A Review of Panel #2: Making It Happen
On Wednesday December 1st, stakeholders of New York City’s built environment gathered at Pratt Manhattan to hear speakers present on the city’s public policy developments, private sector innovation, and how the two have intersected over the past ten years. Eva Hanhardt, Professor of the Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment at Pratt Institute, opened the panel discussion on sustainable energy conservation. Ariella Maron, Deputy Commissioner for Energy Management for the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services, discussed New York City’s efforts to conserve energy within its property portfolio of over 4,000 government buildings. She highlighted features from the Greener Greater Buildings Plan and the effects of energy conservation on the city’s energy costs.
Dan Nall, Director of Sustainability for WSP Flack + Kurtz, opened his discussion by asking the audience to assess whether an individual building is a good citizen within its community. He explored the strategy of net zero energy communities vs. net zero energy buildings, the former considering synergies and systems within the city itself. He presented a multi-layered solution space to energy planning from the regional, city, neighborhood and building scale.
Andrew Padian of the Community Preservation Corporation gave a compelling argument for energy retrofits in existing residential buildings in New York City, offering an electric analysis of walkup buildings versus elevator buildings among other statistics. Through multiple case studies, attendees learned about the CPC’s work to offer financing to landlords seeking energy retrofits and upgrades for multi family buildings, and the effect those upgrades have on their financial bottom line.
Wendy Fletcher of the Pratt Center closed the event with her presentation of the non-profit sector’s view of energy conservation. Highlighting projects from the Pratt Center’s Retrofit NYC Block by Block initiative, Wendy discussed the relationship between economic development, environmental justice and community planning. She offered a strategic approach to retrofitting residential buildings, explaining that most residential properties in New York City were built five to a lot during the same time period, using the same structure and similar, if not identical, materials. She presented how this design approach enabled energy retrofits to happen block by block, saving time, money and ultimately energy in the process.
Overall, the panel discussion was a great showcase of multiple sectors working to reduce New York City’s greenhouse gas emissions. For information on related events, visit the Sallan Foundation.