December 27, 2016
By Pamela Berns
After attending four panel discussions and taking several turns around vendor exhibit floor of the 2016 BuildingEnergyNYC
conference, one thing became perfectly clear. When it comes to sustainability and energy efficiency, there is no shortage of tools: codes, incentives, certifications, technology, data collection, and some incredibly innovative products and services. But the biggest takeaway was the the need to clearly decipher this complex landscape in order to achieve meaningful behavior change among all the stakeholders involved. Said Saheel Chandrani, Senior Account Executive at Johnson Controls, “The big thing we miss out on is the people.”
According to Richard Yancey, Executive Director of the Building Energy Exchange
, “The educational issue is a big component” in achieving sustainability compliance among building owners. “People are scared of doing things differently.” Mike Davis, Senior Program Officer at the Local Initiative Support Corporation
(LISC), feels it’s especially important to provide a clear understanding of available resources in order to help owners “navigate the space.” Chandrani described things from the tenant’s viewpoint: “How do you use energy data to get people to care? That’s the hardest part.”
Showcasing the success of New York City’s increasingly stringent energy codes is an effective way to reinforce positive behaviors already taking form. Sean Brennan, Research Manager at the Urban Green Council
said, “The key is making sure the message gets out to the public, so they know it’s working.” But Roya Kazemi, Director of the GreeNYC
program at Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, sees “voluntary behavior change as the missing part as the code gets developed.” Danielle Spiegel-Feld, Executive Director at the Guarini Center on Environmental, Energy and Land Use Law, NYC School of Law, is concerned that there’s “very little knowledge in consumer markets that the data even exists.” One reason she says is that “it’s buried” on the “not user-friendly, not heavily trafficked New York City Department of Finance website.”
Messaging Do’s and Don’ts
Photo from DCAS
In addition to creating platforms for more for accessible information, framing the story in a context that stakeholders can relate to is key. Kazemi said that the environmental message isn’t always effective and that “being heavy handed with guilt and fear and shame doesn’t work.” Yancey warned against a “saving the polar bears” message for tenants, and suggested a focus on benefits such as comfort and well-being. Phil Madnick, Program Manager at Con Edison’s Multifamily Energy Efficiency program, cautioned against “go[ing] in there and talk[ing] about climate change” with building managers, who are more interested in the bottom lin. Loic Chappoz, Project Manager at NYSERDA, believes that property owner-managers will “respond to a good business case.” And Kazemi stressed the importance of making “wonky academic speak accessible” to all stakeholders. (more…)
December 1, 2016
By Pamela Berns
As an educational non-profit, GreenHomeNYC is committed to the advancement of people in the energy efficiency and renewable energy fields, especially those GreenHomeNYC volunteers who have made outstanding contributions to the organization.
Says Board President Jim Henderson, “Our partnership with the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) creates a great opportunity for our volunteers to increase their knowledge and connect directly with sustainability leaders. This year we selected four outstanding volunteers to attend NESEA’s BuildingEnergy NYC conference held at the TKP New York Conference Center. The conference offers a full day of workshops, networking and content sharing on energy efficiency in commercial and multifamily buildings in New York City and it attracts all the key players from the building, sustainability, and resilience sectors. We are pleased to announce our 2016 winners!”
It takes a lot of hard work, coordination, and teamwork to produce a GreenHomeNYC event: speaker recruitment, venue procurement, outreach and marketing, on site logistics, and post-event communication. This year’s scholarship winners were selected for their diligence in producing these events. In addition to thanking these volunteers for their hard work, the GreenHomeNYC scholarship award aims to enrich their knowledge and career potential, and build on their strong commitment to further the organization’s mission to create an energy efficient, resilient, and sustainable New York.
by Kimberly Stempien
Photo Courtesy: NESEA
Imagine a city with clean air, solar energy, plenty of pedestrian spaces and no cars. It’s not at all far-off; these are all on the agenda for New York City in coming years. In fact, some of the projects are already in progress. The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association
held their annual Building Energy NYC
conference on November 3, bringing together leaders in energy, building maintenance, real estate, policy, product, and new technologies. Many topics were discussed, but three of the main takeaways were long term planning, regional-district planning, and enhanced resiliency for the city of New York.
In a talk by Jenna Tatum, Kate Gouin, Benjamin Mandel and John Lee from the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the focus was on 80×50, the de Blasio administration’s commitment to reduce GHG emissions 80% from 2005 levels by 2050 (80×50). NYC’s Sustainability 80X50 plan states, “It is the level the UN projects is necessary to avert the most disastrous impacts of climate change.” The plan is essentially a roadmap that is broken into four areas of focus: Buildings, Energy Supply, Waste, and Transportation, with comprehensive reporting and modeling done for each category. Following are the four main takeaways of the plan’s goals in each sector.
February 23, 2016
By: F. L. Andrew Padian
It may be hard to believe, but NESEA’s Building Energy Conference
is less than 2 weeks away, March 8-10. Yes, another year has passed. We’re sending you a heads up on five session to see at a minimum. There are other reasons to come, but these are mine. To sweeten the pot, NESEA has created a special promotion code for you to use. With this code: FRIENDOFNESEA (note that this code is case sensitive), your friends and colleagues will receive $25 off the non-member workshop, conference and trade show pass pricing (this does not include NESEA Night). The code should be entered into the “discount code” field at the top of the registration page.
Tuesday, March 8 – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm: Diagnosing and Air Sealing Large Commercial and Institutional Buildings
The always interesting, informative and entertaining Larry Harmon’s air sealing in commercial buildings session should be on your calendar. Larry’s session will focus on both air leakage and thermal deficiencies. He’ll discuss how, when, where and why to test; how to determine if there is a problem; how to fix what is found and finally, how to test again to be sure the problem was solved. In addition to the building science nitty gritty, topics will include how to choose appropriate materials, safety/OSHA considerations and how to ensure a quality installation.
November 23, 2015
By Thomas Storck
October’s Green Careers meet-up featured three sustainability leaders whose careers ranged from medicine to equipment manufacturing to government. Each professional, who spoke at this year’s NESEA
Building Energy NYC conference shared inspiring information about their work and career histories, and weighed in on career advice for those who want to pursue sustainability careers.
Photo credit: Samantha Yost
September 27, 2015
Rebecca Marshall’s Mantra:
“Sustainability has no boundaries.”
By Pamela Berns
“Sustainability doesn’t have boundaries.” That’s Rebecca Marshall ‘s mantra. On October 15, Rebecca, who is the Javits Center’s Energy and Sustainability Manager, will spread the wisdom as she shares the in-depth sustainability story behind the Center’s recent renovation. Rebecca is an upbeat person with a serious mission: to expand the boundaries of sustainability well beyond the Center’s 840,000 square feet of exhibit space. While she monitors the building’s resource consumption and engages employees internally, she also works to help customers exhibit responsibly and strives to ensure that the Javits Center is a “good neighbor” to the buildings that are rapidly going up in the adjacent Hudson Yards. She’s also works to extend a green welcome to New York City tourists, and even helps provide a safe haven for the local wildlife population. And she shares a commitment with others in her field to improve and increase sustainability in the events and conventions industry.
March 11, 2014
by Andy Padian, GreenHomeNYC Board member
Having been a religious attendee of BE conferences for most of the last 20 years, and having no expectations of what I would get out of this year except for networking, I can report unconditionally that this is the best conference I have ever been to, and that is saying something.
I attended an excellent session on heat pump technology, human building interaction, and the connection in buildings (and the world) between water and energy. I also sat in on another really good session about energy usage and savings data on over 1,000,000 homes. Staggering. Fun. Mind blowing.
However, the most important thing I saw this year was the great number of young and emerging professionals that are everywhere, and are in everyone’s face. Lots of questions, lots of looking for their first or next job, lots of needs for their summer internship, lots of people under the age of 30 presenting about their data, their research, and their clean tech start-up sell. . .Read more
Some of them are incredibly bright stars, and of course, there was the elevator pitch from the 20-something clean tech person who left an audience blank faced as no one could understand what his product was and/or what he was selling. Ooops. (more…)
March 2, 2014
With NESEA’s Building Energy conference right around the corner, GreenhomeNYC is shining the spotlight on the experts who will be making BE 14 an exceptional industry event!
is Vice President of Engineering at Bright Power, Inc
., a Manhattan-based firm that is pioneering energy efficiency and solar energy solutions in multifamily residential buildings. A physicist by qualification and an environmentalist at heart, Andrew found his true calling in the energy efficiency sector. Passionate to the point of adopting a sustainable lifestyle himself (he owned a solar oven at one point), he stays hungry for more by surrounding himself with smart and inquisitive people who stretch his intellectual boundaries. Let’s hear more from the man himself!
October 14, 2013
BE NYC is almost here!
day until the conference, GreenHomeNYC 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 Tom Thompson
is the Director of Business Development for Advanced Solar Products, Inc.
and has over 30 years’ experience in the energy industry. He is active in the renewable energy sector, via his involvement with organizations such as the NY Solar Energy Industries Association (NYSEIA
), the NY Solar Energy Society (NYSES
), and the Solar Energy Business Association of New England (SEBANE
In addition to being a lifetime member of NESEA
, Tom served as Executive Director of the organization from 1995 to 2000.
Tom is a co-chair of the Renewables and Resilience track with Scott Schultz
How would you describe your work with Advanced Solar Products, Inc.?
I’m the Business Development Director for Advanced Solar Products, which is one of the oldest and most innovative solar businesses in America. My responsibilities include commercial- and utility-scale photo voltaic development in the Northeast. One of my focuses is seeking out solar projects and client opportunities. The job is a balance between technical and financial objectives, as well as developing connections with people
Countdown to BE NYC!
days until the conference, GreenHomeNYC 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 Steve Bluestone
Steve Bluestone is a partner in The Bluestone Organization
, a real estate development, contracting, and property management firm founded by his grandfather, Jacob Bluestone, in 1927. Mr. Bluestone studied architecture and passive and active solar energy systems, earning a B.S. in environmental science from Marlboro College. Since entering the construction and development industry, he has led his firm’s efforts on research and implementation of green building design. Using off-the-shelf components, the firm produced a 50-unit rental building that was hailed as “the most energy efficient multi-family building in New York State with four or more units,” and did so at conventional construction cost levels. Steve lives with his wife in Westchester County in a passive solar, geothermally-heated and cooled home that they designed and built in 2000. They are in the process of building an innovative new house upstate that is destined to be net zero energy and Passive House
Steve is a speaker within the Small Buildings Track of BuildingEnergy NYC 2013.