February 5, 2019
Monthly Forum: Affordable Housing Overview, The Path to Better Affordable Housing
The City, State, and Federal governments have provided subsidies for affordable housing for decades, but this housing is not built by them, it is built by developers. Many years ago, the belief was to build the housing as quickly as possible, which caused much affordable housing to be of modest yet horribly inefficient quality. Today, such housing meets or exceeds most sustainability standards, and tonight’s developers were among the leaders in this change over the years, and remain there to this day. Listen to the process and progress in this field, and decide if you might want to join this field by listening to these accomplished leaders.
Our speakers will include:
Les Bluestone has been involved in real estate development and construction industries for over 35 years working in New YOrk CIty and surrounding areas. Co-founder of Blue Sea Development Company and Blue Sea Construction Co., his firms developed and built New York State’s first affordable Energy Star Homes and New York State’s first three affordable LEED Platinum multifamily buildings. A former Board Chair of Habitat for Humanity NYC, Les is a founding board member of the Center for Active Design, sits on the boards of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing, the NYC Workforce Investment Board, and was appointed by the Governor to the NYSERDA Green Jobs Green New York Advisory Council.
Luke Falk is Vice President of Technology for Related Companies. His group drives technological innovation (including capabilities around energy management, marketing, adtech, IoT, and integrated experiences) at Hudson Yards, the largest private real estate development in the history of the US. Previously he was the Assistant Vice President for Sustainability in Related’s New York Development Group. In that role he developed distributed and renewable energy generation projects, and improved the energy performance and resilience of new and existing developments. He led the sustainability design of over a dozen LEED silver, gold and platinum buildings representing over $5B in capital investment including the tallest passive house in the world for Cornell Tech in New York City.
December 11, 2018
October Forum Recap: Passive House High Rise
By Jessica Bartolini; Photos by Olha Peralta
High-rise Passive House buildings were the subject of GreenHomeNYC’s monthly forum in October. The three presentations provided attendees with an overview of what implementing Passive House standards looks like in real life.
Gahl Sorkin Spanier of the Association for Energy Affordability (AEA) kicked off the evening with a presentation on how best to go about building a high-rise Passive House (PH) project. Kevin Brennan, formerly of AEA and now co-owner of Brennan Brennan Insulation and Air tightness, joined Gahl in sharing learnings from Passive House projects and training. AEA recently worked on an 86-unit PH affordable residence for seniors in Queens, in partnership with the non-profit organization HANAC.
Gahl emphasized the importance of holding training for the various trades building a PH project, noting that the main sources of air leakage are often at details where trade responsibilities are unclear. It is key, therefore, that training not only instill understanding of PH requirements, but also recognition of the importance of collaboration and coordinating across trades. Another takeaway from AEA’s experience is that training should not include more theory or math than necessary. Gahl noted that any general contractor personnel in a supervisory role should not only receive training, but also be empowered to teach others.
November 27, 2017
October Forum Recap: Women of Greenby Claire Brown During GreenHomeNYC’s October Forum, eight women of green led us on a tour of their green building career paths. Through the Pecha Kucha style of presentation, the speakers used timed-slides to guide us through their search for their dream careers in engineering, sustainable design, new construction, and more. In addition to sharing their stories, the speakers offered advice to those seeking green careers. The forum was co-hosted by GreenHomeNYC and the Center on Global Energy Policy’s Women in Energy program at Columbia University. Lucie Dupas, Entersolar Dupas had engineering built into her genetic blueprint, with both of her parents working as IT engineers. She finished her formal education in engineering by completing a Master’s program in France, and was proud that the program was comprised of roughly 42% women. Surrounded by so many women in her field, she felt that being a female engineer was “the normal thing to do.” In search of her dream internship, Dupas moved to New York City and joined a renewable energy consulting startup at the NYU Poly Acre Incubator where she built her first photovoltaic system. The internship ultimately led to a full-time job at Sollega, a solar equipment manufacturer where she did “all the things that you think an engineer does”. According to Dupas, “I did a 3-D design of a racking part and tested it in a laboratory and I trained some 200 pound electricians.” Next she worked at Bright Power, where she helped bring solar power to affordable housing and managed the installation of several solar thermal and photovoltaic systems. She is now the Engineering Director at the nationwide solar installer Entersolar where she works on commercial projects with a specific focus on solar PV technology. Lucie is an avid proponent of training programs. “You know how you think you know something, but then you go through a certification program and you realize there’s so much that you don’t really know. And having the certification on your resume is so useful to show yourself as an expert in the industry.” (more…)
June 5, 2017
June Tour: 475 High Performance Building Supply House and Demo
GreenHomeNYC INVITES YOU TO
DISCOVER HIGH PERFORMANCE BUILDING MATERIALS IN BROOKLYNJoin us to learn how leading architects and developers achieve rigorous Passive House standards here in the City. We will tour the 475 High Performance Building Supply warehouse in Brooklyn to learn about the latest products that can lead to 90% reductions in heating and cooling energy usage. Founded and run by architects, 475 provides building knowledge and components to help professionals meet the international Passive House building standards. Guests will be treated to an interactive presentation on green building materials and diagnostic testing that improve air sealing, ventilation, fenestration, thermal insulation, and overall performance. This is a hands-on experience with cutting edge green building materials. It’s the next best thing to being in the Paris Agreement! After the tour guests are encouraged to join GreenHomeNYC for networking drinks at nearby Threes Brewing
September 10, 2015
August Forum Recap: The Economic Value of Green Buildingby 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. (more…)
October 14, 2013
The Green Spotlight on BE NYC: Steve BluestoneCountdown to BE NYC! With onlydays 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 certified. Steve is a speaker within the Small Buildings Track of BuildingEnergy NYC 2013. (more…)
October 1, 2013
The Green Spotlight: Jordan BonomoJordan 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. (more…)
September 18, 2013
Join us for our Annual Fall Green Buildings Open-House!
GreenHomeNYC INVITES YOU TO OUR
ANNUAL FALL GREEN BUILDINGS OPEN-HOUSE!!!The tours are an opportunity to visit a varied collection of buildings and green sites to learn about the energy efficient and sustainable building methods directly from building professionals such as the architect, engineer, developer or owner. You’ll experience firsthand the inner workings and design details, as well as the challenges and accomplishments that were faced by the professionals involved with these projects. This year’s tours will feature: Living Building design, passive homes, wind turbines, geo-thermal pumps, solar PV transport hubs, e-waste recycling plants, affordable housing retrofits, and more!
Date: Saturday, October 5th 2013
Time: Between 10AM and 3PM
Tours Typically Last About One Hour Unless Otherwise Noted
Cost: Varies per tour