum, Sustainability and Social Justice, explored how less advantaged communities can benefit from sustainable development. Our speakers focused on construction, landscaping and agriculture-related jobs for low-income workers. Speakers Matthew Caruso, Program Manager for Intervine, a division of the Hope Program, and Thomas Perry, Bronx Program Director, described training and transitional jobs that prepared workers for permanent positions in construction and landscaping. Jose Chapa, Legislative Campaign Coordinator of the Justice for Farmworkers Campaign, represents farmworkers and agricultural workers across the state. He described the difficulties farmworkers have and attempts to correct them.
Hope Through Sustainable Job Training
Caruso and Perry spoke about the Hope Program, which enables people who have difficulty obtaining a job to acquire the skills necessary to start and maintain sustainable careers. The Hope Program’s Bronx location focuses on green construction and building operation skills through the Sustainable South Bronx
(SSBx) training program and transitional paid jobs for graduates of the program at Intervine
and Cool Roofs
. Through the SSBx 12-week training program, students are provided classroom education, and experience in creating and maintaining green infrastructure. They earn industry certifications in safety and basic construction skills. They also receive assistance with resume writing and interview skills.
January 27, 2018
by Noah Siegel
Have you ever wondered what happens to the water you use after washing the dishes, taking a shower, or flushing the toilet? GreenHomeNYC visited the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant
in Greenpoint, Brooklyn to learn how the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) sustainably handles wastewater treatment. Our tour was led by LaToya Anderson, the Science and Environmental Protection Educator for the NYC DEP.
As the largest of NYC’s 14 wastewater treatment facilities, Newtown Creek handles an impressive 310 million gallons of wastewater every day, and up to 620 million on a rainy day. As we approached the site, the first thing we noticed were the glistening, futuristic digester “eggs”. Since 2010, these alien-esque digesters have become an iconic piece of the Brooklyn cityscape, especially when illuminated with bright blue LEDs in the evening.
Inside the digesters, a biological process called “anaerobic digestion” takes place. Bacteria breaks down “sludge”, the organic material removed from our sewage. For this process to take place, the digesters are kept at 98°F and are completely sealed to create an oxygen-free environment. In total, these digesters can hold 24 million gallons of sludge at any given time.
October 16, 2015
for a special tour of the green roof of New York City’s Jacob Javits Center
on Friday, October 23rd at 2pm
The Jacob Javits Convention Center is home to the second largest green roof on a single, free-standing building in the U.S. and the largest in NYC! The green roof was completed in October 2014 and is 297,000 sqft. It prevents approximately 6.8 million gallons of stormwater run-off annually. The roof features 14 different varieties of Sedum plants grown on a regional production farm in upstate New York. Read more
about the roof from the designers.
July 8, 2014
INVITES YOU TO
PARKS AND RECREATION NIGHT
Date: Thursday, July 24th 2014
Time: 6:30 PM
Cost: Suggested Donation of $5
Join us on Thursday, July 24th for a special after-work tour of the newly renovated Bushwick Inlet Park.
Once a brownfield site located on the East River, this park has been transformed into one of the greenest spaces in the City and was recently honored by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) as one of 2014’s top ten examples of sustainable architecture
It is now home to numerous playing fields as well as Parks Department offices and various community spaces. Designed by the architecture firm Kiss + Cathcart, with landscape architecture by Starr Whitehouse, the site contains ground source heat pump wells, rainwater harvest and storage, and drip irrigation for the green roof. Half the total energy used by the main building is generated by an onsite solar pv system. The park site encompasses almost 30 acres of land and surrounds Bushwick Inlet, a narrow, protected remnant of Bushwick Creek.
Guests will be treated to a behind-the-scenes look at the park’s green amenities as well as an in-depth discussion of the design and implementation of the park’s transformation. After the tour, guests are invited to continue the conversation over drinks at a nearby location TBD.
Sign up today!
Space is limited.
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.
April 17, 2011
Spring is in the air, which has seemingly resulted in a lot of announcements from City Hall. Info on free rain barrels from the DEP, green commercials leases, water leak notifications, green roof legislation, greening historic properties, and a study on the City’s green policy, all after the jump!
March 30, 2010
On Saturday April 24th, join GreenHomeNYC on a tour of the Gen. Colin Powell Apartments, a new green affordable residential coop building in The Bronx. We’re grateful to Les Bluestone and Blue Sea Development Company for hosting the tour. Come and hear about an array of green features, including an extensive green roof, high efficiency boilers, recycled and low impact materials, and more.
Saturday April 24th, at 11am. 715 Fox Street, The Bronx.
RSVP required. Spaces are limited, please sign up using the registration form below. (more…)
August 11, 2009
As LEED moves into its v3 2009 iteration, many other local, state, private, and international green building guideline programs continue to evolve as well. The green certification process options are fairly straightforward in New York City – outside of choosing a voluntary system (such as LEED), the only other New York-specific guidelines apply to affordable housing (HPD
) and public projects (Local Law 86
Otherwise, developers can seek to qualify for more than one voluntary system if it seems appropriate. Enterprise Community Partners’ Green Community Guidelines
(for affordable housing), for example, specifically make note of where credits overlap with LEED, and were developed in conjunction with the USGBC. Thus, in many situations the trick is to be aware of how many guidelines a project can qualify for, to potentially get the biggest bang for your buck.
Different guidelines have different approaches too, swinging from the performance-based approach (reduce energy consumption by 15%, regardless of how you do it) to a prescriptive path (you must install a 1.6 gpf toilet)
Following is a listing of the more notable developments from the past year in the world of green building guidelines/ certification programs. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but should act as a decent overview of how this industry continues to expand and change.
February 15, 2006
Wednesday, February 15th, 6:30-8pm
Where: Hafele Showroom
Leslie Hoffman, Earthpledge
See pictures of the event here
GreenHomeNYC’s February forum features guest speaker Leslie Hoffmann, Executive Director of Earthpledge Foundation
. Earthpledge has many exciting environmentally sensitive programs under way, such as green roof intiatives, sustainable agriculture, and eco-friendly fashion.
The February forum welcomed Earthpledgeâ€™s Executive Director Leslie Hoffman. Earthpledge is an NYC-based non-profit that researches and promotes innovative techniques and technologies that help foster sustainable living. Leslie originates from an architecture and design background, and worked as a carpenter for 10 years prior to joining up with Earthpledge. With a lifelong love for gardening and sailing, itâ€™s no wonder that sheâ€™s now the driving force behind such an organization.
Earthpledge has their hands in a whole bunch of pies. Their Green Roofs initiative was implemented in response to the lack of green spaces in cities and the intrinsic health issues that arise as a result. One of their current projects is a green roof atop the Silvercup Studios in Long Island City, where theyâ€™re monitoring and comparing green and conventional roofs in terms of energy usage and storm water management. While green roofs can be costly, Leslie is armed with a litany of their benefits, including green space for inner-city dwellers, alleviated health issues, and a reduction in energy use. Leslie estimates that there are about 50 green roofs in the metropolitan area.
One attendee who works in the development field voiced his concern over the current emphasis on green roofs, and itâ€™s current â€˜trendyâ€™ appeal. He said that a group of his clients came to him with a limited budget, and are dead-set on installing a green roof on their new building because in their amateur opinions, itâ€™s the best, and only, way to go green. He suggested to them that they instead invest their money on better windows, higher-quality insulation and a more efficient boiler, but they werenâ€™t interested. They are willing to forgo the smart building throughout the building in favor of the (green) icing on the cake. Of course, Leslie agreed with the developer that building our structures well from the ground up is smarter and more effective than installing a green roof, exclusively.
Farm-to-Table is another initiative that Earthpledge is undertaking, designed to connect local food producers with local buyers. Leslie cites buying locally and supporting local agriculture as a top priority in sustainable living. The more cheese or potatoes or corn you buy from producers in your area, the less fossil fuels, chemicals, and modifiers are used, and the better off the communityâ€™s economy and farmland is.
Earthpledge is involved in other endeavors, and you can read all about them here
. Although they are often hired by private-sector establishments, Leslie and her cohorts are also here to educate the public, and are hired to consult people and groups who come to them asking â€œCan you help us figure out how toâ€¦.?â€ Search around the site
and see if Earthpledge can help you figure out how toâ€¦
The Green Building Forum is held on the third Wednesday of each month
(except December) @6:30 PM and features presentations by green building practitioners followed by discussion. The events are always free and open to the general public. Please RSVP by email to: rsvp@GreenHomeNYC.org.
April 16, 2003
The Hefele showroom
hosted 28 people for our April forum. We heard a great presentation from Colin Cheney, Director of the green roof initiative at Earth Pledge
. Thank you to all of you who came and to Hafele for hosting us.
Earth Pledge Green Roofs Initiative
The Earth Pledge Green Roofs Initiative aims to lower New York Cityâ€™s ambient air temperature and prevent pollution in its waterways by creating citywide green roof infrastructure.
Investigate and quantify the costs and benefits of green roofs for New York City
Demonstrate the benefits, encourage the adoption, and provide tools to aid the implementation of green roofs by key stakeholders in the private and public sectors
Work with representatives of local government to create incentives to support green roof development in New York City
Use green roofs to lower New York Cityâ€™s ambient air temperature and prevent pollution in city waterways
The Green Roofs Initiative targets those responsible for the planning, development, design, construction, and maintenance of buildings in urban areas. We reach public officials, policy makers, building owners, design and building professionals, developers, companies, and community groups.
The Viridian Project – implementation
The Viridian Project brings the environmental, health, and social benefits of green roofs to low- and moderate-income New Yorkers. Through Viridian, Earth Pledge is providing technical and financial support to nonprofit organizations that serve these groups, in order to help them develop green roofs and related programming at their facilities.
New York Ecological Infrastructure Study – research
Earth Pledge is conducting the New York Ecological Infrastructure (NYEI) Study with a team of researchers led by the NASA/Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The study will quantify the costs and benefits of green roof infrastructure in the New York metropolitan region; its results will be used to develop policy recommendations.
Green Roof Symposia, Forums, and Workshops – education
Earth Pledge hosts green roof events that engage and educate a range of stakeholder groups. Our technical workshops for design and building professionals, and our Green Roof Symposia convene a diverse group of designers, builders, developers, educators, and community and environmental groups. Our next Green Roof Symposium will target the corporate and real estate community.
Green Roof Policy Task Force â€“ education
Earth Pledge formed the Green Roofs Policy Task Forceâ€”composed of representatives from New York City, State, and federal agenciesâ€”to explore public policy options for support of green roof development in New York City.
Green Roof Toolbox for New York City – education
The Green Roof Toolbox will be an online resource for design and building professionals, policymakers, and the public, providing detailed information on how to pursue green roof projects in New York City. Launch date: December 2003.
Green Roof Initiative Director
We would like to thank Hafele Showroom for hosting us!