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  • Taming the Concrete Dragon? | Stephen Hammer & Elizabeth Balkan | Snapshot Column | the Sallan Foundation
    residential buildings is becoming a much more prominent part of Shanghai s energy picture One recent study estimates that these buildings consumed approximately 32 of electricity used in the city in 2004 but given the phenomenal level of construction occurring in Shanghai each year this number must be rising rapidly Building Energy Policymaking a Challenge at the Local Level For a variety of reasons reducing building related energy consumption is a challenging proposition From an institutional perspective central government s energy policies have been written in a deliberately vague manner allowing for implementation flexibility across provinces and cities in dramatically different socio economic or geographic circumstances This can impede local authority action to promote green buildings however out of fear that local policies may leapfrog central government s actual intent For municipal officials seeking to advance within provincial or central government overstepping one s bounds can be a real career killer Within local government planning and development responsibilities tend to be split among several different agencies each of which reports to different Vice Mayors and gauges success in different ways e g Plan Plan Plan vs Build Build Build The planning permit approval process can be convoluted involving much back and forth negotiations between the developer and the local authority Several developers we interviewed in Shanghai last summer suggest it is possible to negotiate alternative zoning rules for an individual parcel of land Unfortunately this can lead to a patchwork of development across the city making energy system master planning more difficult at the city level Market impediments also slow the push for green buildings China has a long history of artificially depressing energy prices to facilitate economic development Local authorities do have the ability to modestly raise rates above national levels a step Shanghai Municipal Government took just a few months ago but these prices are still a bargain compared to what market prices would otherwise dictate making it difficult to promote voluntary action by real estate developers Building energy efficiency advances can also be contingent upon local building practices Although it is commonplace to install large HVAC systems capable of serving all building tenants in commercial properties residential properties in Chinese cities south of the Yangtze River are generally built as a shell without any centralized heating or cooling system The owners of each unit are instead expected to outfit their unit according to their own needs desires and budget Large residential buildings are easily identifiable because of the number of small less efficient heating and cooling units affixed to the exterior of the building Cultural factors may also explain local government s hesitancy to be more proactive on green building efforts After decades of forced limits on consumer product availability households are now exercising their buying power from fully stocked shelves Some commentators argue that it has become culturally unacceptable for local authorities to reinstate command and control policies telling the public which energy using technologies they can and cannot buy when outfitting their homes Cause for

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  • Green Zoning | Caroline G. Harris | Snapshot Column | the Sallan Foundation
    The definition of floor area could be amended to exclude additional wall widths provided for energy efficiency Waivers of height and setback regulations could be provided as needed to support energy saving or energy generating infrastructure The manufacturing district performance standards of the Zoning Resolution largely unchanged since 1961 could be amended to incorporate standards for energy use and carbon emissions The conversion of manufacturing buildings to mixed use could encourage a mix of uses having complementary energy needs In addition to energy other goals of PlaNYC such as storm water management and reduction in the urban heat island effect could be addressed by amendments to the Zoning Resolution The use of permeable materials such as pervious concrete and soils with plantings could be mandated in a variety of open spaces Green roofs could be encouraged in appropriate situations With respect to mass transit the Zoning Resolution could require that developments located more than a certain distance away from subway lines provide bus or shuttle services to transit connections As greener mandates in the green and energy codes are on the way many are concerned that new mandatory zoning standards will impose too great a financial burden on developers This concern could be met by establishing a Sustainable Building Program similar to the existing Quality Housing Program As in Quality Housing buildings meeting certain standards such as LEED Platinum or a select list of New York City specific high performance priorities could exclude certain areas from the Zoning Resolution s definition of Floor Area effectively providing a bonus for sustainable design Because the program would be voluntary the developer would be able to make an informed decision based on a cost benefit analysis In Quality Housing which exempts certain building areas corridors trash rooms recreation spaces etc from floor area if they provide an amenity to the occupants most if not all developers elect to comply with the program requirements Similarly a voluntary Sustainable Building Program could create the momentum and practical experience that would lead the way to smart effective and efficient development In addition where discretionary land use approvals such as special permits are sought new findings could be added pertaining to sustainability For example a finding that the project meets targets for sustainability could be added to the other statutory findings Beyond simply amending the Zoning Resolution the land use planning process itself ought to be re imagined in a creative effort by a multi disciplinary group of experts and stakeholders in conjunction with the City s land use environmental transportation including the MTA and infrastructure planners and policy makers Through this process the Administration and its Sustainability office and city planners t could take into consideration new factors such as whether an area is flood prone or the location of existing urban hot spots based on aerial thermal maps By working with experts industry environmental and community groups City Hall could reach for a new calculus that addresses the need for energy efficiency at a city

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  • International Influences on City Sustainability Plans | Gail Karlsson | Snapshot Column | the Sallan Foundation
    the city conduct a greenhouse gas emissions inventory A commitment to the New York City Greenhouse Gas Inventory project was eventually approved with support from the Mayor s Office of Environmental Coordination However Mayor Bloomberg seemed no more familiar than Mayor Giuliani with the concept of sustainable development and city officials were reluctant to release the information that had been gathered about greenhouse gas emissions The International Olympics Committee and the Mayor s Task Force on Sustainability Daniel Doctoroff first began promoting the idea of a New York City Olympics in 1996 long before he became Mayor Bloomberg s Deputy Mayor for Economic Development By May 2004 when New York City made the list of five finalists for hosting the 2012 Summer Olympics he had already put together a NYC 2012 organization to support the bid One of the potential benefits to New York would be an opportunity to launch some major new economic development projects The Olympics plan included revival of the East River waterfront with construction of an Olympic Village across the river from the United Nations and an aquatics center in Brooklyn and construction of a West Side Stadium which was meant to lead to comprehensive redevelopment of the Far West Side of Manhattan Other projects that were listed as part of the bid included a rowing course in Queens a velodrome in the South Bronx a marina along the Atlantic shoreline an equestrian center in Staten Island and the refurbishment of a historic armory in Harlem Amid a flurry of excitement about new stadiums and infrastructure it emerged that the International Olympic Committee IOC had its own version of Agenda 21 and considered sustainability as one of the criteria for its selection of host cities Consequently in November 2004 the NYC2012 committee adopted six Environmental and Sustainability Principles to govern any construction and operations connected with the Olympics demonstrating their recognition of the IOC s Agenda 21 goals The committee projected that the New York Olympics would launch a major environmental transformation of the city accelerating the expansion of parkland and recreational opportunities reclaiming brownfields promoting new green buildings and transportation systems and revitalizing the waterfront In addition New York s global media would spread the principles of sustainability throughout the world In the same month Mayor Bloomberg formally designated a Mayor s Task Force on Sustainability charged with coordinating and facilitating the incorporation of environmentally sustainable principles into the city government s planning operations and policymaking Ultimately the defeat of the West Side Stadium proposal undermined New York s bid for the Olympics and London won the prize What happened Construction of a new Olympic stadium an essential component of New York s plan for hosting the games was rejected by the New York State Public Authorities Control Board in part because of concerns that it would conflict with investments needed to rebuild the devastated World Trade Center site At that point the Mayor s Task Force on Sustainability could have found itself defeated as

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  • Growing Green Collar Jobs in NYC | Joanne Derwin | Snapshot Column | the Sallan Foundation
    For that reason Urban Agenda has launched a nine month process to create a coordinated citywide workforce development plan to prepare New Yorkers for green collar jobs The kick off meeting was held on June 24 when nearly 150 participants from many sectors met to identify critical questions and share information and strategies on how to support green collar job creation The plan is being created through a broad based effort that includes input from labor unions community groups workforce development practitioners business environmental advocates and policy makers Its ultimate success will be measured in the creation of thousands of green collar jobs A citywide green collar workforce development plan must address both retraining incumbent workers in state of the art green skills and preparing New Yorkers who face barriers to employment such as poor education limited job experience a prison record or lack of childcare A comprehensive plan would Connect underemployed New Yorkers including youth who are unconnected to education or employment and the formerly incarcerated with green collar careers The plan will need to create entry points into green career tracks for workers who have been shut out of the traditional economy This might include piloting a green collar job corps to provide job training paid work experience and placement in green collar sectors with basic entry requirements Support existing programs The plan should leverage New York City s strong workforce development system by expanding training in green skills materials and systems and bringing these programs to scale This would enhance the fundability and sustainability of a green collar workforce development plan Build career pathways The plan would apply a model used by some already existing programs that explicitly connects pre employment service providers community and non profit training providers labor apprenticeship programs and two year and four

    Original URL path: http://www.sallan.org/Snapshot/2008/07/growing_green_collar_jobs_in_nyc.php (2016-02-10)
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  • USGBC to Accredit Green-Building Certifiers | John Tepper Marlin | Snapshot Column | the Sallan Foundation
    of buildings or groups of buildings The new plan for outsourcing certification does not affect USGBC s committee based process for developing LEED standards USGBC is accredited by the American National Standards Institute ANSI as a standards developer and the LEED Accredited Professional program is ANSI compliant ANSI is a national member of the International Organization for Standardization ISO a network of national standards member institutes in 157 countries based in Geneva Switzerland ISO attempts to harmonize among national governmental standards institutes the standards for products or services in different business or industry sectors These standards define specifications to be applied consistently in the classification of materials in the manufacture and supply of products in testing and analysis in terminology and in the provision of services ISO also provides guides for conformity assessment for suppliers third party certification and accreditation ISO does not carry out certification itself nor does it control the verifications used in the business sector of ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 management system standards Some international groups have an advisory function such as the International Electrotechnical Commission There are regional intercountry standards groups and each country or economy usually has a single national standards institute that is the core member of ISO Separating USGBC from the certification process will bring LEED into alignment with norms established by ISO that require standard setting bodies to remain distinct entities not combined with certification bodies in the same area USGBC is not the only organization addressing the conflicting roles of standard setting certification and accreditation The Forest Stewardship Council sets the standards for Rainforest Alliance Smartwood certification and its sister organization ASI accredits the Rainforest Alliance to certify that wood meets these standards Separation of functions is crucial for USGBC because it won t be long before USGBC like FSC has watchdogs investigative reporters and bloggers questioning the validity of some of its ratings Separation of institutions makes it easier to identify problems and fix them FSC and LEED are linked by the points that LEED standards allow for buildings using certified wood products The problem for everyone is that the supply of certified wood is limited an estimated 2 percent of the the U S lumber market and 8 10 percent of the world lumber market This in turn could mean a long waiting time for lumber higher prices or worst of all for FSC and USGBC counterfeit certifications FSC seeks to capture 20 percent of the market by 2012 Wood vendors try to make it easy for buyers builders or do it yourself homeowners to buy certified wood by providing copies of fact sheets like this or this which is best practice according to the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labeling ISEAL Alliance the equivalent to ISO for global multi stakeholder standard setting initiatives like FSC Certification Bodies Third party certification bodies also called registrars are auditing organizations that issue certificates of conformance to a standard The certificates can be issued to individuals as in academic degrees

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  • Energy Efficiency in NYC: The Problem of Split Incentives | Kate Bashford | Snapshot Column | the Sallan Foundation
    front payments Similar to municipal bonds NYSERDA could issue low interest public bonds as well though the City cannot direct NYSERDA to do so Mayor Bloomberg s PlaNYC 2030 calls for the establishment of a City Energy Efficiency Authority which would direct all of New York City s efficiency and demand reduction efforts 15 Establishing this Authority requires state legislation but supposing that it does get established a city wide Energy Efficiency Authority could coordinate monitor and provide public education for a PAYS system thereby fostering the market infrastructure in a manner that is less disparate and dependent on state agencies or state funding Unfortunately this Authority does not yet exist Therefore the speculation surrounding the role that a City Energy Efficiency Authority could play in any comprehensive system that would lower the split incentives barrier to energy efficient investments such as PAYS could is largely academic Although the breadth of coordination and the limited capacity of the City to implement a PAYS market infrastructure make it a daunting option with which to address the split incentives problem there are factors particular to New York City that synergize with the PAYS features Electricity prices are some of the highest in the country in New York City therefore any savings on electricity make a larger impact than with low initial electricity prices nor are these prices expected to fall 16 Secondly there is little public funding needed and there is no subsidy involved for this system which means it could garner bi partisan support based on fiscal ideology Thirdly the City has the force of the momentum of PlaNYC 2030 and other public concerns over energy related issues behind it upon which it could capitalize and channel to coordinate the myriad stakeholders needed to implement PAYS Nevertheless the skepticism from the low income community may detract from support for PAYS due to the critical feature it employs regarding disconnection of electricity service if the customer fails to pay This combined with the time consuming regulatory process utility synergy and levels of education needed to inform consumers about the system may prevent its implementation absent a maintained level of urgency and political will focused on urban energy efficiency Structured Contracts and Financing Other market mechanisms that are feasible remedies to the split incentives problem in New York City involve unique financing or structured contracts that realign the stakeholder s financial incentives in order to foster adequate investment in energy efficient technologies energy efficient mortgages energy efficient construction loans or supplemental rental lease agreements Energy efficient mortgages EEM and energy efficiency construction loans EECL are designed to incent the agent landlord or building owner to invest initially in energy efficient equipment the building envelope etc regardless of who pays for the energy costs during the operation of the building 17 Ideally these two mechanisms would obviate the split incentives problem as the building would be constructed to maximize efficiencies and there would be a minimal need to invest in retro fits Both the EEM and the EECL mechanisms require lending companies to provide large amounts of capital which usually occurs in the private sector and or with public revolving loan funds public underwriting or public low interest loans While NYSERDA and Con Edison have low interest loan programs the City does not currently have a similar dedicated program or revolving loan fund and is likely unable to guarantee large amount of loans given its debt capacity 18 With the ongoing implementation of PlaNYC 2030 the City may be able and willing to partner with many private lenders to provide assurances of the cost effectiveness of energy efficient investments thus decreasing the risk levels associated with non traditional lending mechanisms such as EEMs and EECLs The third mechanism a supplemental rental lease i e a green lease is a contract that realigns the incentives of the landlord and the tenant in order to overcome the problem of split incentives Such a contract could be a two party agreement that places a surcharge on the rent each month in an amount that is less than the savings realized by the tenant but sufficient to provide a revenue stream to the landlord in order to payback the capital investment he or she has made in energy efficiency in the building apartment 19 Alternatively a green rental lease could be structured as a three party contract the landlord the tenant and an energy service company ESCO This model was successfully tried by the U S Department of Defense DOD in a government leased office building in Alexandria Virginia that is owned by Hoffman Management 20 Like the renter landlord problem of split incentives in New York City DOD did not own the Hoffman building wanted to improve its energy efficiency and paid the utility bills Ultimately a tri party agreement was reached with Hoffman DOD and Pepco Services Inc the ESCO that stipulates that DOD will pay Hoffman Management a part of its savings over a predetermined period and Hoffman agreed to finance the renovation costs 21 This tri party agreement was possible largely because DOD entered into a supplemental lease agreement with the owner 22 Call it what you will leases structured to induce owners and tenants to invest in energy efficiency and share saving cash flows will need to be creative transparent and enforceable Supplemental structured or green leases in New York City would likely work best for large institutional commercial or industrial tenants who have large energy loads pay their own energy bills and foresee a protracted tenancy period Utilizing a reputable ESCO as the third party who provides the actual products or services is critical to the success of this model in New York City where markets are bigger costs are higher and business is fiercely competitive The Mayor s Office of Long term Planning and Sustainability could provide a list of recommended ESCOs to reduce the transaction costs search time and risk in order to better ensure a sound investment Just as the federal government provided a model in the D C area the City could enter into a similar type of supplemental lease agreement in New York assuming that the City does not own every agency or office that is occupied by them thus leading by example for other private commercial or institutional tenants and the landlords who must engage with them Leading by example is highlighted as an important feature of the Mayor s long term sustainability plan for the City setting the precedent for this type of green lease would not provide such leadership it would further the City s own goal of reducing energy use by 30 by 2017 23 This green contract model even if successfully crafted as a public private private agreement may not however transfer seamlessly to a private private private contract Rents in New York City are high relative to many other U S cities as are the property values In this seller s landlord s market tenants have little leverage to negotiate creative leases and landlords owners may be highly reluctant to engage in innovative leasing when they could rent traditionally to another However with looming mandates on energy codes increasingly stringent building codes and general public demand for greater energy efficiency landlords and owners with the goals and actions of the City guiding the way and a reputable selection of ESCOs with whom to work may be more willing to experiment with lease contracts then they would have been ten years ago Codes and Mandates As there is no simple panacea for solving the split incentives problem in the City to date obviating the problem may be the best way to address it in the future 24 Designing legislating and enforcing stringent building codes energy codes and appliance standards that promote high energy performance in the built environment would obviate the tenant landlord investment problem over time as new buildings would be legally required to be energy efficient initially 25 The Netherlands are a good example of strict coding In 1995 the country established building standards that include requirements about energy performance in new residences which are upgraded over time 26 New York City recently updated its building code which had not been changed since the 1960s with increased energy efficiency in mind The code which can be modified every three years includes requirements for more efficient heating and cooling systems and white roofs that reflect rather than absorb sunlight to name just two changes 27 Additionally the City Council passed Local Law 86 which requires all new municipal projects with constructions costs of two million dollars or more to build according to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design LEED Silver certification standards This law was passed with the expectation that by building according to LEED standards the City will reduce its electricity consumption and water use although given the design of the LEED point system a LEED Silver certified building may not have earned many of its points in the energy efficiency category 28 Another important feature of Local Law 86 includes the requirement that all municipal capital projects with an estimated cost of twelve million dollars or greater be built to reduce energy operating costs by 20 30 29 The building code which applies to all construction and the Local Law 86 which applies to municipal or publicly funded construction will likely improve the energy efficiency of the affected projects assuming that there is an enforcement mechanism and the buildings are not built to consume greater energy due to superfluous appliances etc Unfortunately much of these construction projects are unlikely to affect the incidence of split incentives between the landlord and tenant City buildings are often owner occupied The building code may obviate the split incentives problem to a certain degree in newly constructed buildings looking to the City s own data however highlights that by 2030 at least 85 of our energy usage and carbon emissions will come from buildings that already exist today 30 Much of the split incentives problem toward energy efficient investment occurs in these existing buildings which neither new construction codes nor municipal green building laws can solve nor obviate 31 Mandating appliance standards is another route that could remedy the split incentives problem the owner would be required to invest in energy efficient appliances and the tenant would realize the savings in the energy costs over his or her period of occupancy In fact New York City Council Law 107 2005 does precisely that by amending the administrative code to require the purchase of Energy Star R appliances whenever appliances in apartment buildings are replaced 32 That this law is actually enforced is unclear but given that large appliances such as the refrigerator use the single largest amount of electricity in most households the turnover of this equipment over time would improve energy efficiency in the residential sector Nevertheless refrigerators have a long life the enforcement of the law is dubious and many smaller appliances are purchased by the tenant Despite the good intentions of Local Law 107 to address improved energy efficient investments in existing buildings that are tenant occupied these factors will likely result in a relatively small impact in a solution toward the split incentives problem for energy efficiency in New York City The most effective combination of building codes energy codes and appliances standards would include strict requirements on both new construction and periodical upgrades retro fits The split incentive barrier toward energy efficiency would be removed because the owner landlord would be mandated to invest in energy efficiency particularly as the owner makes necessary capital upgrades Strict and enforced policy mandates however are often difficult to implement in the U S due to political ideologies and a relative lack of urgency surrounding energy consumption With rising energy prices concerns over energy security and improved public discourse about climate change mandates of this nature may become increasingly politically feasible in the future Should the policy environment become ripe for stricter codes and mandates the City Council will be able to legislate and the Mayor and executive agencies can provide enforcement and assistance Affordable Housing The split incentive problem to energy efficient investments is a particular problem in affordable housing around New York City where energy costs are often the second highest after rent itself expenditure for the tenant and a greater burden as a percentage of disposable income 33 The problem is amplified by the fact that many affordable housing buildings are built based on first costs and number of resident units not on future operating costs which are borne by the tenants 34 The Mainstreaming High Performance Buildings in New York City report addresses the problem of split incentives in affordable housing and suggests remedies that are applicable specifically toward increasing investments in energy efficiency 1 The Housing Preservation and Development s HPD program to foster inclusion of equipment by means of credits that the landlord could apply toward rent increases 2 improvements in NYSERDA s affordable housing production program and 3 a City Council mandate for Energy Star appliances in all municipally financed programs 35 The City has the capacity to modify HPD s program in order to better incent owners landlords to include energy efficient equipment given the opportunity to realize a return through higher rents Given the shortage of affordable housing in the City however this mechanism would likely face less opposition if the projected rent increases were proven to be less than the amount of the savings realized by the tenant in lower energy bills These savings per unit may be too small to appeal to the landlord as a sufficient increase in revenues to satisfy his or her payback threshold As for NYSERDA s affordable housing program that is a state program over which the Mayor has no official jurisdiction to modify it the local population however as rate payers do theoretically and are purportedly represented by elected officials in the State Assembly Instead of relying on changes to a state program the City could craft its Requests for Proposals RFP for affordable housing to incorporate energy efficiency criteria or to give preference to the proposals that are Energy Star R rated 36 The third option is certainly feasible in City Council as was discussed earlier regarding a similar law mandating Energy Star R appliance replacements that passed in 2005 A version of this law applied to affordable housing may be easier to enforce given that affordable housing is subject to City approval and inspection and the developers of the housing rely on receiving 421 a tax abatement certificates or other financial incentives incentives which may be revoked for non compliance The aforementioned suggestions would apply to energy efficiency in new affordable housing Two programs that address split incentives in existing buildings where the majority of the need for investment exists include the Weatherization Assistance Program WAP and NYSERDA s EmPower New York Program 37 Both are state programs and the investments made at no cost to the tenant reduce energy use by 25 on average 38 These programs are highly utilized particularly WAP indicating that the design of the program and the results of the weatherization measures are compatible with the tenant the landlord and the providers thus a sensible remedy to the split incentive problem in affordable housing 39 The primary barrier to increased investments in energy efficiency via these programs is insufficient funding on the state and local level 40 The City could budget funds for a municipal WAP program modeled after the state program which would simultaneously contribute to the City goal of decreased emissions from buildings As for NYSERDA s EmPower New York there is less room for the City to either expand it or modify it as NYSERDA has an exclusive contract with Honeywell International to implement the program 41 Overcoming the split incentive barrier in affordable housing is both particularly challenging and particularly critical New Yorkers who have less disposable income at hand to invest in even the smallest means of energy efficiency e g compact fluorescent lightbulbs often have the greatest difficulty paying electricity bills that are higher due to minimal capital investments on the part of the owner Conclusion Reviewing the many remedies to the split incentive problem toward investments in energy efficiency in New York City buildings one notices a common theme the cooperation of multiple stakeholders is imperative and enforcement mechanisms are essential Split incentive solutions that utilize tri party contracts including a Pay as You Save system a supplemental lease agreement exemplified in the DOD model and the weatherization contracts offer successful mechanisms that the City could consider The City however qua the executive or legislative branches often requires the state to be a part of any solution discussed throughout this paper be it through the PSC NYSERDA or the State Assembly It may be because of this co dependence that the City has made no concrete policy advancements as part of PlaNYC 2030 implementation or otherwise to resolve the split incentive problem 42 Alternatively it may be due to the complicated nature of the problem a problem which could ultimately be obviated with strict building codes energy codes and appliance mandates or mitigated with restructured electricity prices all of which may be looming on an energy constrained horizon Indeed the split incentive problem may be one issue where it is sensible to wait for a time where the stick is preferable to the carrot With the recent passage of the City Council Climate Protection Act the goals of PlaNYC 2030 and rising energy prices tightening codes and mandates for energy efficiency may be the best route for the City to take it is a route in which the City currently has significant leverage to legislate implement and enforce Endnotes 1 This figure does not include the energy use of the local airports Bloomberg Michael April 22 2007 PlaNYC 2030 Office of the Mayor City of New York 2 International Energy Agency

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  • Contractors Wanted | Wendy Fleischer | Snapshot Column | the Sallan Foundation
    programs homeowners call contractors because 1 there is an emergency i e the hot water heater breaks down 2 they wish to solve a particular problem i e their back rooms are cold and drafty or their heating bills are too high or 3 they want to remodel all or part of their house While all of these situations present an opportunity to reduce energy use the opportunity is most often squandered The homeowners first step is to go through a difficult process of a trying to figure out the type of contractor they need b finding a trustworthy contractor and c negotiating the scope of work that contractor will perform and the price the homeowner will pay Energy audits are almost never requested or therefore conducted Sometimes the presenting contractor s will promise energy use reductions that are unsupportable This is an issue that is addressed by the quality assurance and testing out that the whole house approach used in the Weatherization and Home Performance with Energy Star program but is rarely used outside these programs If our goal is to realize every opportunity to increase energy efficiency how can we make this happen Following are some ideas Build sector of the contracting industry specializing in energy auditing for existing buildings Energy auditing requires specific expertise but not the breadth and depth of knowledge needed to become a licensed architect or engineer To develop this new sector New York City and State should work together to build on existing efforts to Increase education for contractors to learn how to conduct energy audits To conduct the home energy audit that is critical to the whole house approach contractors must understand the basics of building science and learn how to effectively assess the energy uses of a building They must learn how to use diagnostic equipment such as a blower door manometer and infrared cameras Facility with computer software programs that can generate energy audits and the ability to manage documentation increase the likelihood for positive results Likely candidates to target for such education includes contractors that install heating systems insulation ventilation windows roofs electrical lighting and other appliances Other candidates may be individuals who work on the margins of the contracting industry for example handymen Developing this new sector is an opportunity to benefit disadvantaged workers and businesses NYSERDA offers education opportunities and is currently reimbursing 100 of the costs for City based contractors to attend classes that lead to Certification by the Building Performance Institute BPI a national credentialing organization for building performance for class information visit AEANYC org Contractors that receive accreditation can participate in NYSERDA s Home Performance with Energy Star program NYSERDA also contracts with Hudson Valley Community College to develop programs to train high school and college students in this emerging field and classes are being offered in New York City for example at Bronx Community College Develop and disseminate profitable business models for building auditors As almost anyone in the industry will report contracting

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  • The Status of LEED in NYC, Positive Lessons | John Tepper Marlin | Snapshot Column | the Sallan Foundation
    discuss some dangers with the LEED approach 1 The Yardstick the LEED Point System Is Easy to Understand Each good deed like an Eagle Scout badge gets you a point Reduce water usage in the landscaping by 50 percent and get one point Reduce overall water use 20 percent one point Divert 50 percent of construction waste one point There are 69 possible points in six areas The bar is pretty low at 26 points for plain vanilla certification of a new building The point requirement goes up for silver gold and platinum minimum of 52 points Only six points are required of all building projects fundamental building systems commissioning minimum energy performance CFC reduction in HVAC R equipment a room for storage and collection of recyclables minimum indoor air quality performance and environmental tobacco smoke control 2 The First LEED Level Bar is Easy to Achieve To persuade the average business that a certification is worth getting it must appear attainable That means a low entry bar Apart from the six required points all it takes to get a plain LEED certificate is 20 more points Beyond that builders can aspire to silver gold and platinum certification 3 The LEED System Is Flexible The 20 points beyond the first six to qualify for first level LEED certification may be chosen from six different areas Sustainable Sites 14 points possible Water Efficiency 5 points Energy and Atmosphere 17 points Materials and Resources 13 points Indoor Environmental Quality 15 points Innovation and Design Process 5 points The last was added because of complaints that the point mongering approach gave insufficient recognition to overall environmentally friendly design concepts 4 LEED Offers Challenges for Industry Leaders If green purchasing is a luxury good then the Green Building Council has done a good job of promoting its top brand the Platinum certification In New York City having been attacked for environmental failings in his previous office Al Gore was eager to take space in a Durst building at One Bryant Park that seeks a LEED platinum rating Battery Park City now has a building The Visionaire that was designed to qualify for the platinum LEED rating The Goldman Sachs building in Jersey City uses wood that is 100 percent compliant with LEED requirements Ground has been broken for the first green school Stop Shop and Giant Supermarkets are building LEED rate green supermarkets The US Green Building Council is so confident in the difficulty of achieving Platinum status that those who do will get all certification fees 2 000 12 000 refunded for any building that achieves LEED Platinum 5 LEED Builds a Green Industry The point system encourages builders to do certain things and buy certain products that help the green building industry to grow For example a building gets a point for having an architect who is a LEED Accredited Professional which encourages architects to get LEED training Market researchers SBI Specialists in Business Information predict that the market for green building

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