September 26, 2013
As cleanup efforts continue, fast-growing BuildingEnergy NYC is all about resilience
By F. L. Andrew Padian
Six months before Hurricane Sandy, whose storm surge hit New York City on October 29, 2012, the decision was made to center NESEA’s 2012 BuildingEnergy conference
on resilience. As BE approached, we all became more and more impressed with the smattering of resilience sessions and how they made the conference much more timely.
Sandy had really hit a lot of New York City hard, taking out entire neighborhoods, like Breezy Point, where fires spread from house to house even as water surged around their foundations. In Manhattan, which wasn’t hit nearly as hard as the outer boroughs, surge waters washed cars down the street at Peter Cooper Village, and water climbed onto the West Side highway, filling basements and in some places rising to more than three feet deep on the first floor. A major tunnel between Manhattan and Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Battery, filled with water. Live news reports said the water flowing into the tunnel smelled like oil. Of course it did: many of our buildings heat with oil, some of them with residual no. 6 oil, and the tanks are in the basements. My own home in Hell’s Kitchen was not affected, but my office was closed for a week. (more…)